Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting Involved - merging passion and action

Recently, I learned that I am one of 31 people chosen to participate in the state and federally funded arts advocacy program "Leadership Arts" through the Oklahoma Arts Council. The program includes 4 months in 4 different communities (Quartz Mountain Resort in Lone Wolf, Norman, Medicine Park, and Tulsa), plus then the Oklahoma Arts Conference. 

I applied for the program two years ago, and was not chosen. I decided to apply again this year, and was thrilled to be chosen for this year's group. Out of each group, there are only two or three spots for individual artists, I believe, so it is doubly exciting.

I believe that volunteering is very important, and while there are many opportunities to volunteer, I think it is important to choose wisely. It is easy to become burned out if you are involved in something that is not a passion for you, because most volunteer opportunities are time consuming, and not necessarily easy or fun, all the time. To stick with it, choosing a topic that truly touches your heart is important.

In 1997, I started a Charity with the help of my mom, and a huge pool of terrific volunteers. (http://www.memoryboxes.org). In 2009, I decided it was time to hand it off to another leader. I loved the opportunity to work with artists, and provide boxes for infant bereavement programs around the world. After nearly 12 years with all the responsibility of leading the program (shared with my mom, who is a wonder-woman), it was just time to move on.

Since that time, I have stuck with short-term charity projects in the community, and through my church. Recently, however, I've found that I wanted to get back into working with the arts, and Leadership Arts seemed like a terrific place to start.

Leadership Arts is designed as a statewide network of community art leaders. it includes members of arts organizations, city representatives, and individual artists, such as myself.  Class members will learn how arts and cultural development can be harnessed to create economic opportunity, provide a high quality of community life, and ignite the creative potential of Oklahoma’s youth. 

I'm excited to be attending the first session this week at the Quartz Mountain Resort. Session one is on "Making a Case for Arts Education", which includes Leadership Resources, and Advocating for Arts Education.

The Oklahoma Arts Council web site says, "Participants will learn why and how the arts make a significant contribution to Oklahoma's economy, how communities have developed arts programs and vibrant arts spaces to enhance quality of life, how the arts improve the image of cities and neighborhoods while serving as a centerpiece for community engagement, and how the arts cultivate creativity, attracting and retaining a creative workforce.

Sessions are interactive and will expand participants' understanding of group dynamics and the value of group work. Leadership Arts will help you better articulate and advocate for the arts in Oklahoma, design strategies for employing local assets for cultural development, work towards creative partnerships and consensus building, and teach you to mobilize your leadership capacity and the capacity of others."

The National Endowment for the Arts – FY 2011 Performance & Accountability Report said about the program,

"The Oklahoma Arts Council created the Leadership Arts Academy to
foster development of arts leaders and arts-active communities in Oklahoma.
In addition to developing a statewide network of community arts leaders, this
program was also designed to raise public awareness of the arts and convey
how the arts and cultural development can be harnessed to create economic
opportunity, provide a high quality of community life, and ignite the creative
potential of Oklahoma’s youth. Classes have been held annually since 2008."

So, look for some upcoming posts about the things that I am learning, and my travels, for this wonderful program!

23 comments:

  1. That is a wonderful opportunity and so glad you are doing that. I think it would be very interesting.
    Dolly

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    1. A wonderful thing to do for others ! You go girl ! Have a great day !

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  2. Congratulations on being chosen for the Leadership Arts" through the Oklahoma Arts Council. What a great opportunity. Sounds exciting. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and linking up, now following you. My fingers are crossed that you'll think about joining Sundays' Best party every Sunday.

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  3. Awesome! You can even get burned out on things you are passionate about. :) I only volunteer 3 months out of the year to avoid exactly that.

    Returning the follow from Happy Hour Projects. So glad you dropped by!

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  4. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I'm a new follower of you too, and I have to say - I love that pink header you have!

    xo,

    Brooke

    liningthecloudswithsilver.blogspot.com

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  5. Thanks for stopping by. You have a very interesting blog.
    Your newest follower,
    Lisa

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  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog!! I'm a new follower!

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  7. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog & following. I am now following you as well. Congrats on your achievements!
    CAS

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  8. Wow! This is very impressive! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I am happy to follow you too! I can't wait to hear more about your adventure!

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  9. Congratulations! This is another example of not giving up on a dream or goal, try, try again. Hope you enjoy it and find it rewarding.
    I found your blog on the linky followers blog hop and I am glad I did. I have been blog hopping for two days and I am loving meeting so many talented and amazing people. I am following you and hope that you take the time to hop over and maybe follow back.

    My Turn (for us)

    http://myturn-evelyn.blogspot.com

    Thanks, I enjoyed the visit.

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  10. Congratulations! Sounds like fun adn a way to make a diffrerence for many.

    Thanks so much for following Mom’s Best Nest . I am now your happy follower and look forward to reading your posts.

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  11. Congratulations! Thanks for being a follower and I love your blog name!

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  12. Congrats :) That's awesome! Thanks for stopping by my blog, I'm following back via linky.

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  13. Sounds like a great adventure!! Best wishes to you and thanks for the Bloggy love!!...Right back at ya!
    Kristy

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  14. Thank you for participating in the blog hop! Wishing you much success in your bloggy endeavors! New follower :)

    Kelly
    www.livelaughrowe.com

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  15. Hi!Thanks so much for stopping by my little blog! I'm now following yours!

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  16. Congrats Tera! I grew up in OKC and lived there until 1999. I miss the sunshine! Best wishes for this adventure - I will be looking forward to hearing your updates.

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  17. Hi,
    Thanks for the follow, I am following back :)

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  18. That sounds so great! Congrats! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for participating in the Blog Hop! Following back :)
    www.imprintalish.blogspot.com

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  19. The eccentric leopard, loving that name! :)
    Thank you for stopping by my little cupcake! I am a new follower!

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  20. Hi and Congrats!!! What a great honor and opportunity to grow! I just realized that I own one of your books, The Complete Book of Decorative Painting. It was recommended by a friend who is a talented artist herself. I was always bummed out about not having any artistic talents and she said it would be a great source for me to learn. My first project was a thrift find tv cabinet. I hand painted and stenciled the doors. I must say it came out wonderfully and no one believed I painted it freehand. I haven't been able to find the pics, but still looking. I would love to be able to show you how you helped me past the fear of picking up a brush. : )
    Barbe

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  21. So glad you didn't give up on your dream, congratulations! Hope it's everything you want and fulfill your dreams. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday's Best. Following you on Facebook and Linky.

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