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Ohio Arts Council Fiscal Operations Associate Carla Oesterle and OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins speak with students at Eakin Elementary participating in the Momentum Excellence program

Be Thankful For What You Have; You’ll End Up Having More

One of my favorite quotes by John F. Kennedy is, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” This statement is true for each of us who work in and through the arts.

In autumn the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) reaffirms its commitment to grantmaking by sharing our refined grantmaking Guidelines. A few weeks ago we opened the FY 2019 grant season by sharing our Guidelines and opening our grant program applications. I hope you have already taken a look at the ways we continue to streamline the application process making it more accessible and intuitive.

New to this year’s Guidelines is our newest arts education opportunity: TeachArtsOhio. We believe, in partnership with schools across Ohio and professional teaching artists, that arts education opportunities will be enhanced for Ohio’s children through the residencies offered through TeachArtsOhio. We appreciate the positive impact our teaching artists have on learning through the arts across the state -  bringing greater positive cultural and educational opportunities to students.

Also on the topic of arts education, the OAC was honored to have been awarded the 2017 Distinguished Organization for Art Education award from the Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA). OAC Board Member Susan Allan Block and I enjoyed the opportunity to accept the award on behalf of the agency at the OAEA Professional Development Conference in Toledo. We were humbled to be among other winners: Richard Duarte Brown (Whitehall) who was honored with the 2017 Distinguished Citizen for Art Education award and Dr. Isidore Rudnick (Cincinnati) who was honored with the 2017 Distinguished Educator for Art Education award. We acknowledge the significant contributions of art educators, administrators, and artists, who all play an important role to ensure the arts are an integral part of education for Ohio’s children.

With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, I’m also reminded about how fortunate we are in Ohio for the significant level of funding the Governor and state legislature have provided for arts and culture through the Ohio Arts Council. Our Board and staff are honored to be good stewards of these state tax dollars, as well as those from the National Endowment for the Arts, and we know that these investments make it possible for us to work with you to sustain arts nonprofits, engage in innovative programming, and increase the depth and breadth of the arts in all of Ohio’s 88 counties.

I’m looking forward to seeing you at the annual Creative Ohio convening on December 4th. If you have not registered please do so today – we don’t want you to be closed out of this opportunity to focus on healthy communities. Robert Post and Dr. E. Gordon Gee will be our bookend keynotes – I promise that you won’t want to miss anything in this jam packed day of networking, professional development, and engagement!

Oprah Winfrey has often said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” And, in this spirit, on behalf of the Ohio Arts Council Board and staff, we send our best wishes to you and yours for a happy Thanksgiving–knowing that in the arts we have much to be thankful for and the best is yet to come!

Until next time,

Donna Collins' signature

Donna S. Collins
Executive Director

Featured photo: Ohio Arts Council Fiscal Operations Associate Carla Oesterle (left) and OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins speak with students at Eakin Elementary participating in the Momentum Excellence program.

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