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Visitors to the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery participate in an artmaking workshop with Doreen St. John

Never A Dull Moment for the Arts in Ohio!

The start of autumn is my favorite time of year. I’m not sure if your calendar looks like mine, but there is so much happening that I might need to add extra pages to my planner! In this month's Executive Message, you will find lots of opportunities for engagement!

To start with some quick hits, registration opens soon for our Arts Impact Ohio conference, centered on the theme of Arts And… The current exhibition at the OAC Riffe Gallery, Creating Identity From Place, runs through Oct. 13, with our next exhibition,  Art Educators as Artists, opening Nov. 1. Poetry Out Loud registration has opened for interested schools, and nominations have opened for the 2019 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio.

Not enough for you? Read on—you’ll want to know about these opportunities, too!

The Ohio Arts Prison Connection will host its second annual convening on Oct. 12 at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus. There will be a keynote conversation between warden Ronette Burkes of the Ohio Reformatory for Women and Cincinnati-based theatre artist Mark Crawford. You can expect an afternoon panel featuring author Piper Kerman (author of Orange is the New Black), Cleveland artist and community activist Gwendolyn Garth, Judge David Branstool, and former warden Norman Rose. These guests will discuss how the arts can contribute to the prison and justice systems. Strategic roundtable conversations will be led by facilitators from around Ohio throughout the day. And, of course, there will be opportunities to engage with art at The Wex and art made by individuals who are incarcerated. Learn more and register here for just $10—and that includes lunch!

The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) Board will meet on Oct. 17 at the Rhodes State Office Tower, 33rd floor in Columbus. You are always welcome at our meetings, which are open to the public. The board is composed of 15 voting members appointed by the governor and four non-voting, legislative members. As you know, the OAC Board is an active engaged group of arts leaders from around the state. They are mainly responsible for final approval of funding requests, but they do so much more! Join us in person or listen to the live stream. (Information on how to connect to the live stream is posted a few days before the meeting on our website.)

Following the board meeting, in early November, the OAC Guidelines 2020-21 will be released. The Guidelines describe how funds entrusted to the OAC by the Governor and Ohio Legislature are to be invested in arts and culture, as well as the expected returns on those investments: quality arts experiences that strengthen Ohio culturally, educationally, and economically. As a refresher, organizational awards will be made in operating and project support programs; individual artists will be supported through programs that recognize excellence, preserve cultural traditions, and offer developmental support; and arts learning programs will fund a variety of purpose-driven experiences for educators and learners of all ages. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to review the Guidelines later this fall when they are available. You’ll be glad you did once you start applying!

I won’t list all the upcoming arts events from my calendar, but I can assure you of this—if you are engaged in the arts, you’ll never be bored. If you still have some open slots in your calendar between now and December and you want to find a way to fill your afternoon, evening, or weekend, check out for a one-stop statewide listing of arts opportunities.

And, if that doesn’t suit your fancy, you can always go to the local football game to see some of the best musicians in the state. When our marching bands take the field, they display the sights and sounds of what a quality education in the musical arts looks like. Watch for me—I’ll be the one cheering for the band louder than the home team’s last touchdown!

Until next time,
Donna Collins' signature

Donna S. Collins
Executive Director

Featured photo: Visitors to the Ohio Arts Council's Riffe Gallery participate in an artmaking workshop with Doreen St. John. Photo by Katie Monahan, Communications Strategist

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