State officials with the Oklahoma Arts Council and many others pleaded with lawmakers Wednesday to remain an independent agency during an interim study before the House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee.
Various art entities in the state, including the Arts and Humanities Council in Tulsa, the Red River Arts council in Durant and individuals like Enid-native opera singer Leona Mitchell also urged members of the House committee to leave the Arts Council as an independent agency, for fear of jeopardizing federal funds and politicizing the agency’s mission.
“I have witnessed the impact of the Oklahoma Arts Council in Southeast and South Central Oklahoma,” said Dr. Gleny Beach, arts division director at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. “This council has been a major factor in increasing exposure to an underserved area of our state. It is important to the vitality and viability of the state of Oklahoma.”
Interim study H14-018 was requested by Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, as a way to evaluate funding mechanisms for the Council.
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