Oklahoma Arts Council announces 2020 Leadership Arts class

The Oklahoma Arts Council has announced the names of 34 Oklahomans selected to participate in the 2020 Leadership Arts program. The list includes individuals from 18 Oklahoma communities statewide who will convene at four two-day spring sessions to learn how the arts can positively impact education, economic development, and quality of life in Oklahoma.

Members of the 2020 class will join more than 300 individuals from over 80 communities statewide who have participated in the program since 2008. Holdenville will be represented in Leadership Arts for the first time.

“We are very pleased at the makeup of the 2020 class, and we couldn't be more excited to see how class members will lead their communities in imagining great things through the arts," Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples said. "Leadership Arts is returning following a hiatus that resulted from compounding state budget cuts. During the break we took the opportunity to revisit the program and the content to ensure it is poised to continue meeting important needs in our state. The 2020 class reflects efforts to ensure Oklahomans representing a broad range of communities and backgrounds are equipped through Leadership Arts.”

The Oklahoma Arts Council places a high priority on geographic, cultural, and professional diversity in class representation. 

Representing from the Stillwater and OSU are:

Pouya Jahanshahi, Oklahoma State University, Associate Professor in Graphic Design
Jennifer Johnson, Prairie Arts Center, Education Coordinator


About Leadership Arts
The Leadership Arts program equips Oklahomans with strategies for using arts and cultural resources to strengthen local economies, improve education, and enhance quality of life. Class members convene for four two-day spring sessions where they participate in panel discussions, group activities, hands-on learning, and tours of community art spaces. Class members graduate during the fall Oklahoma Arts Conference. Leadership Arts is offered every two years.

Class sessions for the 2020 program will take place at the Quartz Mountain Resort Arts and Conference Center in Lone Wolf (February 27-28); Durant (March 26-27); Ponca City (April 30-May 1); and, Oklahoma City (May 28-29). Class members will graduate from the program during the 2020 Oklahoma Arts Conference in Muskogee, October 14-16.

The nationally recognized Leadership Arts program is sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council and funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Scholarships for the program have been provided by Mid-America Arts Alliance. The program is a project of the Oklahoma Arts Council in cooperation with the communities of Lone Wolf, Ponca City, Durant, Oklahoma City, and Muskogee.