Oklahoma City Community Foundation Awards $363,000 in Grants to Programs Uplifting Oklahoma’s Unique Cultural Heritage

Oct 2, 2023 | Grants, iFunds

Oklahoma City Community Foundation Awards $363,000 in Grants to Programs Uplifting Oklahoma’s Unique Cultural Heritage

Oklahoma City – Cultural experiences have the power to bring members of a community together around interests that connect them.

That’s why last year, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation (OCCF) launched its Culture and Community grant program. The OCCF Board of Trustees has now approved $363,000 in grants for this new initiative.

“We are proud to support organizations that increase connection, expand knowledge, spark innovation and improve quality of life,” said Trisha Finnegan, OCCF President and CEO. “These incredible organizations take this goal a step further by making their programs accessible to broad audiences and underserved areas while actively engaging people from all walks of life in celebrating Oklahoma’s unique and diverse cultural heritage.”

These grants recognize local organizations that preserve and promote the unique aspects of Oklahoma’s cultural heritage through providing educational programming, visual and performing arts and cultural public events. Twenty-seven grants were awarded, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 each.

One unique organization receiving a grant is Urban Bridge Inc. It will collaborate with African-American muralists to create two murals in northeast OKC that celebrate the neighborhood’s vibrant past and showcase the creativity of local high school students.

“As someone who grew up on the eastside and continues to live and serve here, this project is an exciting opportunity,” said Marcus Jackson, founder and executive director of Urban Bridge. “I believe this project will impact not just the lives of our students but our entire community. Through the creation of these place-making murals, we’re crafting spaces that honor our heritage, celebrate our present, and look ahead to our future. I’m personally thrilled to offer our students the chance to showcase their unique creativity and to learn from our muralists.”

Grant recipients include:

Educational Programming

  • Harding Fine Arts Academy Foundation – Ignite Master Artist Series: Celebrating Asian-American, Pacific-Islander Heritage and Culture in Public Schools | $5,000.
  • Oklahoma Humanities Council, Inc. – “Let’s Talk About It” Reading and Discussion Program | $25,000. Opry Heritage Foundation of Oklahoma – Transforming Lives Through Music | $20,000.
  • Thick Descriptions – steAm Learning Journey: stories of Oklahomans from historic Black towns | $10,000.
  • Greater Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation – Hispanic Chamber Women’s Business Center’s “Emprendedoras Rising” | $20,000. WestTen District – WestTen’s Historically Local Markers | $5,000.

Visual Arts

  • Oklahoma Mural Syndicate – Plaza Walls | $25,000.
  • Untitled Artspace Inc. – “Indigenous Alchemy: Perspectives from Oklahoma Printmakers” | $10,000.
  • Oklahoma Hall of Fame – Oklahoma Hall of Fame: Art in Community | $5,000.
  • Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition – Momentum 2024 Program | $15,000.
  • Urban Bridge Inc. – Bridging the Past, Present, and Future for Eastside Youth through Placemaking Murals in Northeast OKC | $20,000.
  • deadCenter Film – Continuum: Year-Round Educational and Cultural Programming | $15,000.

Performing Arts

  • Oklahoma City Ballet – Spider Brings Fire | $20,000.
  • Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma – Lyric Theatre’s Musical Interactive | $5,000. Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, Inc. –Oklahoma’s Own | $15,000.
  • RACE Dance Collective – RACE’s Hip-Hop Nutcracker | $15,000. Prairie Dance Theatre – Cultural Dance Education and Performance Exchange | $8,000.
  • Oklahoma City Repertory Theater – Spring 2024 VIETGONE Production | $15,000. Carpenter Square Theatre – CST Presents Best in Ten | $10,000.

Festivals & Public Events

  • Calle Dos Cinco in Historic Capitol Hill – Fiestas De las Americas | $20,000.
  • Plaza District Association – 3rd Annual Calderon Dance Festival + LIVE! on The Plaza | $15,000.
  • Oklahoma City Community College Foundation – Oklahoma City Community College’s Fiestas Patrias | $15,000.
  • University of Oklahoma Foundation, Inc. – 2024 Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair | $20,000.
  • Black Liberated Arts Center (BLAC) Inc. – 2024 Charlie Christian International Music Festival | $10,000.
  • Rose State College Foundation, Inc. – Midwest City Founding Celebration | $5,000.
  • Association of Physicians of Pakistani-Descent of North America – Pakistan Day Celebration 2024 | $5,000.
  • Oklahoma City Public School District – OKC Native Knowledge Program | $10,000.

About the Oklahoma City Community Foundation Founded in 1969, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that works with donors to create charitable funds that will benefit our community both now and in the future. To learn more about the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, visit