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In 2008, the Oklahoma Arts Council and Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition helped launch the ONEAL network to better serve Oklahoma’s new and emerging arts leaders. While fostered and supported by the Oklahoma Arts Council, ONEAL is a free, independent statewide network for arts leaders age 35 and under or those that have less than five years of experience in arts administration or the business of arts. The network provides peer support and resources for Oklahoma’s new and emerging arts leaders, whom represent the next wave of leadership for the arts in Oklahoma. The ONEAL Network is recognized as one of American for the Arts Emerging Leaders Networks.

The members of ONEAL represent an eclectic group of individuals – artists, gallery owners, educators, college students, arts administrators, community volunteers, musicians, performers, writers, tribal and cultural representatives and creative entrepreneurs. As diverse as the group is, they share one basic trait – a common desire to work collectively to ensure that the arts continue to grow and thrive in Oklahoma.

With the help of a volunteer task force, ONEAL members have been working together to advance the entire network, ensuring that ONEAL is represented in small and large communities across Oklahoma. The goal for ONEAL is to help younger arts leaders connect with a professional network of peers so that they will have a means can exchange ideas and resources.

The ONEAL Network has:

• Hosted “ONEAL Deal” Events which allow networking and discussion about arts-related issues

• Convened annually at the Oklahoma Arts Conference since 2008

• Coordinated monthly informal coffee meetings (2nd Tuesdays at Beatnix Café, OKC).

Key issues the group is working to address include:

• how to identify mentors

• how to advocate for support of the arts

• how to identify resources to advance the arts

• how to actively connect with other arts leaders making things happen on a local or statewide level

Goals for the future of ONEAL include:

• Identifying task force members in communities across the state

• Targeting specific communities to help create a stronger ONEAL presence

• Providing more professional development resources for arts leaders

ONEAL currently maintains a Facebook group page touting over 400 members. This page serves as an online forum for discussions, job announcements and other resources and opportunities. For more information, please contact Oklahoma Arts Council Director of Outreach and Community Arts Program, Molly O’Connor at 405-521-2025.

“Being in the ONEAL network helps provide a great sense of belonging to Oklahoma and the State’s growing culture. It gives people the opportunity to connect and grow together at early stages of their careers and identify obstacles we face and come up with viable solutions as well as share in our continued successes. ONEAL brings people together so that we may help increase one of Oklahoma’s greatest resources – the arts.”

-James Wallace, Performing Arts Coordinator, Chickasaw Nation

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