The vocation of every man and woman is to serve humanity. -Leo Tolstoy

Posts Tagged ‘okc’

Job Opening: Executive Director of IAO

In nonprofits, OKC, oklahoma, Visual Art on June 24, 2012 at 11:48 am

Individual Artists of Oklahoma

Executive Director


Under the direction of the Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) Board of Directors, the IAO Executive Director leads the organization in financial growth, long-range planning, community relations and the overall administration of the organization in accordance with the IAO mission.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understands and embraces the IAO mission;
  • Ensures the consistent achievement of the organization’s mission and financial objectives;
  • Works in conjunction with the finance committee and outside financial professionals to manage the organization’s finances, including the maintenance of an accounting system, daily bookkeeping and other financial accounting activities, ie, ledger posting, income statements, payroll, taxes and bank deposits;
  • Effectively and efficiently directs the organization, including the management of the organization’s day-to-day operations;
  • Provides professional support to assigned committees, to include meeting attendance and input;
  • Develops and supervises a strong volunteer workforce;
  • Fulfills all Board directives in a timely manner;
  • Hours are adjusted to accommodate gallery hours, public relations, community outreach and evening events.
  • Focuses on fundraising, community relations and strong leadership to the organization’s Board and volunteer base;
  • Is instrumental in working with the Board to identify and pursue the organization’s short-term and long-term goals;


a)      Four year Bachelor degree from an accredited university.  Equivalent experience considered;

b)    A minimum of 3 years experience in nonprofit management or related field;

c)    Ability to fundraise successfully;

d)    A solid background in administrative management, including staff and volunteer management;

e)    A strong understanding of the organization’s mission

f)       A strong appreciation for experimental and thought-provoking art;

g)    Computer proficiency to include membership and financial databases, websites, social networking and MS Office;

h)    The ability to fulfill the organization’s mission with open, cooperative communication with IAO members, volunteers, the Board of Directors, prospective and current donors, artists and the community;

i)        Capacity to work with senior level corporate, civic, small businesses, philanthropic and public sector officials;

j)        Excellent writing skills;

k)     Excellent group presentation skills;

l)        Ability to manage multiple projects, deadlines and demands effectively.

Starting Salary

  • $38,000/Year

Applications will be accepted until position is filled and must include a cover letter, resume and two references.  Please email to  For more details on the position, please visit

Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City

In OKC on November 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm

The Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City communicates the importance of assisting the under served as well as any organization I have seen. They are well known for building partnerships with businesses and other organizations that benefit inner city communities. This effort includes engaging professionals to volunteer as teachers and mentors for adults who do not have ready access to formal education. The Urban Leagues other areas of focus are (from their website):


The entrepreneurship program provides services in: credit reports, business plan development, loan application processing, business registration packets, market research, seminars & workshops, procurement assistance, referrals and legal status development. 


The Workforce Development Department specializes in training for the hardest to employ or individuals that are underemployed.  The department also works to contact central Oklahoma’s major employers with the urban employees.

The department provides career development resources including job readiness training, annual career expo, and diversity training for employers.


The affordable housing program provides quality & affordable homes to low to moderate income families by rehabilitating existing structures & constructing new homes.

The program also facilitates FREE weatherization services and prepares families for home ownership by hosting homebuyer education and credit counseling workshops.


The urban health program works to increase awareness of breast health, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and cancer prevention through free community health fairs, referrals, group interventions and free fitness activities.


The children and families department provides after school tutoring, food vouchers, utility assistance, bus passes and parent training for adults.

Eat Wise OKC

In advocacy on October 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Eat Wise OKC is a group of concerned parents who have been working since 2008  to improve the nutritional value of meals served to students in Oklahoma City Public Schools. From their website:

Changes you should already see in OKCPS:

  • Fresh fruit daily
  • Whole grain breads exclusively
  • Removal of all a la carte items in elementary school (a la carte = chips, cookies, sodas, left-over breakfast sweets, etc.)
  • Removal of sugary breakfast foods and cereals
  • Removal of pop tarts as part of free universal breakfast
Main Goals for OKCPS:
  • Recess and playground equipment for all elementary students
  • Fresh fruit & veggie snacks daily
  • “Hydration Stations” at every school; i.e. water available on the serving lines
  • Reduce sugar consumption 
  • Eliminate food additives: MSG, artificial colors/flavors, preservatives
  • Stop the sale of junk food in elementary, middle and high schools
  • Replace Styrofoam trays with  reusable trays and dish-washing machines
  • Support Child Nutrition Services in efforts to move to healthier menu items and away from fast food items
  • When the above is achieved, we will have fresh food prepared and served daily.

Freedom School OKC

In Education on September 29, 2011 at 7:38 pm

This summer I spent a morning observing Freedom School OKC. From their website:

One of three sites in Oklahoma and 132 nationwide, FSOKC is a not-for-profit summer literacy program affiliated with the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools Program. Serving children from underserved communities, our mission is to ensure each child has a healthy start, a head start, a fair start, a safe start and a moral start in life, with support of caring parents and nurturing communities of Oklahoma City. Utilizing an Integrated Reading Curriculum, Freedom School helps children develop a love of reading while increasing self-esteem and generating positive attitudes toward learning. 

Although varying from summer to summer, FSOKC provides instruction to 50 children (Grades 3rd-5th) from underserved communities across Oklahoma County.

Participating students become known as “scholars” and instructors who are college interns, become “servant leaders”. They are supervised by the Project Director and Site Coordinator, who are active educators. All personnel have participated in extensive national training from the Children’s Defense Fund and are qualified to deliver the Freedom School Integrated Reading Curriculum. An array of cultural enrichment activities will add to an exciting learning experience for your child in a safe and nurturing environment.

I was highly impressed by the way the educators and interns made reading fun for the scholars. Freedom School is provided at no cost and very worthy of support.

Individual Artist of Oklahoma

In Visual Art on September 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) has given Oklahoma visual artists, poets, musicians and other creatives a venue for sharing their work since 1979. Now located at 706 W. Sheridan, just west of downtown, IAO maintains a robust schedule of programming including monthly exhibits, IdeaLab lecture series, Extreme Championship Poetry, Static film series and various other events, screenings and performances.

IAO plays a crucial role in OKC’s cultural landscape by both embracing and challenging local artists with a mission of:

…sustaining and encouraging emerging and established artists in all media who are intellectually and aesthetically provocative or experimental in subject matter or technique.

As a truly grassroots organization IAO provides opportunities for anyone to become engaged in the initiation, organization and execution of the many diverse programs.

Contact executive director Clint Stone at to learn how you can get involved.


In The arts on September 12, 2011 at 8:03 pm

The opening night of deadCENTER was one of the coolest events that I attended in the last year. Thousands of people sitting on a closed off street in downtown OKC watching a documentary set partly in Oklahoma was kind of awesome. That evening was followed up by dozens of screenings of independent films all over OKC.

From their website:

The name “deadCENTER” refers to the geographic location of the festival – in Oklahoma City – the “dead center” of the United States. And because we’re downtown Oklahoma City, essentially we’re in the dead center of everything!  Founded in 2001, we envision a thriving, interactive global film community. We provide a competitive platform for independent filmmakers and a dynamic educational forum.  Designed to inspire growth in the local film industry and energize visiting film professionals, the deadCENTER Film Festival will continue to encourage the film arts through screenings, discussions, competition, special events, panels, and focused programming.


Positive Tomorrows

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Positive Tomorrows is a school for homeless children with a vision to be:

 …a sanctuary of hope; educating homeless children and their families for life.

I observed an art class taught by my friend Carri Dolan last winter and was pleased to see an environment tailored to the uncertain lives of the students. The current economy has been difficult for families already living on the edge of financial disaster and Positive Tomorrows works to restore some measure of stability. A little bit more from their website:

Positive Tomorrows is a private, tuition free school for Oklahoma City homeless children, Kindergarten through 5th grade.  Our students’ families live in homeless shelters, motels, or with friends or relatives.  Sometimes, they lack even that much stability and live cars or bounce around from couch to couch each night.  The dynamics of being homeless cause these children to fall behind their peers by 1 or 2 grade levels, academically and socially.  Because they are behind, they need individualized attention and special services to catch up to their peers and be ready for longterm success when they transition to a public school.

To learn more about Positive Tomorrows and support the work that they do please visit their website.

NewView Oklahoma

In nonprofits on August 31, 2011 at 5:36 am

From their website: NewView is the leading employer of the blind and vision impaired in Oklahoma, and the only private agency offering specialized services for people living with vision loss.

I had the pleasure of working with NewView while working as education director at City Arts Center. Each summer they hold a week long camp for blind and visually impaired youth. That summer children had the opportunity to experience dance, drama and tactile arts. It was touching to see young people enjoy arts that the sighted often take for granted.

NewView helps blind and visually impaired people of all ages to live fuller and more independent lives through their specialized education programs.

As a manufacturer NewView is a leading supplier of hoses to the U.S. forestry service and airplane chock blocks to the U.S. military. In addition they provide business services to Oklahoma companies.

NewView often gives tours of their huge facility located in a former brewery.

Evaluation of Nonprofit Programs

In evaluation on August 25, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Over the past couple of years I have become  possibly the only evaluation groupie on earth. Last year I attended the American Evaluation Association conference in San Antonio on my vacation. I read (and barely understand) academic journals about evaluation. For a while I considered getting a masters degree in evaluation before discovering that my remedial math skills would be a barrier. My new goal is to have a basic understanding of the evaluation process and results.

Why is evaluation important? Because it is the most accurate way to discover the results of our work. Without true evaluation we have no idea if the programs that we devote time and money to really benefit anyone.

The nonprofit sector that I have found most lacking in their evaluation methods is the arts. Many arts organizations seem to believe that have no need to prove that their work benefits the public. If the the arts are to be respected this has to change.

If anyone reading this has a interest in evaluation or knows someone who does, please let me know.

IdeaLab @ IAO

In Visual Art on August 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm

IdeaLab is a monthly series of salons/round tables/panels/discussions presented by Individual Artists of Oklahoma. The mission of IdeaLab is to:

Create programs that promote cognitive diversity resulting in the expression of new ideas. This is accomplished by provoking interaction and conversation between varied communities and disciplines using experimental methods and formats.

The first IdeaLab takes place on September 27th and will feature Rob Sturma (poet), Wayne Wyrick (astronomer), Blair Humphreys (urban designer) and Jonathan Roberts (nonprofit leader) answering the question What’s Next? in their field. After each speaker talks for 12 minutes the conversation will be opened to all attendees. Hopefully this will be an opportunity for new connections and the shrinking of Oklahoma City.

I will discuss IdeaLab more in later posts. The planning has been a broad based collaborative effort and anyone who wishes to have input on future events is welcome to participate.

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