Tulsa Artist Fellowship was established in 2015 by the George Kaiser Family Foundation with a vision to recruit and retain professional artists to Tulsa. The fellowship began with an inaugural group of visual artists, then quickly expanded to include contemporary artists of all kinds.
Today, Tulsa Artist Fellowship supports over 50 fellows with a variety of contemporary arts practices. These fellows work, live and create in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Tulsa Artist Fellowship (TAF) is committed to fostering an equitable environment where a diverse and inclusive community of artists and arts workers have the opportunity to thrive professionally. Our institutional model is reflective and responsive. We acknowledge that a significant number of artistic practitioners are unable to secure the time required to actualize their creative projects in tandem with maintaining stable housing and studio spaces. In response, Tulsa Artist Fellowship strives to remove these barriers by providing program participants with three core areas of support:
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Fellows are expected to live, make, and intentionally engage with our city. Community engagement touchpoints occur through a variety of internal and external programming; examples include First Friday open studios, public readings, discursive events and performances. The arts are highly valued and celebrated in Tulsa. Here, you’ll find socially-engaged citizens and institutions that are open to new ideas and eager to support progress.
Each year, the Fellowship seeks a diverse cohort of local and national contemporary artists at different stages in their careers. These may include arts workers such as curators, publishers, or collaborative practitioners.
NATIVE AMERICAN ARTS PRACTITIONERS
The City of Tulsa is deeply shaped by its rich Native American cultural landscape. TAF is dedicated to celebrating and supporting Native arts and specifically reserves multiple Fellowship awards for Native American artists following the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 as a guideline.HONORING OUR LAND, HISTORY & CULTURE //
Honoring our land and culture is at the center of Tulsa Artist Fellowship’s mission. TAF’s Land Acknowledgement is read during public engagement programming to show respect, as well as educate audience members.
Every community owes its existence and vitality to generations from around the world who contributed their hopes, dreams and energy to making the history that led to this moment. Some were brought here against their will, some were drawn to leave their distant homes in hope of a better life, some have lived on this land for more generations than can be counted and some fled Tulsa, never to return. Truth and acknowledgment are critical to building mutual respect and connection across all barriers of heritage and difference.
We begin this effort to acknowledge what has been buried by honoring the truth:
We are standing on the tribal lands of the Osage, Cherokee and Muscogee (Creek) People.
We honor their elders, past and present.
We are standing on the land of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
We pay respect to these victims and survivors, past and present.
At Tulsa Artist Fellowship, artists and arts workers come together in Tulsa, Oklahoma, distinctly positioned at the center of coastal cultural conversations. Socially invested arts practitioners live and work here, intentionally engaging with our city.
Tulsa Artist Fellowship fellows are housed in Tulsa’s Arts District, a historic neighborhood in downtown Tulsa rich with galleries, performance venues, museums, and green spaces, and home to the award-winning First Friday Art Crawl. This concentration of arts and culture allows sharing of and accessibility to ideas, and opens up opportunities for education, spurring social awareness and change.DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
TAF strives to be a safe, inclusive, anti-oppressive program to people of all backgrounds, in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. TAF does not discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, citizen status, ancestry, age, religion, disability, sex or gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation or any other characteristic. TAF values freedom of expression to provide a community that celebrates diversity of thought and creativity.