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Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) was recently awarded $15,000 through the Oklahoma Arts Council to support arts programs on campus, such as band, choir, and theatre. As part of the project, NEO will purchase cameras, projectors, and livestreaming equipment that will allow music, theater, and arts programs to operate through distance learning and audio equipment to amplify outdoor music and theatre performances. “Our music and theatre departments all lost revenue due to event cancellation during the pandemic,” said Rachel Lloyd, Title III Grant Project Director. “There was also unprecedented growth in distance learning to keep students and faculty safe. Arts programs are highly interactive and this equipment will allow our faculty to continue delivering high-quality, student-centered education at a distance.”

“Part of the equipment funded through this grant will allow us to hold more outdoor performances,” said Adam Compton, director of NEO Bands. “This opens up new possibilities for featuring instrumentalists that would have been nearly impossible previously. It will allow more of our students to showcase their abilities and talents.”

One of the major funding priorities for the Oklahoma Arts Council was a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. With ten tribal jurisdictions in the service area, NEO ranks among the top institutions nationally in producing Native American graduates. NEO’s grant was part of a $3 million investment by the Oklahoma Arts Council under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In an interview with the Duncan Banner, Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director Amber Sharples noted that the main goal of the grants was stabilizing non-profit entities. “The grant awards are a meaningful part of what we hope will be a commitment by state leaders to assuring the long-term health of the state arts sector as it fights to bounce back from the pandemic.” For more information on the Oklahoma Arts Council grants, contact Jordan Adams at Jordan.m.adams@neo.edu.

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