Norman Arts Council, Inc
122 E Main St
Norman OK 73069
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Organization Does Business As (DBA) Name(s)
Organization DBA
Norman Arts Council
Mission Statement This Council shall enrich the Norman community by stimulating artistic, cultural and economic growth through the support and promotion of the arts.
Contact Information
Contact Name Erinn Gavaghan
Contact email
Address 122 E Main St
Norman, OK 73069
Phone (405) 360-1162
Fax 405-360-0086
County Cleveland County
Alternate Phone 405 620-3003
How to Give
Donate with Credit Card
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer
The Norman Arts Council is a community organization. From our home in the heart of the Walker Arts District to our mission to make Norman an exciting arts destination for visitors and residents, we work hard to make Norman arts exceptional.
To fulfill our important roll in the community, we rely on the support of the individuals and small businesses that make Norman unique. Please consider an annual gift to the Norman Arts Council.
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $677,351.00
Projected Expenses $677,351.00
History and Background
Former Names
Norman Arts and Humanities Council
Year Founded 1976
IRS Ruling Year 1979
State Registration Expiration Aug 2020
Mission This Council shall enrich the Norman community by stimulating artistic, cultural and economic growth through the support and promotion of the arts.
The Norman Arts Council (NAC) was founded in 1976 to enrich the Norman community by stimulating artistic, cultural, and economic growth through the support and promotion of the arts. At its inception, the NAC became the face and voice of arts advocacy in Norman. Since then, the NAC has continued to uphold its mission through a variety of programs and initiatives.
In 2008 the NAC created the Norman Music Festival, a multi-genre music festival that has grown to a three-day event featuring over 150 bands from across the country each year. Event attendance has grown by the tens of thousands and in 2012 the NMF became its own 501C3 and the Norman Music Alliance was formed.
In 2009 the NAC and the City of Norman created the Norman Public Arts Board, with the mission to create exciting, appealing, and harmonious public spaces by integrating art into the public places in Norman.
Also in 2009, the NAC began the 2nd Friday Art Walk. This is a monthly celebration of art and is a collaboration between artists, arts organizations, and businesses.
In 2011, the NAC moved its headquarters to MAINSITE Contemporary Art Gallery on Main Street and took over the programming of the gallery creating a community arts destination and the hub of the Arts District. Over the years, the NAC has curated exhibits featuring local, regional, national, and international artists in the space as well as opening it doors to poetry readings, live music of all genres, film screenings, and various other arts and arts educational offerings.
In 2013, Norman again made its support of the arts and Norman Arts Council clear with a vote to increase the hotel/motel tax and subsequently making more funds available to the dozens of art events and organizations Norman Arts Council supports.
In 2016, the NAC and the City of Norman created The Walker Arts District in Downtown Norman in memory of long-time NAC Board member and arts advocate, Larry Walker.
Also in 2016, the City of Norman contracted with the Norman Arts Council to administer the 1% for Art for designated Norman Forward projects. To date we have complete three projects: Splash at the Westwood Aquatic Center ($100,000 budget), Prairie Wind at the new East Branch Library ($32,000 budget) and Unbound at the Central Branch Library, a $230,000 budget project.
In 2017 we launched Public Art Is SmART. PAIS is a program using Norman’s public art as the catalyst for dynamic educational resources created to encourage educators of every grade level and subject area to enhance their teaching and students’ educational experiences using various, wonderful pieces of accessible works of art. Since its launch, we have served over 1,400 public school students in Norman and have trained over 50 teachers to incorporate the curriculum in their classrooms.
Recent accomplishments include: the successful administration of our 1% for art program in partnership with the City of Norman, the continued expansion of Public Art is SmART - a program that uses the public art in Norman to to teach core curriculum classes in the Norman Public Schools' 5th grade classrooms, and continued work on advocating for the arts through many community presentations of the the Americans for the Arts Arts and Economic Prosperity study for Norman.  
Goals for the current year include: expansion of  Public Art is SmART into additional 5th grade classes and increasing options for teachers by adding curriculum packets for two additional works of art, creation of a public art master plan for the City of Norman, an update of the strategic plan for the Norman Arts Council, and increasing our income through expanded fundraising efforts. 
Needs In order for us to serve the Norman community, we need to raise more money. As programs and staff needed to implement our mission have expanded, so has our need for additional income. Grant competition is extremely high and only 5% of philanthropic giving goes to the arts. We will be focusing more on individual giving and corporate support in our Development Plan. 
CEO/Executive Director Statement
The Norman Arts Council - We make Norman unique! We have over 18,000 people annually visiting the Walker Arts District for 2nd Friday Art Walks. We are working to increase visual arts in the public schools so our children have the opportunity to create and learn. We are creating world-renowned public art. And the arts offerings in Norman draw over 1,000,000 visitors annually to exhibits, educational experiences, festivals, performances, and live music. 
We have 5 areas of program service: Community Arts, Arts Education, Public Art, our exhibition space, and grants to local arts agencies and artists.
Supporting the Norman Arts Council is supporting the quality of life, the economy, and the attraction of Norman.  
Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Cleveland County
We are the local arts agency for the City of Norman, which is also the county seat for Cleveland County, and we are the only local arts agency in the county. While our programs primarily draw local audiences, our Art Walks do draw audience from Oklahoma City as well. We only grant funds to Norman Arts Organizations or organizations that are producing programming in Norman. Many of the programs and organizations we fund draw many, many visitors to our community.
We have some artist opportunities that are specifically for Norman artists and some that are open to artists living anywhere. 
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Arts,Culture & Humanities/Arts Education
Tertiary Organizational Category Arts,Culture & Humanities/Arts Services
Description The hallmark of the NAC's work is our Hotel Tax Grant Program. As the stewards of 25% of the hotel tax collected in Norman, we have granted over $35,000,000 in the past 40 years to Norman arts and cultural organizations who provide programming to  over 1,000,000 people annually. Each year, Norman arts programs generate nearly $2,000,000 in local tax revenue. 
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. Each year we analyze what we can do to improve this program. In recent years we have added operational support grants, small grants for management development, increased awards, and decreased matching fund percentages. 
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. This program grows as visitors to Norman grow. When programs that are funded by our grants are successful, one result is that they attract visitors who stay in Norman hotels and generate tax revenue that goes back into the program. In the long term, this program will make Norman an even more desirable destination which will increase the amount of funding we will have to grant back out to the organizations. 
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. Organizations submit final reports each year that includes not only the results of their programs, but also the direct economic impact in the community in terms of sales tax collected, hotel stays generated, and audience numbers.
Norman Arts Council’s Public Art is SmART program uses Norman’s public art as the catalyst for dynamic educational resources created to encourage educators of every grade level and subject area to enhance their teaching and students’ educational experiences using various, wonderful pieces of accessible works of art.
The program was piloted at Truman Elementary in the 5th grand classrooms in the Spring of 2018 and is now fully accessible to any teachers in the Norman Public Schools.
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. In the short term, our success will be to continue with the project development and to get more and more teachers aware of the program and how they can use it in their classrooms. 
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.
There are two main long-term goals for this program:
1. To increase exposure to visual arts into the Norman Public Schools classrooms
2. To increase exposure of Norman students to public art in our community 
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. Our Public Art Manager is responsible for the oversight of the program and for the creation and implementation of evaluation of the program. She will report monthly on the successes of the program and on areas that we are working to improve delivery and outcomes. 
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success.
  1. Teachers integrating our lessons into their core curriculum.
  2. Students increased interest in learning via our lessons
  3. Students recognition of public art in the community
2018 Teacher survey testimonials (Artwork: Horses in Motion, Rock Creek Road Bridge over I-35):
  • "Its a great way for the students to be engaged with their community and also aligns to our curriculum."
  • "The program is super easy to follow and very informative! It was great to see the appreciation that the kids have towards public art. Many of them said they were going to teach their families about the bridges!!"
  • "They all recognized the bridge being part of our community, but did not realize at first that was a purpose for the design. They all also began to see that the bridges they built needed to be strategically put together or they would not hold up during the testing portion of the lesson."
The NAC's contemporary art gallery and home sits on Main Street in the heart of the Walker Arts District. Each year, the NAC presently multiple exhibits featuring local, regional, national, and international professional artists. MAINSITE hosts over 18,000 visitors annually. As part of our series of exhibits, in 2015 we launched Cultural Connections, artist exchanges with Norman's sister cities around the world. We have hosted artists from Clermont-Ferrand, France and Arezzo, Italy and have sent Norman Artists to residencies in those two communities. 
We collaborate with other organizations like the University of Oklahoma School of Visual Arts and the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition to organize exhibits as well. MAINSITE is a community art space and we often host arts-related events and educational experiences open to the community in the space. 
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. Community outreach is a success that we believe we can measure in the immediate future. Through artist talks and workshops, we are extending the interaction with contemporary art to the community in a more intimate environment. We hope to work to hone the best ways to present this programming to an audience that desires it.
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. MAINSITE is already one of the premiere, nonprofit gallery spaces in the region. However, we hope to continue to increase the quality of the work we present in the space and serve as an example of the highest professionalism in the arts community. We hope to continue our successful collaborations that allow us to present exhibit that would otherwise be cost prohibitive on our budget. We are well on our way to making MAINSITE one of the most desired exhibition spaces in the state for professional, contemporary artists. We will continue to strive towards this goal. 
This is a monthly, citywide celebration of art – is a collaboration between artists, art organizations, and business.
Whether you like dance, painting, photography, or music, there will be something for you to see and hear during the 2nd Friday of this month in Norman.
All events are free and open to the public from 6:00 p.m. until at least 9:00 p.m.
Population Served Families Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Comments on Programs
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
Public Art has been our biggest area of growth in the past three years. Between administering the 1% for Art Program for the City of Norman and the development of Public Art is SmART (PAIS), we have expanded our staff by one full time employee just dedicated to public art projects. In particular, we very firmly believe in the future success of PAIS, but we must raise funds to support it. This is a potentially very impactful program that is easy for public school teachers to integrate into their regular classroom curriculum.
The MAINISITE exhibits continue to be a source of pride for the organization and we look forward to the work that we have planned for the space for the next two years.
2nd Friday Art Walk is growing at a very rapid pace. Each month draws larger and larger crowds. We are in a period of program evaluation with this event and are looking at ways to formalize systems and are having to start to think about things like public safety.  
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Erinn Gavaghan
Start Date Aug 2010


  • Ph.D. University of Oklahoma, Art History, Currently enrolled
  • M.A. 2010 Webster University, Art History and Criticism
  • B.A. 1997 Webster University, History

Related Professional Experience:

  • Executive Director, Norman Arts Council. 2010-Present
  • Graduate Assistant for Leadership and Learning, Webster University, 2009-2010
  • Manager of Donor Relations, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 2005-2009
  • Adjunct Art History Faculty, Oklahoma City Community College, 2011-2015
  • Adjunct Art History Faculty, University of Oklahoma, 2012
  • Adjunct Art History Faculty, Webster University, 2007-2008
  • Photography Instructor, Oklahoma Contemporary (City Arts Center) 2000-2002

Public Speaking:

  • Americans for the Arts/Oklahomans for the Arts, Arts and Economic Prosperity community presentations, 2017-2018 (multiple presentations)
  • Oklahoma Municipal League Annual Conference Presenter
  • Ignite, Vienna, Austria in Oklahoma City, Panelist
  • American Institute of Architects, Oklahoma Conference, Creative Placemaking presenter
  • Oklahoma Historic Preservation Conference, Creative Placemaking presenter
  • Renaissance Society of America Conference, invited presenter

Awards and Service:

  • Americans for the Arts Executive Leadership Forum, Invited Member, 2018, 2017, and 2016
  • Greater Oklahoma City Cultural Plan Advisory Committee, 2018-Present
  • Americans for the Arts State Arts Advocacy Captain, 2017-Present
  • City of Oklahoma City Pre-Qualified Public Arts Curator, 2017-Present
  • Cleveland Co. "Big 12 Women of Influence" recipient, 2017
  • Nonprofit Management Certifications, Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, 2015
  • National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, Invited Fellow, 2014
  • Fellow, Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellowship, 2012
  • Mayor's Roundtable, 2011-Present
  • Norman Downtowners Association Board, 2011-present
Cultural Development Corporation of Central Oklahoma Board, 2011-present
Senior Staff
Joshua BoydsonAssociate Director
Cher DuncanPrograms Manager
Debby WilliamsPublic Art Manager
Number of Full-time Staff 4
Number of Part-time Staff 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 50
Staff Retention Rate 100
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
Caucasian 4
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 3
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant No
Communication Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Yes
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted May 2015
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
Americans for the Arts; Arts Council of OKC; Allied Arts; City of Clermont-Ferrand, France; City of OKC; The Depot; Firehouse Art Center; Fowler Auto; Fred Jones Jr. Museum; Jazz in June; La Monde International School; Lindsey St Merchants; OU Poetry; National Weather Center; Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition; Norman Chamber; Norman Economic Development; Norman Downtowners; Norman Music Festival; Norman Phil; Public Arts Board; Norman Public Schools; Oklahoma Arts Council; Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits; Oklahomans for the Arts; Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition; Norman Sister Cities; City of Norman; Pioneer Library System; Sooner Theatre; OU College of International Studies, Institute for Quality Communities; OU English Dept.; OU School of Visual Arts; Visit Norman; OU College of Fine Arts
Chamber of Commerce2019
Oklahoma Arts Council2019
National Endowment for the Arts2019
Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits, Standards of Excellence Program Graduate2019
Oklahoma City Arts Council2019
Business and the Art AwardNorman Chamber of Commerce2017
Risk Management Provisions
General Property Coverage and Professional Liability
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Board Chair
Name Lesha Maag
Company Affiliation Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Term July 2019 to June 2022
Board of Directors
List Current as of Aug 06, 2019
Board of Directors List
Erik BakerUniversity of Oklahoma College of ArchitectureVoting
Gabriel BirdGabriel Bird Dentistry/TOLY Food Truck ParkVoting
Dennis BrighamBently Turff FarmVoting
Ron CollettCity of Norman Police DepartmentVoting
Anthony FranciscoCity of NormanVoting
Keith GaddieProfessor, University of OklahomaVoting
Jin Jo GartonFred Jones Jr. Museum of ArtVoting
Cody GilesArt Director, Norman TranscriptVoting
Joyce GreenCity of NormanVoting
Susan GreerUniveristy of Oklahoma College of EducationVoting
Shari JacksonNorman Music AllianceVoting
Rhett JonesDon Armstrong CPAVoting
Mariann LawsonRepublic Bank & TrustVoting
Carolynn LoonCommunity VolunteerVoting
Lesha MaagFred Jones Jr. Museum of ArtVoting
Bree MontoyaGray BlodgettVoting
Matthew PeacockArchitect, WPM Design GroupVoting
Shevaun WilliamsShevaun Williams & Assoc.Voting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 15
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 2
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 10
Board Term Lengths 3 years
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions to the Organization 95 %
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions to the Organization 5 %
Board Orientation Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Program / Program Planning
Advisory Board
Advisory Board Members
Shari JacksonRoundtable Chair
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year July 01, 2019-June 30, 2020
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $677,351
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $677,351
Financial Documents
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$427,500$0$0
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$1,963$2,320$2,281
Unrealized Gain/Loss------
Membership Dues--$550$3,217
Special Events$46,732$39,880$32,681
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$674,856$632,758$481,538
Administration Expense$71,602$65,374$205,170
Fundraising Expense----$7,142
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.861.080.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses90%91%69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%1%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$168,572$243,540$220,154
Current Assets$137,191$215,583$184,963
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$137,954$106,601$135,196
Total Net Assets$30,618$136,939$84,958
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.992.021.37
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovt - Local $427,500Contributions $644,616Contributions $624,519
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions $123,627Earned Revenue $62,319Special Events $32,681
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSpecial Events $46,732Special Events $39,880Earned Revenue $13,556
Endowment? No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line? No
Reserve Fund? Yes
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next Five Years? No
Comments on Financials
Foundation Staff Comments

All prior year financial information is from the IRS Form 990s.

Note: FY2017 the net assets do not agree with each other per page 1 and page 10 of their Form 990. We are showing the net assets as $136,939 per page 1, in which page 10 shows $138,326, showing an increase amount of $1,387.

Contributions may include foundations and corporations when the breakout was not available.

The financial information presented is obtained from the following sources: IRS Form 990, independent audit reports, financial statements – board approved when available, and supplemental information from the organization. We do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness, errors or inaccuracies. With respect to information regarding financial performance, nothing on this website should be interpreted as a statement or interpretation by OCCF staff.

Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year.

Address 122 E Main St
Norman, OK 73069
Primary Phone 405 360-1162
Contact Email
Give with Credit Card
CEO/Executive Director Erinn Gavaghan
Board Chair Lesha Maag
Board Chair Company Affiliation Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art