The Norman Music Alliance Inc. 501(c)(3) welcomes its first staff member, Shari Jackson, to the nonprofit after being a 100% volunteer organization for the first eight years. The nonprofit is also launching a new educational grant program for musicians and music-related educators to apply and speak at Norman Music Festival 9. The free festival will be held on April 21, 22 and 23 in downtown Norman.
Jackson was born in Norman and graduated from Norman high School in 1986 and the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Mathematics in 1993. Since 2000, Jackson has worked as the business director and executive director for several nonprofits in Norman, such as the Sooner Theatre, Cimarron Opera and currently The Depot.
“I am thrilled to be joining this amazing team of passionate volunteers who put together the best festival in Oklahoma,” Jackson said. “Norman has a vibrant, collaborative, innovative arts community that has always been run by a group of dedicated weirdos, and I couldn’t be prouder to be one of them.”
Applications for the new education program are now open. A $250 grant will be gifted to four to five applications for a 45 minute session at the end of March. Presentations of the grant recipients will be during Norman Music Festival 9.
To be eligible for the grant, applications must be music related. Some examples include: the music and song-writing process, starting your own business in music, creating a concert series or event, building instruments and gear or information on the copyright and licensing process.
The mission of the Norman Music Alliance is to help develop the arts community in Oklahoma through support of local original artists, support of music fans, support of art education and support of local businesses. What started as a one-day festival has now grown and expanded to a three-day festival with over 300 artists in downtown Norman and over 80,000 people in attendance at Norman Music Festival 8.