Research also demonstrates that students achieve higher levels of academic success when involved with fine arts. Our own personal experiences prove the transformative power of the arts to bring people together, break down barriers, expand our horizons and help our spirits soar. Yet schools are cutting arts programs and commercial television has all but abandoned the arts.
OETA, through many of our partnerships, is the only way many viewers — especially older, lower-income, ethnic minorities and rural Oklahomans — can participate in arts events. OETA provides Oklahomans with local arts content through the award-winning series “Gallery,” which focuses on our state's artists, performers and uniquely Oklahoma works of art.
OETA also provides a safe place on the dial for Oklahoma families, serving as a trusted guide in an increasingly cluttered media landscape. Consistently rated by the Roper Poll as the most trusted among nationally known organizations (including Congress and the courts), public television funding stands second only to military funding in terms of excellence in value. Nearly 80 percent of the general public supports continued funding.
The value derived from this public-private partnership of OETA unquestionably reaps enormous dividends — not only educational and cultural, but economic as well. Far from being a cultural luxury or a simple “TV station,” OETA is a proven statewide asset, an asset that must be preserved and protected in order to ensure a bright, healthy future for all Oklahomans.
Dan Schiedel is executive director of OETA. He can be reached at email@example.com.