A fifth generation Oklahoman, Julia Kirt is an experienced community leader who has run statewide nonprofit organizations for more than 18 years. She currently serves as the Executive Director of Oklahomans for the Arts. Her organization works with the state legislature and municipalities to support public investments and arts education in Oklahoma.
The daughter of an Air Force veteran and a minister, Julia learned the value of giving back to her community from an early age. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Masters in Art History. For 15 years, Julia led the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, working with thousands of artists to develop strong small businesses. She created business training workshops, secured grants, and coordinated public events across the state with public and private partners.
A committed leader, Julia uses her experience to serve the public. She works to help all students in Oklahoma City receive arts education by serving on the All Access Arts Committee. Julia also served as a Leader in Residence at the University of Central Oklahoma. She continues to help connect the university, students and the community as an Advisory Board Member of UCO’s College of Fine Arts & Design. She is a Board Member for Downtown OKC Strategic Initiatives, which encourages creative businesses and street level activity downtown.
Julia has been recognized for her work in the community. She graduated from Leadership OKC Class XXI and Salt & Light Leadership Training Class 6. She was named a “Forty under Forty Making a Difference” by Oklahoma Magazine, a “40 under 40” by OKC Business, and an “Achiever Under 40” by the Journal Record. In 2014, Julia received a Governor’s Arts Award.
Julia lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, Nathan Guilford, and their two children, Roger and Lila, who attend their neighborhood public elementary school. Nathan owns a small business in Warr Acres. The two remain active in the community. Julia actively participates at her church, St Paul’s Episcopal, Rotary Club 29 and serves as a volunteer for the Oklahoma City Public School District.