The Oklahoma Arts Institute was created in 1976 as a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to providing an educational program of excellence in the arts for young people. In 1983, at the request of the parents and teachers of Arts Institute students, a second program was added to accommodate adult artists. The Arts Institute's purpose is to develop artists and arts audiences across the state and the region, improving the quality of life for all Oklahomans.
From its offices in Oklahoma City, the Arts Institute administers two educational programs: The Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, a two-week residential school for teens; and the Oklahoma Fall Arts Institutes, a series of four-day weekend workshops in the arts for adults. The Institute offers classes in Theatre, Dance, Choral and Orchestral Music, Visual Arts, Photography, Film/Video and Writing. Faculty for both the summer and fall programs are professional artists of national and international reputation. Participants in the Arts Institute's programs have an opportunity to work one-on-one with their faculty artists, and to immerse themselves in the study of their chosen art form.
Quartz Mountain in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma, has been home to the programs of the Oklahoma Arts Institute since 1978. It is an ancient and honorable site, rich in Native American lore. Once ceremonial grounds for tribes such as the Kiowa, the Comanche, the Wichita, the Apache, and the Caddo, Quartz Mountain is now home to a new center for the arts and for conferences. Offering the rare combination of exceptional facilities and magnificent natural surroundings, Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center is the ideal setting for the study of the arts.
Features of the new facility include five studio pavilions, a newly remodeled darkroom, an outdoor amphitheater, the Beverly Badger Memorial Library for the study of the fine arts, and hiking and biking trails. The 700-seat Twin Peaks Performance Hall and the outstanding Quartz Mountain Art Collection are the crown jewels of the complex, truly setting it apart from traditional hotels and making it a unique arts and conference center for the region.
The new facilities represent partial completion of the comprehensive Quartz Mountain Master Plan. Designed by the Oklahoma Arts Institute and the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, the plan outlines the development of Quartz Mountain as an arts and conference center for the state. The complex, including the park, golf course, and lodge, is now overseen by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
Besides its educational programs, the Arts Institute also administers an outreach program called Moving Mountains, which includes publications of student poetry, statewide touring exhibits of student artwork and photographs, and award-winning documentary films about the Arts Institute's outstanding faculty artists.
The Arts Institute is a unique example of a public/private partnership. While the lion's share of its funding comes from private donations, the Arts Institute works in close partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Tourism, the Oklahoma State Department of Education, the State Regents for Higher Education, the State Arts Council, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Legislature. In 1989, the Institute was awarded the prestigious Arts Award from the National Governors' Association at their annual meeting in Chicago. In 1991, The Oklahoma Arts Institute was designated by the Oklahoma Legislature as "Oklahoma's Official School of the Arts," and has been hailed as a national model for arts education.
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