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Thanks to a generous grant from a private donor, the Oklahoma Arts Institute (OAI) is kicking off a new program, the OSAI at Home Academy, which will provide online education during the upcoming school year for artistically gifted high school students. The program is specifically targeting students from rural communities who have never attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain.
The recent success of their online Summer Arts Institute, OSAI at Home, convinced President & CEO Julie Cohen of the powerful impact online programming can make, even with the limitations of virtual classrooms.
“While we were reluctant to move our students to an online format this summer, we were amazed by how much they were able to accomplish,” Cohen says. “It occurred to us that the virtual classroom could help us overcome a lot of the financial barriers we’ve faced in our efforts to reach more talented students across the state. It’s always been a wish list item to provide this type of training to promising students who have limited opportunities available to them, and this format has made it an attainable goal.”
The new 8- to 10-week program, which starts in mid-September, will provide an opportunity for students to receive intensive, high-level training in their art form so that they can expand their creative skills. The workshops will offer advanced instruction with OAI faculty in the disciplines of acting, chorus, creative writing, dance, drawing & painting, film & video, orchestra and photography. Just like the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, every accepted student will receive a full scholarship to participate in the OSAI at Home Academy.
To qualify, students must be current Oklahoma high school students who have not previously attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain. The program is aimed at students who are underserved or underrepresented at OSAI, including rural students.
“We are looking for highly motivated students who show great promise and could benefit from some focused instruction,” Cohen says. “The goal of the OSAI at Home Academy is to help put students who may not have the same opportunities on equal footing with those who have more robust arts education programs available to them at home.”
For information on nominating a student, educators should email Outreach Coordinator Becky Holladay at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the program begins in mid-September, but spaces are expected to fill quickly. It is recommended that educators submit their student nominations as soon as possible.
The Oklahoma Arts Institute (OAI) is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1977, with a mission to provide exceptional multidisciplinary arts experiences that develop individual talent and inspire a lifelong passion for the arts. In addition to the Summer Arts Institute, OAI administers a series of continuing education workshops for adults every fall. For more information, visit oaiquartz.org.