ARTS IMMERSION: Madeleine Dorst, left, and Brandon Le were two of the 14 Jenks High School students to attend the prestigious Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain (OSAI), June 11-26, where they studied with nationally-renowned faculty artists from across the U.S. The additional students to attend were Laura Amstutz, Carly Bender, Ethan Dennis, Mikayla Diggs, Hannah Harris, Valerie Hinkle, Katy Hinton, Nicole Mackey, Abby Mansfield, Taylor Millican, Emily Shoemake and Avery Tiefenthaler.
Fourteen Jenks High School students spent a portion of their summer studying at the prestigious Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain (OSAI), June 11-26.
Those students were Laura Amstutz, Carly Bender, Ethan Dennis, Mikayla Diggs, Madeleine Dorst, Hannah Harris, Valerie Hinkle, Katy Hinton, Brandon Le, Nicole Mackey, Abby Mansfield, Taylor Millican, Emily Shoemake and Avery Tiefenthaler.
The students studied with nationally-renowned faculty artists from across the U.S. In conjunction with acceptance, all students received full scholarships to attend the program.
“The work of the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute has been part of Oklahoma’s cultural landscape for four decades,” says Joy Hofmeister, state superintendent of public instruction. “It may be even more critical than ever in a year like 2016, when a difficult budget environment has eliminated fine arts classes in many schools around the state. Art enriches life, and programs like OSAI are an inspiration to Oklahoma young people and their families.”
At OSAI, Oklahoma high school students spend at least six hours a day studying one of nine artistic disciplines in the literary, visual, and performing arts. In the evenings, they attend a variety of performances, lectures and demonstrations that give them an appreciation of the arts outside of their chosen discipline. Students from different disciplines and backgrounds study, reside, and eat meals together.
Since its inception, many famous artists have taught at the program. Former faculty artists include recipients of the Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards. This year’s Institute boasts faculty members, including presidential inaugural poet Richard Blanco and internationally-renowned photographer Kurt Markus. Additionally, OSAI alumnus Timothy Long returned to conduct the 2016 Institute Orchestra.
Quartz Mountain Nature Park has been the home of Institute programs since its second year in 1978. The secluded locale makes it an ideal location for arts immersion.
Students were selected to attend OSAI through competitive statewide auditions, with nearly 1,000 students auditioning for just 273 spots. Jenks students’ scholarships are provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the following donors: Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, George Kaiser Family Foundation, H.A. & Mary K. Chapman Foundation, Kathleen Patton Westby Foundation, Koch Industries Scholars Fund, Mervin Bovaird Foundation, Williams Companies Scholars Fund. Additional program support is provided by the Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, Sharna and Irvin Frank Foundation, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Zarrow Foundations, and SONIC, America’s Drive-In.
The Oklahoma Arts Institute 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.