LONE WOLF — After a two-year absence, the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute has returned to its home in southwestern Oklahoma. This month, OSAI welcomes more than 250 of the state’s most talented high school artists to Quartz Mountain State Park & Lodge.
“Quartz Mountain has been home to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute since 1978. It’s a magical place that has inspired our students and faculty for more than 40 years. To be back here, after holding our program online in 2020 and at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma during the lodge renovation in 2021, is a wonderful homecoming,” said Rob Ward, president and chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Arts Institute.
The students are spending two weeks, June 11-26, developing their individual talents and studying with renowned faculty artists.
Chosen through competitive auditions, students attending OSAI experience a unique creative interaction with peers from across the state. The Institute provides world-class arts instruction to Oklahoma’s most talented high school students in a creatively-charged atmosphere in the midst of Quartz Mountain State Park’s unique natural environment. Students study for six hours per day in one of eight disciplines in the literary, visual and performing arts. Evening performances, faculty showcases, demonstrations and electives allow students the opportunity to interact with each discipline.
“Our goal during these two weeks is to enrich and motivate many of our state’s most dedicated young artists and to expose students to the rigors, requirements and rewards associated with their respective arts discipline,” said Ward.
Each student accepted to OSAI attends on full scholarship. This year, nearly 800 high school students auditioned for a coveted spot. Students study, reside, and build community during this two-week institute, creating lifelong friendships and setting students on a course for future engagement with the arts.
Past OSAI faculty artists have included winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Academy, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Awards. This summer, 34 faculty artists were chosen to teach students in the disciplines of acting, chorus, creative writing, dance, drawing and painting, film and video, orchestra, and photography.
Among this year’s OAI faculty are chorus conductor Dr. Jeffrey Allen Murdock and modern dance instructor Raquelle Chavis. Dr. Murdock currently serves as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arkansas and was honored as the 2021 Grammy Music Educator of the Year. Chavis was a seven-year principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and has directed, choreographed, and performed in productions worldwide.
Quartz Mountain Nature Park is nestled in the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma adjacent to Lake Altus-Lugert. In addition to the newly-renovated main lodge and hotel rooms, the facilities boast a 700-seat performing arts center, five studio pavilions, an outdoor amphitheater and beautiful natural surroundings.
The Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute culminates in ONSTAGE Weekend, a series of performances showcasing each student’s work at the Institute. Performances and gallery openings are open to the public with no charge for admission. All students will be featured in final performances or presentations during ONSTAGE Weekend, June 21-22. A full public performance schedule can be found online at oaiquartz.org/OSAI/Student-Information.
The Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute is an intensive, two-week academy in the literary, visual and performing arts for Oklahoma’s most talented high school students. Students are selected through a competitive statewide audition process, and every accepted student automatically receives a scholarship to attend. The program’s multidisciplinary structure sets the Summer Arts Institute apart from other arts programs in the nation.
CherokeeCountyScholarship InformationCherokee County students’scholarships are made possible through funding from theOklahoma State Department of Education and theBrattain Scholars Fund.Additional program support is provided by the Oklahoma Arts Council, Inasmuch Foundation,Jerome Westheimer Family Foundation, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, and ZarrowFoundations. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.