This is one of the BEST Professional Development opportunities for educators on the planet. And, amazingly it is for the teachers of the the state of OKLAHOMA!
If you add part wonderful staff, amazing WORLD CLASS teachers of the arts, a beautiful setting and the weary Oklahoma Public School teacher and mix it in pot of magical potions you just be lucky enough to attend the OSAI as a teacher in OOOOHHHKLAOMA, where the rejuvenating wind of the arts rolls down the plains!
I am seriously grateful for the opportunity, THANKS OSAI!
(also, they do not teach spelling or punctuation, so if there are mistakes, they are my own)
Teaching language arts to today's computer savvy teenagers can be challenging. Technology is helpful, but writing essays continues to be on the list of least favorite things to do in high school. As an Oklahoma educator, I was thrilled to find workshops that led me to discover new ways of leading my students to explore their own potential through the written word. At Oklahoma Arts Institute, we are offered tools that go back into the classroom and provide outlets for creativity and rigorous academic activities for all of our students.
Oklahoma Arts Institute is one of the greatest educational and cultural assets for young people in the state of Oklahoma. My own child has attended twice but I have also known many other young people in various disciplines who have had the opportunity to attend. It is an inspiring, confidence-building, life-changing experience that is accessible to kids throughout the state regardless of income level. Exceedingly well run with deeply committed staff and administration.
I was burning out on my art and creativity in my senior year of high school until I auditioned for chorus at Quartz Mountain, and that experience turned everything around. I met so many incredible people, and my love for art and music were truly rejuvinated by it. I have so much love for this institute, and could not recommend it more. Caring and positive staff, incredible friendships, and a truly special environment of creative encouragement can be found in this place. Beautiful location really brings it all together.
This will be my third summer teaching at OAI. The setting. The students. The staff. The faculty. The armadillos!! I am there to teach, inspire and enrich the minds and lives of these amazing students....but I leave each year feeling like it was me that was taught, enriched and inspired. This place is magical and all who leave here, leave a better person and a better artist for having been here. I cannot imagine a more rewarding way to spend two weeks of my life every summer.
Quartz Mountain lives up to the hype.
In my life I've only known a few places where I've felt like I belonged; places where people know not just my name or any vapid, shallow details about me, but who I am at my core. I had few places where I felt totally free to be myself. And after all, that's what every teen wants in their world. I was just lucky enough to find it.
The arts programs themselves are unmatched in Oklahoma, the teachers are incredible, and one of my favorite parts of the day was every evening when there would be either a presentation by an artist, or a concert by the students. The creativity that runs through this place is mind boggling, and the kindness and respect of students is remarkable.
When I came to Quartz, I had my doubts, I worried it would be too competitive, or that I wouldn't find a group of friends. Within the first day these anxieties were shattered. Most people at Quartz Mountain, are the creative outliers in their schools, and somehow it was established that Quartz would a place for all. I have learned, time and again, that there is room enough in the world for your art, and the art of others, and Quartz exemplifies this quality to the max. The student's, teachers, counselors, and coordinators all work to make this place their own. And in doing so, they have created a gem of a summer camp, and one the has had a lasting impact on generations of young artists.
My child attended summer camp 2016. World class mentoring....and she had a wonderful time with new friends.
My time as a photography student at the Oklahoma Art Institute gave me the confidence to pursue a career in the arts. While there I learned more about my art than I could have ever imagined and made so many lifelong friendships. The scholarships provided by the Art Institute and its many donors allow students from all demographics equal opportunity to pursue their dreams.
I attended OSAI at Quartz Mountain for three years as a student in the 90s and the fall institute for educators as an English professor years later. As a young writing student, I learned extremely valuable lessons not just about my craft but about my role as an artistic citizen and about the discipline required of professional artists. Interacting with and learning from world-renowned professionals at that age gave me confidence that I lacked and made me feel more at home in the wider world as a Native American student from a very rural community.
I went on to get a doctorate in creative writing (poetry), and I was well-prepared for th experience of upper level writing workshops because of my Quartz Mountain experience. When I attended the fall institute as a professor and writer, I found myself invigorated and revived as an artist, just as I had when I was a young student.
The Oklahoma Arts Institute is one of the most valuable experiences I have had as a person and artist. I am so grateful that it is in my home state, and I hope it will continue to sustain our arts community for many years to come.