IT STARTED WITH A CONVERSATION...
...between four mothers in 1985. They were watching their daughters in a gymnastics meet and voiced that their children were not getting enough art in elementary school. From that conversation, they took action: applied for a non-profit 501c3 status with the state; wrote some bylaws, established a board of directors; and founded the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond.
Nancy Effron, June McCoy, Gae Rees and Bonnie Smith, the FAI founders, had a dream and made it a reality in 1985 by teaching art and music in one classroom at an Edmond church. Art supplies were kept in the trunks of their cars and enrollment was taken from an answering machine in the Rees home. That first year they had about 90 students and the Fine Arts Institute was on its way.
Today The Fine Arts Institute of Edmond is housed in its own 8,000 square foot beautiful building in a great location north of the downtown post office. A celebration was held in April, 2008 when the loan on the building was retired. In 2010 the Fine Arts Institute purchased the small property to the west for the development of "Mitzi's Park", for an art park and outdoor classroom setting. Again the loan was retired and the park completed in 2012.
Class curriculum includes: drawing, painting, clay, pottery, theatre arts, mixed media, printmaking, jewelry design, seasonal art, and more. The FAI sponsors the Edmond Youth Chorus, two children's plays, a statewide Youth Impressions juried art show and features a new exhibit each month in its gallery.
The FAI is a financially sound and well respected non profit organization. Strong partnerships, expanding cultural programming and strong enrollment continues. The Edmond community has embraced the FAI for over 30 years with students and corporate and individual patrons.
Led by an outstanding board of directors of Edmond's finest leaders, a talented and certified faculty, and dedicated staff, the FAI looks to the future to continue to provide cultural enrichment for our community.