Edmond Fine Arts Institute
IT STARTED WITH A CONVERSATION…
…between four mothers in 1985. They were watching their daughters at 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; wrote 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 90 students and the Fine Arts Institute was on its way.
Over the years FAI was located in various location throughout Edmond, but in 2004 land was donated and funds were raised to complete the current facility at 27 East Edmonds. Today the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond is housed in its own 8,000 sq ft custom designed art building in Downtown Edmond. Over 5000 students take classes each year and another 70,000 are reached through outside programming. Current curriculum includes: drawing, painting, clay, pottery, theatre arts, mixed media, printmaking, jewelry design, sculpture, jewelry making, seasonal art, and more. The FAI sponsors the Edmond Youth Chorus, children’s plays, a statewide juried art show, Holiday Art Workshops, 5×5 Art Show and Sale, VIBES Downtown Edmond 1st Thursday Art Walks, Art Therapy at Peppers Ranch, Art in Schools Program, Edmond Juvenile Court classes, and four gallery spaces with new art exhibits each month. The curriculum and programs continue to expand to meet to meet the needs of residents.
Led by an outstanding board of directors of Edmond’s finest leaders, an award-winning and certified faculty, and dedicated staff, the Fine Arts Institute will continue providing cultural enrichment for our community. With common values and purpose, our leaders focus on excellence and quality of programming which plays a major role cultural development. Opportunities and involvement at the Fine Arts Institute makes a positive difference in the lives of families in Oklahoma.
Funding for the Fine Arts Institute comes from a strong base of generous corporate sponsors and community patrons as well as support from the Oklahoma Arts Council, Kirkpatrick Family Fund and City of Edmond and many other local businesses and organizations. Year-round classes are supplemented by tuition from students, patron drives, and regular fund-raising events. We have developed a wide network of community partners made up of education, civic, church, and corporate contacts. When people think of the arts in Edmond, the Fine Arts Institute is at the forefront.