In 2022-23, all 3rd and 4th-grade students in Edmond, OK, will receive formal art education classes provided by the Edmond Fine Arts Institute (FAI). In 2002, an innovative collaboration called the “Art in Schools Program” (AIS) was developed between the Edmond Fine Arts Institute and Edmond Public Schools to meet the need for art education due to a lack of funding for the arts. Prior to the AIS program, students in Edmond did not receive formal art education until 5th grade. After years of success, growth, and financial support, what started in three elementary schools is celebrating its 20th anniversary this fall. Every elementary school in Edmond, including Edmond’s newest, Scissortail Elementary, will have weekly art classes provided by FAI instructors. Implementing art education classes at all EPS elementary schools has been a long-time goal of the FAI staff and board of directors. “The value formal art education provides is immeasurable for students. Without the support of Edmond Fine Arts Institute and their partners, Edmond schools could not provide the art program currently taught to our 3rd and 4th grade students. We are forever grateful for this partnership”, states Dr. Angela Grunewald, EPS Superintendent.

The Art in Schools program provides students with 45-minute art classes each week taught by sixteen professional art education instructors. Classes begin in September and run through May. The curriculum is based on the Oklahoma State Department of Education Visual Art Standards. It incorporates hands-on activities using a wide variety of mediums, including painting, drawing, mixed media, clay, etc. Art vocabulary and history are incorporated into each lesson and often coincide with the academic subjects taught in other classes. Throughout the school year, students receive 28 visual art lessons. This unique, creative partnership impacts approximately 4,800 students and 170 elementary classes weekly.

Art education is vital to children’s success in school. It stimulates creativity, self-discovery, communication, and problem-solving skill; all elements of a well-rounded education. The Art in Schools Program improves individual skills and knowledge and adds to the quality of life and cultural opportunities vital to the Edmond community. “It is exciting to see our goal of providing art at every elementary school grow. We are thankful that Edmond Public Schools values this program and makes it a priority. Children desire creative outlets now more than ever, and FAI is equipped to adapt to the everchanging educational landscape so creativity will continue to thrive.” -Shannon Price, Executive Director and former Art in School Instructor at the Edmond Fine Arts Institute.

The cost of the program is $50 per student per year. The Edmond School District provides 45% of the funding, and additional funding is acquired through grants, fundraisers, local businesses, and individual donors who understand the value of art programming. To donate to the Art in Schools Program, visit www.edmondartinschools.org.

-The Art in Schools Program is a program of the Fine Arts Institute, Edmond’s nonprofit community arts organization providing visual and performing art classes for children and adults year-round. For more information, visit EdmondFineArts.com or call 405-340-4481. The Art in Schools Program is made possible by financial support from Edmond Public Schools Foundation, the Oklahoma Arts Council, Allied Arts, ETS Enterprises, LP., Homes by Taber, The Edmond Economic Development Authority, Edmond Electric, Integris Health Edmond, and Kirkpatrick Bank.-