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Students attend Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute

Students attend Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute

Students to study with nationally renowned faculty at Quartz Mountain

Lone Wolf, Okla. (June 12, 2023) — Oklahoma’s Official School of the Arts is officially underway at Quartz Mountain State Park & Lodge. This month, the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute welcomes nearly 250 of the state’s most artistically advanced high school students to southwestern Oklahoma.

“This summer marks our 47th Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute. Thanks to our partnership with the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department and the State Department of Education, we are able to offer a program unlike any other across the nation. I’m excited to see what these exceptional students are able to accomplish through the instruction of a world-class faculty,” said Rob Ward, president and chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Arts Institute.

For two weeks (June 10-25), each student develops their individual talents and studies with renowned faculty artists.

Chosen through a competitive statewide audition process, students attending OSAI experience a unique creative interaction with peers from across the state. OSAI provides high caliber arts instruction to Oklahoma’s finest young artists in a creatively charged atmosphere in the midst of Quartz Mountain State Park’s beautiful 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 unique opportunity to interact with all disciplines in addition to their chosen art form.

“Our goal during these two weeks is to enrich and motivate many of our state’s most dedicated young artists so that they can explore the rigors, requirements and rewards associated with their respective arts discipline,” said Ward.

Each student accepted to OSAI receives a full scholarship to attend the program. 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, more than 30 renowned faculty artists were chosen to teach students in the disciplines of acting, chorus, creative writing, dance, drawing & painting, film & video, orchestra, and photography.

“Having the opportunity to be able to pursue something I am passionate about under professional direction is an honor and a privilege,” said student Lillian Mickley from Altus, OK. “This opportunity means that my passions are worth pursuing and that my love for photography can be shared with others.”

Among this year’s OSAI faculty are filmmaker Deborah Dickson and orchestra conductor Jung-Ho Pak. Dickson is a three-time Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker whose films have premiered at Sundance and Berlin film festivals, amongst others, and has been awarded Emmy, DuPont-Columbia, Peabody, and Ace awards. Pak serves as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Cape Symphony in Massachusetts, and has been a frequent speaker for TED Talks.

Quartz Mountain Nature Park is nestled in the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma adjacent to Lake Altus-Lugert. In addition to the renovated main lodge and hotel rooms, the facilities boast a 700-seat performing arts center, five studio pavilions, an outdoor amphitheater, and breathtaking 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 23-24. A full public performance schedule can be found online at

Student scholarships are made possible through funding from the Oklahoma State Department of Education and dozens of private foundations, corporations, community arts organizations, and individuals. Additional program support is provided by the Oklahoma Arts Council, Inasmuch Foundation, Jerome Westheimer Family Foundation, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, and the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation. This project is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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