Business Times of Edmond, Oklahoma August 2018 - Page 15

The Incredible Staff of the Fine Arts Institute (Left to Right): Brent Pedersen - Performing Arts Director Jennifer Rogers - Program Director Shannon Price - Executive Director Janet Hoppe - Enrollment Coordinator Enrique Ruiz III - Special Events Coordinator 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 is housed in its own 8,000 square foot building in a great location north of the downtown post office. A celebration was 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. Price said the FAI has focused on increasing its children and youth programming with more theater classes, workshops and live performances. “We hired a full-time performing arts director with the goal of bringing in more performance opportunities and opportunities for kids ages three and up to come and experience live theater for the first time,” she said. Price said the FAI also works with the Alzheimer’s Association to provide classes. “We have a partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association and we have classes for adults with early to middle stages dementia the first Monday of the month,” she said. She said they are also working with various community partners to be able to provide more programming in the future. One such project is the Oklahoma Ale Trail Run to be 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 at in Edmond. Price said the race will serve as a fun event as well as raise awareness about FAI. “We have reached out to a lot of community partners that we can bring programs in,” she said. “The City of Edmond has been a great help to us (on projects).” Price said the FAI also works with Edmond Public Schools to provide artist visits at 12 elementary schools during the school year. “The school district is so supportive of us,” she said. Price said FAI is also providing programming throughout the Edmond area. “We are almost maxed out space-wise of what we can do,” she said. “We do have programs that we do off-site. We have an art therapist who works at Peppers Ranch in Guthrie every week with the kids there. These kids need to have that art outlet throughout the day. There are a lot of things we are doing outside of this building.” Price has been a part of FAI for more than 20 years in various capacities. “I love the environment, the feel and the sense of community and the ability to be really creative,” she said. “This organization is always changing to meet the needs of the community.” For more information call 405-340-4481 or visit www.edmondfinearts.com. August 2018 | The Business Times 15