The Oklahoma Arts Institute is a private, nonprofit organization developed in 1977, with a mission to provide exceptional multidisciplinary arts experiences that develop individual talent and inspire a lifelong passion for the arts. OAI administers a program for talented Oklahoma youth every June and a series of continuing education workshops for adults every fall.
Following are the first seven biographies of the 41 Edmond-area students who attended the prestigious Summer Arts Institute. The students worked with award-winning artists in nine areas of the literary, visual and performing arts. Biographies will be published in each Tuesday MidWeek and Saturday Weekender edition of The Sun through July.
Edmond resident Brittany Anderson, 17, will be a senior at the Classen High School of Advanced Studies. While at Quartz Mountain, she is studying ballet and plans to major in dance performance in college. This is her second year to attend Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute.
“The experience I had at OSAI last year was so amazing,” Brittany said. “I had to audition again. Being in an environment with people that share the same passion for the arts as I do is overwhelmingly inspiring.”
While at OSAI Brittany said she would like to grow not only as a dancer, but as a person as well.
“I find being able to dance in such a positive, beautiful place is very rejuvenating,” Brittany said. “Meeting and making new friends with artists in different disciplines is also fun.” She added she would like to perform in a dance company professionally in the future.
“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love to dance, but I have been inspired throughout the years by teachers and professionals to continue dancing for the rest of my life,” Brittany said.
A junior next fall at Edmond Santa Fe High School, Hannah Hossaini Anvar, 17, is also enrolled at the University of Central Oklahoma for Senior Concurrent Enrollment. This is Hannah’s third time to attend the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, but it is her first time to attend in Creative Writing. She attended two summer’s prior in Modern Dance.
“I wanted to attend OSAI this summer to try out a new discipline, advance as a writer and further build my résumé,” Hannah said. “I hope with this experience for form a solid writing foundation.” She added she wishes to come back next year and study writing once more and learn from teachers of other disciplines.
“In 10 years I see myself in graduate school or working on a doctoral program for journalism and published in psychological journals,” Hannah said.
Hannah said her mom enrolled her in her first ballet class when she was 6 years old. “I was hooked from day one,” Hannah said. “I’ve always loved reading and learning new things about English and Linguistics.”