Edmond Fine Arts Institute has been guided under the creative eye of the Performing Arts Director Brent Pedersen for the past two years. He is someone you should know.
Pedersen earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Oklahoma Christian University which led to work in event planning and then to working in interior design.
His presence has not only provided a common thread for the productions since his hiring, but also he has worked to help grow enrollment and contributions.
When he first started, the institute did a fall production and a spring production with 10 to 15 young actors involved in the shows. Now there are almost 30 young people involved in each production.
“We realized there was need and grew the size of the shows,” Pedersen said.
A recent production of “Xanadu,” had a cast of 27, ranging in ages from six to 17years of age.
Participating students represent four high schools and not only has he grown the numbers, but he also added a summer production.
With increased productions also comes increased costs to produce them — something which Pedersen has also taken upon himself to accomplish.
Program Director Jennifer Rogers said Pedersen has grown the performing arts department by 46% and contributions by 42% , and he is responsible for enrollment in the programs “skyrocketing” and surpassing non-profit donations.
“From a business standpoint, he has catapulted our program in ways we could have never done without him,” Rogers said.
Pederson’s drive comes from his passion for the arts.
“I always tell people … there are so many life skills that they can learn in the theatre — communication skills, learning to work with a team, being dependable because other people are counting on them, and having confidence in themselves,’ Pedersen said.