Arts in Schools

Bringing the Arts to Our Schools

Arts in Schools provides participatory arts enrichment to under-served children across Oklahoma City through in-school and after-school programs. Professional teaching artists in diverse specialties are matched with a site, becoming the “artist in residence” of that site.

We believe Oklahoma should strive to be a state where each child participates in high-quality arts learning experiences in school and the community.

For a child’s education to be complete, it must include the arts. Arts education, identified as music, dance, visual arts, drama and media arts, prepares students for school, work and life. Students from all backgrounds benefit from arts education. 

In addition to the schools shown below, Arts in Schools also partners with Positive Tomorrows,  Oklahoma’s only elementary school specifically for homeless children, that gives kids stability and a quality education while their parents get the support they need to create a better life.

Current Sites

The Real Benefits

Research repeatedly demonstrates that participation in the arts boosts learning and achievement for children, including benefits like:

Improvement in student achievement

Increased attendance

Lower misconduct

Increased parental involvement

Closing the opportunity gap

Improved graduation rates


Rigorous research indicates that elementary students benefit most clearly from arts education in terms of key subjects, learning and innovation, life and career skills and improved academic outcomes.

Arts in Schools allows students to express themselves creatively which, in turn, enriches their lives through self-expression, emotional development and confidence building. A recent study from the Brooking Institution demonstrates that children with more access to arts education have fewer disciplinary infractions and better writing scores. It also shows that students with more access to arts education are more inclined to empathy and compassion toward others, have higher engagement and enjoyment in schoolwork, and are more interested in other school programs. Arts in Schools also gives students the pride and experience of preparing their artwork for a professional exhibition by showcasing their work at a cumulative event every semester.

On average, over 4,000 students across 16 different sites engage in a variety of arts disciplines such as visual arts, dance, music, and theatre annually through our Arts in Schools initiative. The educational curriculum is based on the nationally recognized methodologies of the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. The Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, “empowers education and human service leaders to adapt, implement, and scale best-in-class, research validated quality improvement systems to advance child and youth development.”

"Many of our students said that participating in art was a way for them to show their creativity. They also reported it helped them to relax more and focus on other topics in school. Many of our students come to art class before school starts to create portfolios. This allows them a chance to start their day with creativity and purpose."

Gayla Goff, Principal at Gatewood Elementary

Get Involved

If you are interested in becoming a teaching artist and instilling confidence and fostering creativity, contact All Access Arts Director Jill Coker