1995 was a challenging year for the Institute. A devastating fire destroyed the Quartz Mountain Lodge, the library, and some of the student artwork housed in the lodge. The tragic fire was nonetheless an opportunity to rebuild Quartz Mountain State Park to suit the Institute’s programs. The Summer Institute returned to a new and improved Quartz Mountain in June of 2001. The rebuilt facility includes a 700-seat performance hall, a state-of-the-art darkroom, and the Beverly Badger Memorial Library. The Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center is now owned and operated by the State Regents for Higher Education.
Today, the Oklahoma Arts Institute continues to recruit the nation’s
top artists to teach the programs. Actors Jane Alexander and Richard
Thomas, Pulitzer Prize winner N. Scott Momaday, Grammy Award winner
Leona Mitchell, dancers Maria and Marjorie Tallchief, Academy Award
winning director Ross Kauffman, and visual artists Fritz Scholder,
Robert Zakanitch, and Richard Avedon have all taught at Quartz
Mountain. Alumni of Arts Institute programs, such as Megan Mullally and Tim Blake Nelson,
enjoy successful careers in the arts, while alumni who stay closer to
home enrich the cultural landscape of Oklahoma and the region.
It seems like Emily Claude has fun,
Julie Cohen has the Job well done,
Carson Misner joins them anew,
Mary Fallin decides to do the arts and dine
It takes ages to redo the map,
the hotel from Altus, Elk city, and Vernon are cool,
Jackson county folks sit well,
Meredith Blecha, Dennis McClurg, Eric Garcia, and Jason Grife, wow.
the weather is fair
the sun is gentle
the air is perfect
the music sings jolly