Arts

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Wanette School District is nestled in a rural stretch of Oklahoma about 30 miles southeast of Norman.

For a long time, high school juniors and seniors had a dedicated art teacher who taught class five days a week. They would paint, sketch and learn ceramics. That all changed five years ago after budget cuts forced district officials to eliminate the class.

Now, instead of creating art every day, high school students have the option of learning about its history online. Very few do.

Updated Jan. 10 at 3:50 p.m. ET

The U.S. government has been operating under a partial shutdown since Dec. 22. The shutdown, driven by a political battle over President Trump's demand that Congress approve funds for a wall along the border with Mexico, is touching the lives of Americans in myriad ways.

Victor A. Pozadas

When Eugene Field Elementary was forced to discontinue the arts at their school, Current Studio co-founder Kelsey Karper knew there was a way to bring it back.

Current Studio, an independent visual arts space in Oklahoma City, resides in the Classen Ten Penn neighborhood shared by Eugene Field Elementary.

Financial restraints forced the school to eliminate their arts program.

“Everyone in Oklahoma as far as I’ve encountered understands that there’s a budget crisis here,” Karper said.

Emily Wendler / KOSU

In the midst of budget cuts for education, and extracurriculars being shoved aside, some people in Oklahoma are going to great lengths to ensure exposure to the arts doesn’t disappear for students. 

In the back of an art studio in Oklahoma City, 10-year-old Magdalena Escobedo is painting a picture of a place she'd like to take her Mom one day.

"I’ve got a pond, well it's more like a lake. And then I have a campfire with rocks around it right here and then I have a tent," she said. "And I have a lot of evergreen trees."

She's participating in a free, two week pilot program that brings art classes to young girls in the inner city. Escobedo says she's learned about tinting and shading, watercolors,  and adding texture to her art.  

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Craig Johnson / https://twitter.com/ucrosspop25

A New York Times best-selling author and originator of the A&E network’s highest-rated series makes a stop in Oklahoma City next week.

KOSU’s Nikole Robinson Carroll has details.

Tanya Mattek

The month of May has a somber significance for many Oklahoma residents. It’s one of the busiest months for tornados, averaging 22 cyclones in 31 days. And after last year’s series of devastating storms that killed 25 people, it now also marks a sad anniversary. The Oklahoma Tornado Project and the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center teamed up to remember the events that took place one year ago.