Governor’s Arts in Education Award

Harding Fine Arts Academy Awarded 2016
Governor’s Arts in Education Award

Oklahoma City- Harding Fine Arts Academy was honored for their contributions to the arts and education in Oklahoma during the 41st Annual Governor’s Arts Awards for Excellence in the Arts ceremony held at the State Capitol on Wednesday, December 7th.

Harding Fine Art Academy was honored with The Governor’s Arts in Education Award for their outstanding leadership and service in the arts benefitting youth and arts in education.

Lt. Governor Todd Lamb, Oklahoma Arts Council Executive Director, Amber Sharples and Oklahoma Arts Council Chair, Nancy Leonard, presided over the event. Receiving the award on behalf of Harding Fine Arts Academy was School Superintendent Barry Schmelzenbach during a special ceremony on the fourth floor rotunda at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Two Harding Fine Arts Academy performing student groups, string orchestra and classical guitar students, provided entertainment before and after the ceremony. Harding Fine Art Academy Administration and Board of Directors were on hand to witness the presentation ceremony.

Governor’s Arts Awards recipients were selected from submitted nominations by members of the Governor’s Arts Awards Selection Committee. Taken into consideration is the nominee’s general involvement in the arts, leadership in major initiatives, work to increase arts funding and resources, efforts to increase public awareness of the arts, efforts to increase access to the arts for underserved individuals and/or communities, and the impact on arts education.

Harding Fine Arts Academy (HFAA) was founded in 2005 by John L. Belt and the HFAA Board of Directors with the belief that excellence is assured when we exemplify creativity, passion, respect and self-discipline. HFAA opened its doors with 65 freshmen students, adding a grade each year to reach an enrollment of 400 students with a wait list for 9th- 12th grades in 2016.

“Oklahoma City Community leaders and fine arts advocates, with the belief that a comprehensive education requires more than book knowledge, created the vision for Harding Fine Arts Academy.” said Barry Schmelzenbach, school principal. “I credit our founding leaders, faculty and community supporters for our success today!” said Schmelzenbach.

Harding Fine Arts Academy is an Oklahoma City charter school that prepares high school students for college in an academically challenging, arts-integrated environment and has recently been named a 2015 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.