By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
On Saturday, March 4, Harding Fine Arts Academy (HFAA), an Oklahoma City public charter high school, will host the 2017 Ignite Arts Festival. The event, themed ‘Igniting the Spark,’ will be held from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at HFAA located at 3333 N. Shartel Avenue in Oklahoma City. Admission to the event is free.
An annual school and community event for the past 11 years, the Ignite Arts Festival is a gathering of HFAA student and professional visual, musical, and performing artists.
The day will feature family friendly art works in various media and styles as well as food booths. The event is held in conjunction with HFAA’s Art Spark Youth Art Competition, a contest for students from area elementary and middle schools such as Nichols Hills Elementary School and Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School.
“The arts festival name, ‘Ignite,’ came about partly because the event complements our Art Spark Youth Art Contest, but we also want to bring to focus the idea of igniting the love for art at an early age,” said Linda Lightner, director of community development at HFAA.
Harding Fine Arts Academy is a tuition free Oklahoma City non-selective school that prepares high school students for college in an academically challenging, arts-integrated environment.
“Our school’s mission is to provide a college preparatory education that is enriched by merging the arts with academics to help encourage lifelong arts appreciation.” Lighner added.
Art Spark contestants’ work will be on display during the festival along with HFAA student works, including painting, photography and illustrations. Several HFAA performing student groups will be featured throughout the day, such as the World Championship HFAA Martial Arts Team, members of the HFAA Orchestra, Band, Student Guitarists and Pianists, Dance, as well we the HFAA Show Choir.
Proceeds from the food court will benefit various HFAA clubs and organizations.
“This event is a large community gathering, so artists will gain exposure by participating,” said Preston Pettigrew, HFAA artist teacher and event organizer. “More importantly, adult artists have an opportunity to validate and encourage young up-and-coming artists by exhibiting side by side with them in an arts festival atmosphere.”
Artists wishing to display their work at the festival can contact Pettigrew or Lightner for details at 405-702-4322. The school will retain a 15 percent commission on sales. Submissions will be considered until February 27.
“We strive to develop and prepare our students for the future by integrating the arts into all of our academics,” Lightner said.
Harding Fine Arts Academy was recently honored for their contributions to the arts and education by being awarded the Governor’s Art in Education Award.
Harding Fine Arts Academy was also named a 2015 Blue Ribbon Award school and is one of a select group of “A+” rated high schools as designated by the Oklahoma Department of Education. HFAA has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as well as Newsweek magazine.
Proceeds from the event will go to support the visual and performing arts programs at Harding Fine Arts Academy. For more information about the Ignite arts festival, contact Harding Fine Arts Academy, 405-702-4322. To learn more, visit hardingfinearts.org.