50 STORIES 50 YEARS: EAST CENTRAL UNIVERSITY'S PERFORMING ARTS SERIES
East Central University serves an audience that includes ethnically diverse, economically disadvantaged, and geographically isolated populations by providing leadership for economic development and cultural enhancement through programs like the Performing Arts Series.
As the leading education institution for this area, ECU is adamant that it is not enough simply to appreciate the arts; it is important to have various opportunities to actively participate in the creation of art.
Toward this end master classes are taught by each artist or group in the performing artseries at ECU. All forms of art are essential to human experience and help in discovering how human beings communicate not only with words, but through music, dance, and the visual arts.
ECU‘s primary service area has a poverty rate of 18.6% and an unemployment rate of 5.7%, and attendance at cultural and artistic events in the metropolitan areas is often hindered by distance and economic means.
Without the continued public funding for the arts through the Oklahoma Arts Council, many under-served community members would not have the opportunity for life enrichment that being exposed to the arts can bring.
In rural communities particularly, the arts have the ability not only to cultivate individual capacity, but also to cultivate a sense of community identity and unity.
ECU relishes in the opportunity to expose community members to cultural and artistic events that they normally would not have the opportunity to experience, and without the support of the Oklahoma Arts Council, it would not be possible.
This story celebrates 50 years of the Oklahoma Arts Council and how the state’s investments have positive ripple effects on communities across Oklahoma. See other stories or follow this link for more information.