50 STORIES 50 YEARS: GRAND LAKE FESTIVALS' JANA JAE FIDDLE CAMP
Grand Lake Festivals, Inc. (GLF) promotes the performing arts in northeastern Oklahoma by providing workshops, shows, festivals, educational seminars and concerts, which bring together outstanding cultural artists from Oklahoma as well as performing artists from around the nation and around the world.
One of GLF’s most popular educational workshops is the Jana Jae Fiddle Camp. The camp serves residents of Grove, residents of the surrounding area, and students from across the country who stay in Grove over Labor Day weekend to learn and perform.
While the camp focuses on teaching young talent, all ages from 4 to 80+ participate in the workshop’s small group instruction.
After daily instruction, participants, instructors, and local residents gather for evening activities at Snider’s Camp on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees for excellent and entertaining performances by students and instructors.
Because Northeast Oklahoma has little access to major concerts and arts venues, the Jana Jae Fiddle Camp provides a unique learning opportunity with exposure to master artists, as well as outstanding performances in a beautiful setting.
The Fiddle Camp is also an economic boost for the Grove community as all motels in town fill up and local restaurants and businesses are patronized by visitors. A survey by GFL found that 98.6% of respondents ate at local restaurants and 88.4% shopped at area businesses.
The cuts to the Oklahoma Arts Council budget have had a definite impact on the Jana Jae Fiddle Camp. It has becoming increasingly difficult for GLF to keep their quality of instruction high as budget cuts mean they cannot pay instructors a proper teaching fee.
Instructors have always been faithful to participate and promote the Fiddle Camp, but when participation comes at the cost of their own income it becomes more difficult.
The support of the Oklahoma Arts Council empowers the Fiddle Camp to cultivate young musical talent from around the state, bring business to northeast Oklahoma, and provide a cultural experience around which Grove and surrounding communities can come together each Labor Day.
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.