Are you searching for art programs for your kids or your family to achieve growth, learn history, and think creatively? You need to look no further. Art 4orms Foundation has programs that provide free arts & wellness resources for students and families in north Tulsa. These programs are changing the way kids view art.
In an effort to meet this need, Ebony Easiley founded a local nonprofit to offer after-school programs, adoptive school programs, Art Fair Fridays, and online Zoom sessions for families to join the fun. The foundation that Easiley formed is Oklahoma’s first arts and wellness organization. It concentrates on rooting all programming in art therapy philosophies and expanding kids’ creativity on different subjects.
Art 4orms Foundation currently works with several public schools in our community. They provide free services to Tulsa Public Schools. They have adopted five North Tulsa elementary schools, including John Burroughs Elementary, Hawthorne Elementary, Anderson Elementary, Wayman Tisdale Fine Arts Academy, and John Hope Franklin Elementary School for their programs.
Easiley attended college at the University of Tulsa (TU) and earned her B.F.A. in Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design. At the university, she developed and improved her skills in art. Art is her passion, and her experience at TU helped enhance it.
Easiley was a founding director of operations at Greenwood Leadership Academy. It was then that she saw something. She saw the erosion of art opportunities in public schools.
“With my research with the No Child Left Behind Act, … we are seeing art being removed in our schools since art is not a tested subject. If we expose children to art education earlier on, you know they will have a better trajectory and more experience when it comes to diversifying what their career pathways will look like,” said Easiley.
In 2019, she first hosted and founded the A.R.T. Benefit Concert Gala, which helped raise a year’s worth of art supplies for the Tulsa Girls Art School. She was inspired by the success of the program. Following that concert, Easiley formed Art 4orms Foundation.
“With seeing the overwhelming [interest among the students] and just doing more research around the lack of equity, or education towards public schools in north Tulsa, and around black and brown kids, that’s where the idea of the foundation was born,” said Easiley.
During that time, [she] formed a motto: “If I know, then you know, and we can grow together.” I asked Easiley what is the meaning behind the motto for the Foundation. She said, “Our whole purpose is to build a creative community together that will nurture local artists and nurture the culture for black/brown artist.”
Toward the end of the interview, Easiley outlined the organization’s goals for the next five to 10 years. Since they are in the beginning of their one- to five-year plan, Easiley told me that they would finish what they would do in one to five years. “I know within those one to five years, we have to make sure that we’re sustaining and growing and assessing, reassessing programming to expand the number of services and for them to reach further within our community,” Easiley explained.
For the future of Art 4orms foundation in 10 years, Easiley pointed out that she hopes the organization expands and has a large impact on what the career opportunities [are in] art for black and brown students. “I can definitely say for sure [that] we want to be able to set the foundation and understanding of our purpose and to help people become more skilled to deal with life stressors utilizing art therapy philosophies to benefit our community.”
Easiley has plans for the foundation, including planning upcoming events, volunteering, and increasing after-school art programs.
Some of the Art 4orms Foundation events that were held last year were Art Talk in October, and the Art Benefit Concert Gala and Greenwood Christmas, both in December.
For more information about Art 4orms Foundation and the upcoming events for 2023, go to its website page https://www.art4orms.org/. If someone has an interest to volunteer, then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.