Award Year: 2015

Harding Fine Arts Academy

3333 North Shartel Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK, 73154-0895

(405) 702-4322

Mr. Barry Jon Schmelzenbach, Principal at time of Nomination

Charter School, Title I School

Harding Fine Arts Academy

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Preparing students for college in an academically challenging, arts-integrated environment.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 26%
  • White: 41%
  • Hispanic: 17%
  • Asian: 4%
  • Native American: 6%
  • Two or more races: 6%
  • ELL: 1%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
Harding Fine Arts Academy fosters arts, academics, and achievement.

Harding Fine Arts Academy fosters arts, academics, and achievement.

Harding Fine Arts Academy (HFAA) was founded in 2005 by visionary community leaders who believed a truly transformative education should draw from the full breadth of human experience. HFAA engages students through a comprehensive liberal arts education that gives the same footing to the arts as it does to academics, with high expectations for both.

Over the past ten years HFAA has emerged from a fledgling startup with a skeleton staff and only 65 freshmen to almost 400 students in grades 9-12. HFAA is a non-selective public charter school located near the heart of downtown Oklahoma City with a student body that closely mirrors city demographics. As a Title I school, many of HFAA’s students are potentially first generation college students, and it’s not uncommon to be a first generation high school graduate.

Developing students for the challenges of college and beyond begins in every classroom and includes twelve AP courses and eight advanced visual/performing arts classes. With over 80 courses from which to choose, students grow academically, creatively, and physically through a hands-on, experiential curriculum. This level of engagement reaches outside of the classroom with students and parents achieving over 10,000 community service hours per year. HFAA's innovative curriculum and ongoing commitment merges to develop all students to their full potential through high expectations, research-based innovations, and a high-quality, creative faculty. Art + Academics = Achievement!