Heritage News

Heritage Hall Hosts ISAS Arts Festival

For the first time in its  55-year history, the ISAS Arts Festival was hosted by Heritage Hall on its northwest Oklahoma City campus on April 1 and 2, 2022. The Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) has made a tradition of this visual and performing arts celebration. Typically occurring each spring at a different member school campus, the festival attracts upwards of 3,000 students in grades 9-12 from independent schools in Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. 

Originally scheduled to be held at Greenhill School in Texas this year, the full festival was canceled for a third consecutive year due to the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Heritage Hall banded together with four other nearby ISAS schools to create an event that was smaller in scale but equally as meaningful to their students.

“This arts festival isn’t just something that our kids look forward to every year; it’s a vital piece of our program. Spending two days sharing their work with other young artists and performers helps build camaraderie and confidence and shows that they are connected to a much larger community than they ever realized existed. It can be transformational for students,” observed Heritage Hall Fine Arts Director Jay Ferguson '96. “When we found out that the full festival had to be canceled again, we were heartbroken. It was then suggested that a smaller group of schools could hold a modified version of the event. Heritage Hall happily stepped in to keep the tradition alive, and I’ve never been more proud of our school,” Ferguson concluded.

Visiting schools Casady, Holland Hall, Riverfield Country Day, and Wichita Collegiate were equally enthusiastic about the festival’s return and brought hundreds of their students to join in the celebration. The festival showcased students in orchestra and choir concerts, digital cinema, dance and theatre performances, and various visual arts exhibits. Lights and stage rigging transformed the School’s McClendon Athletic Center (MAC) Boghetich Gym into a rock band venue that was a favorite of the teens in attendance. 

Among those offering their expertise at the festival workshops were sculptor Jamie Bates Sloane, contemporary dancer Chris Shepard, glass artist Tim Brown, percussionist Jamie Whitmarsh, and dozens of esteemed adjudicators who imparted constructive criticism of student works.

This year’s theme, “Arts Roam Wild,” depicted a watercolor buffalo as the logo to suggest the freedom felt by students as they wandered the festival and expressed themselves through art.
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Heritage Hall is a co-educational college preparatory school in Oklahoma City. As one of the few secular private schools in the state, we offer a challenging academic curriculum for students from preschool through grade 12, as well as unique leadership opportunities, a wide spectrum of athletics, and a well developed fine arts program.