Academia Oklahoma City is a non-profit arts program.

Programs include various art forms such as music, visual arts, dance, and theater while preserving the arts in Oklahoma.

We believe in enriching children's lives, preserving the arts, and keeping cultural traditions alive.





In 2005, Mariachi Orgullo de America established the first Mariachi in-school programs in Oklahoma with the help of VH1 Save the Music Grant. In 2015 due to budget cuts, 2 of the 3 programs established were cut. As a result, Mariachi Orgullo de America formed Academia OK, a non-profit arts in education program which quickly found a home under Scissortail Community Development Corporation providing artist insertion programs into Oklahoma City Public School, Charters, and Private schools.

The first pilot project was launched with a summer camp in 2016 with a mariachi specific camp. The camp was a success and generated community interest from the local community and educators. The first official in-school program was established at Shidler Elementary Spring of 2017 with 1 in-school class for 5th graders. Currently the program has grown to: general music programs for 4th and 5th grade in Mark Twain, Putnam Heights, and Johnson Elementary, 1 guitar ensemble at Shidler elementary for 4th grade, 2 classes mariachi specific in Shidler Elementary for 5th & 6th grade, 1 after school baile folklorico dance group at Shidler Elementary, 1 general music and 1 arts class for KIPP South for 4th & 5th grade, 1 after school orchestra program for Cristo Rey High School, 1 Mariachi Middle School in-school/after school program at Jefferson Middle School, 1 Mariachi Middle School in-school/after school program at Webster Middle School, 1 Mariachi Middle School in-school/after school program at Roosevelt Middle School. Children served to date is about 1,560.

Academia OKC was awarded this year several grants to help fund in-school and after school art and music programs and overall operations by Arts Partnership for OKCPS, Inasmuch, Kirkpatrick Foundation and various private donors. The Anita Martinez Mariachi Festival, Cinco de Mayo, and Fiestas Patrias were created to help raise funds as well where 100% of the proceeds go back to the programs. The festivals provide families with a cultural experience in music, dance, food, culture, and extended educational development serving in attendance about 10,000-20,000 each festival. They are seeking additional funding and resources to sustain and grow new programs.

Future Plans for Academia OKC include establishing music after school programs in South OKC and in North OKC and expansion of the visual arts program, partnership/expansion of film, and dance.

About Our Partners

The Arts Partnership for OKCPS

Funded by Gardner Tanenbaum Holdings, is a collective impact project administered by Arts Council Oklahoma City to help provide a temporary solution for the crisis the Oklahoma City Public Schools are facing at the moment. Due to lack of funding, many programs within the public-school systems have been cut with the arts being the first classes to go.

The Arts Partnership for OKCPS grants funding for arts organizations to fill those gaps within the schools with general studies. Academia OKC has been privileged to be one of the partner arts organizations selected to participate in this initiative. Academia OKC was awarded $16,860 by The Arts Partnership for OKCPS helping to provide general music programs in Mark Twain, Putnam Heights, and Johnson Elementary serving about 800 students and was awarded $47,460 to provide Mariachi instruction at Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Webster Middle schools and $1,500 to provide baile folklorico in Shidler Elementary.

Inasmuch Foundation

Providing grants across Oklahoma supporting education, health and human services and community enhancement. Academia OKC received $10,000 in sponsorship from Inasmuch to support the Academia Programs through the 3 major festivals put on every year: Anita Martinez Mariachi Festival, OKC Cinco de Mayo, and Fiestas Patrias OKC.

”As our schools search for ways to create culturally relevant curriculum, Academia OKC is finding ways to offer opportunities to students and families," said Bob Ross, president and CEO of Inasmuch Foundation.

Kirkpatrick Foundation

They long supported education in Central Oklahoma, including K-12 in- and out-of-school arts education programs. These programs have impacted thousands of students and teachers throughout the Metro. Academia OKC was awarded $10,000 to help support a program director for the Academia OKC programs.

Select programming is made possible in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Oklahoma and the National Endowment for the Arts.




For the 2019-2020 School Year, Academia OKC will have 2 elementary mariachi in-school programs at Shidler Elementary, 1 High School Mariachi program in Cristo Rey OKC and an after school program in the OKC Metro area.

We are accepting enrollment for After School Mariachi.


Academia OKC has 1 baile folklorico program in Shidler Elementary and 1 baile folklorico program in Cristo Rey OKC High School.

Film Making


Academia OKC has partnered with Dead Center who offers programming throughout the year as one time sessions for schools.

Visual Arts

Academia OKC has 1 visual art program in Cristo Rey OKC High School.



“Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.” - Cesar Chavez