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Shared values of yesteryear that represent the very best of us...

Maggie Murdock Nichols and I represent the full spectrum of Edmond, Oklahoma:


She a third generation (raising the fourth) resident that knows this place and its people through and through, and I (Ben Nockels) a relative newcomer who has leapt headlong into the deep end of this community, smitten by its charm and small-town sensibilities, that prizes true and lasting togetherness seeking to uphold those shared values of yesteryear that represent the very best of us and all of humankind as we all forge the future of our beloved community - this city we call home.


Yes, Edmond is a “great place to grow” as the motto goes, but as we grow it’s as important as ever to tend to the deep roots of relationship keeping our hearts, minds, and arms spread open in wide embrace of friends old and new, family near and far, neighbors to our left and right, and stranger alike.


When Maggie and I see Edmond, we see a family as big as a city;


we see a community seeking to live together in ever-increasing connection;


we see a diverse community that’s choosing civility and unity;


we see a compassionate community that enters into the suffering of others;


we see a helping community that shows up to put in the work;


we see a healing community that mends brokenness and hurt;


we see a generous community that shares its abundance with those in need;


we see a hospitable community that makes room at the table for one more and one more and one more;


we see a multigenerational community that takes care of the young and old among us;


we see you, me, all of us together;


we see the past, present, and future of Edmond coming together in meaningful ways to celebrate the good, true, right, pure, and lovely!!!


It is in this spirit of celebration and gratitude that we’d like to invite you to join us for the first annual Middle of The Road Dinner: an accessibly elegant night of beauty and inspiration featuring a chef-driven family style meal benefiting the Edmond Fine Arts Institute.


Middle of The Road will take place under the open sky in the heart of Downtown Edmond on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at 6:30pm.


Please visit to purchase your tickets now and make plans to join us on this memory making night.

Edmond Fine Arts Institute


It started with a conversation between four mothers in 1985. They were watching their daughters at a gymnastics meet and voiced that their children were not getting enough art in elementary school. From that conversation, they took action: applied for a non-profit 501c3 status; wrote bylaws; established a board of directors; and founded the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond.


Nancy Effron, June McCoy, Gae Rees and Bonnie Smith, the FAI founders, had a dream and made it a reality in 1985 by teaching art and music in one classroom at an Edmond church. Art supplies were kept in the trunks of their cars and enrollment was taken from an answering machine in the Rees home. That first year they had 90 students, and the Fine Arts Institute was on its way.

 Over the years FAI was located in various location throughout Edmond, but in 2004 land was donated and funds were raised to complete the current facility at 27 East Edmonds. Today the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond is housed in its own 8,000 sq ft custom designed art building in Downtown Edmond.  Over 5000 students take classes each year and another 70,000 are reached through outside programming. Current curriculum includes drawing, painting, clay, pottery, theatre arts, mixed media, printmaking, jewelry design, sculpture, jewelry making, seasonal art, and more. The FAI sponsors the Edmond Youth Chorus, children’s plays, a statewide juried art show, Holiday Art Workshops, 5×5 Art Show and Sale, VIBES Downtown Edmond 1st Thursday Art Walks, Art Therapy at Peppers Ranch, Art in Schools Program, Edmond Juvenile Court classes, and four gallery spaces with new art exhibits each month. The curriculum and programs continue to expand to meet to meet the needs of residents.


Led by an outstanding board of directors of Edmond’s finest leaders, an award-winning and certified faculty, and dedicated staff, the Fine Arts Institute will continue providing cultural enrichment for our community. With common values and purpose, our leaders focus on excellence and quality of programming which plays a major role cultural development. Opportunities and involvement at the Fine Arts Institute makes a positive difference in the lives of families in Oklahoma. 


Funding for the Fine Arts Institute comes from a strong base of generous corporate sponsors and community patrons as well as support from the Oklahoma Arts Council, Kirkpatrick Family Fund and City of Edmond and many other local businesses and organizations. Year-round classes are supplemented by tuition from students, patron drives, and regular fund-raising events. We have developed a wide network of community partners made up of education, civic, church, and corporate contacts. When people think of the arts in Edmond, the Fine Arts Institute is at the forefront.

Maggie Murdock Nichols & Ben Nockels


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