Norman Firehouse Art Center
444 South Flood Avenue
Norman OK 73069
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Mission Statement The Norman Firehouse Art Center enriches our community by offering the highest quality visual arts education, experiences, and exhibitions.
Firehouse Art Center
Contact Information
Contact Name Douglas Shaw Elder
Contact email
Address 444 South Flood Avenue
Norman, OK 73069
Phone (405) 329-4523
Fax 405-292-9763
County Cleveland County
How to Give
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer Supporters may donate to a specific activity or program, i.e. the Firehouse Art Education in Schools program that provides art instruction to students in elementary schools in the Norman Public School system, the children's art education scholarship fund, the Healing Studio program that provides art instruction for individuals with disabilities, and the Veteran's Program that provides high level art education to residents of the Norman Veterans Center. Donate online at, by phone or mail, or in person at the Firehouse at 444 South Flood Avenue, Norman, Oklahoma.
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $501,768.00
Projected Expenses $507,020.00
History and Background
Year Founded 1970
IRS Ruling Year 1971
State Registration Expiration Nov 2018
Mission The Norman Firehouse Art Center enriches our community by offering the highest quality visual arts education, experiences, and exhibitions.
Background The Norman Firehouse Art Center, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and was founded in 1970 as a community arts center, operating out of a vacated, city-owned building, which previously served as a fire station. The facility has since transformed to house highly professional working visual arts studios, which now accommodate both adult and youth art education programming, a permanent gift shop, and a dedicated exhibition gallery space. As an organization, the Firehouse has become the foremost provider of art education programming in Norman’s public elementary schools, serves as partner to many community events, and reaches an average of 14,000 individuals every year through the organization’s extensive breadth of programming.
Impact The Firehouse has a 37-year history of excellence as a community arts center, offering accessible visual arts programming to individuals of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, including underserved groups like adults with disabilities, veterans, and disadvantaged students in Title I schools. A focus on affordable tuition rates, scholarship opportunities, and free community programs allows the Firehouse to engage community members who may otherwise lack opportunities to participate in the arts. Since 2007, the Firehouse has invested over $200,000 to facilitate arts education for 16,000 children in public elementary schools; in 2012 the Firehouse was recognized for its extensive efforts with the Governor’s Arts in Education Award. In 2017, the FAC was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Arts Engagement in American Communities grant, to provide visual arts programming to underserved and underrepresented groups in Norman, including community outreach, Healing Studio, and new programming for veterans.

The Firehouse Art Center is the proud recipient of the following recent awards and recognition:
  • 2018 Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits "ONE" Award for Nonprofit Excellence 
  • 2012 Governor's Arts Awards | Arts in Education Award
  • 2012 Norman Arts Council's Fowler Arts Education Award
  • 2009 Finalist in the "Community Effort" category of the Keep Oklahoma Beautiful awards, for The Green Wave.
Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
The Firehouse Art Center serves Norman and its surrounding communities by providing quality visual arts education and experiences to over 14,000 people annually. Students from cities across the state, including Edmond, Oklahoma City, Little Axe, Yukon, Ardmore, Chickasha, and more, commute to Norman to participate in the FAC’s art education offerings. The FAC also engages in community outreach opportunities by partnering with events across Oklahoma’s greater metro-area.
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Education/Primary & Elementary Schools
Tertiary Organizational Category Community Improvement, Capacity Building/Community & Neighbourhood Development
Description The FAC offers extensive arts learning opportunities in-house each year to more than 1,300 children, teens, adults, and individuals with disabilities, through over 40 classes during each semester, offered in a variety of mediums, and developed for myriad artistic aptitudes and skill levels. Classes are designed for age groups five and older, and focus on developing self-expression, building technical skills, and studying art history and master artists, with particular attention given to the individual needs and interests of the students. The Firehouse's children's art education programming additionally follows the FAC's Creating with the Masters and Oklahoma Academic Standards for Fine Arts: Visual Arts guidelines; during the past decade, the FAC's strong approach towards primary education curriculum has been recognized with the Governor's Award for Arts in Education and the Norman Arts Council's Fowler Arts Education Award.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults Elderly and/or Disabled
Description Underserved and underrepresented populations are reached through the FAC's Healing Studio, veterans programming, Youth & Teen program, and community outreach activities. These specific groups often see an inordinate lack of opportunity to engage with the visual arts due to high costs and the absence of dedicated programming. During the past decade, the Firehouse has developed arts experiences, community partnerships, and high-quality curriculum tailored to the specific needs of these underserved factions. As part of these efforts, the Firehouse, in partnership with Norman and Oklahoma City metro community organizations, facilitates free art activities that encourage creative thinking and visual arts learning, providing a breadth of families and individuals with visual arts experiences. Last year, the FAC reached over 4,000 participants at the May Fair Arts Festival, Downtown Norman Fall Festival, National Weather Festival, the City of Norman's Outdoor Movie Series, and others.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families Elderly and/or Disabled
Description The FAC currently provides its award-winning visual arts education to Norman's public elementary schools through the Kids Art is Smart program. The program places FAC art educators in Norman elementary schools to provide comprehensive visual arts education instruction that challenges children to see their curriculum from a different viewpoint and to express their understanding of the classroom material in a visual way. Kids Art is Smart currently serves all 327 PreK - 5 students at Lincoln Elementary, including the school's underserved populations such as children with developmental disabilities, children with autism, and students from disadvantaged socioeconomic circumstances, with 57% of the student body qualifying for the free or reduced lunch program.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. The Kids Art is Smart program began in 2009 through a partnership between the NAC, FAC, and Norman Public Schools. The program places FAC art educators in Norman elementary schools to provide comprehensive visual arts education instruction that connects the students’ current curriculum to the Oklahoma Standards for Fine Arts: Visual Arts guidelines. This instruction challenges children to see their curriculum from a different viewpoint and to express their understanding of the classroom material in a visual way. The program seeks to dramatically improve these students’ observation skills and their overall educational progress and performance. In 2016, Kids Art is Smart was launched at Lincoln Elementary, a Title I school in the Norman Public School system.
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. Since 2007, FAC has become the foremost provider of art education programming in Norman's public elementary schools, and has invested over $250,000 in elementary school outreach programs, which have reached over 16,000 students. During the past decade, the FAC's strong approach towards primary education curriculum has been recognized with the Governor's Award for Arts in Education and the Norman Arts Council's Fowler Arts Education Award.
Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. The Kids Art is Smart program's success is regularly monitored and evaluated by an FAC educator and operational staff. Instructor Jane Lawson currently attends monthly curriculum meetings and twice a week faculty meetings to work with PreK – 5 teachers to design special education lessons addressing current core curriculum topics. The resulting projects and lessons are therefore tailored to effectively help students connect with their subject matter in alternative ways, while fostering creativity and critical thinking skills.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success. I like Mrs. Lawson because when things are hard for me or my classmates she helps us. My favorite lesson was when we made the volcano with men on boats. I hope she comes back to our school next year. Thank you Firehouse Art Center! - Gracie, Grade 4

Mrs. Lawson has been very good to our school she has been nice to the different ways of art my class has made and she accepts our taste in art and lets that thrive. - Annika, Grade 5

Mrs. Lawson taught me many new ways to improve my art skills and inspired me to try harder [in my favorite subject, art]. - Isabella, Grade 5

I have learned many things about art whilst learning under Mrs. Lawson, including symmetry, asymmetry, contrast, shades, etc. I used to hate art because I was bad at it but now I love it and I’m great at it! It’s all because of Mrs. Lawson! - Devin, Grade 5
Through the FAC Gallery and gift shop spaces, the Firehouse provides additional community arts programming that promotes and supports working artists. The FAC's gift shop is unique to Norman because it represents high quality fine art and craft pieces with multiple price points, which provide a tangible bond between the FAC's mission and patrons of the arts. The gift shop only displays original art, primarily from Oklahoma-based artists who make their living from artwork sales.
Built in 1983, the the FAC Gallery offers visual art exhibitions to the public and promotes artwork from emerging, established, local, and out-of-state artists. For the past eight years, the FAC Gallery has been consistently recognized as one of the Best Galleries in Norman by the Norman Transcript Reader's Choice Awards. The FAC Gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions, including shows from both individual artists and artist groups, student artists, and FAC faculty. 
Population Served General/Unspecified
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Douglas Shaw Elder
Start Date Jan 2007
Experience Mr. Elder has a MFA in sculpture from Boston University, Post-Baccalaureate in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and a BFA in Drawing from Missouri State University. Douglas began researching the links between creativity and business with Dr. Dan Lovallo at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the late 90’s and continued research projects for six years while teaching drawing and sculpture at Boston University. He continues to pursue research interests in creativity and innovation as a research fellow at the University of Sydney. He is an arts education and non-profit consultant and serves on the Norman Public Arts Board and has served on committees for Creative Oklahoma, TEDxOU and the Oklahoma Artists Network. He has lectured at the University of Oklahoma College of Fine Arts, College of Architecture and Sarkey’s Southwest Regional Leadership Conference. Under his leadership, the Firehouse Art Center received the 2012 Oklahoma Governor’s Award for Arts Education.
Senior Staff
Kristyn BriganceExecutive Assistant
Douglas Shaw ElderExecutive Director
Sally FrechReceptionist/Registrar
Emily SmartVisual Designer and Development
Number of Full-time Staff 4
Number of Part-time Staff 5
Number of Contract Staff 25
Number of Volunteers 275
Staff Retention Rate 100
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Native American/American Indian 1
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 8
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Under Development
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Sept 2008
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Under Development
The Firehouse is proud to receive annual support from the following organizations: the National Endowment for the Arts, City of Norman, Oklahoma Arts Council, Norman Arts Council, Allied Arts, Republic Bank & Trust, and Fowler Automotive.
Governor's Arts in Education AwardState of Oklahoma2012
Fowler Arts Education AwardNorman Arts Council2012
Finalist, Chickasaw Nation Award for Arts and Humanities, Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence (ONE) AwardsOklahoma Center for Nonprofits2018
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Board Chair
Name Debby Williams
Company Affiliation Art & Design Consultant
Term Sept 2014 to Sept 2020
Board of Directors
List Current as of Aug 23, 2018
Board of Directors List
Sherry Brown-SacchieriRepublic Bank & TrustVoting
Becky FranklinArvest BankVoting
Greg KeenonSunbeam Family ServicesVoting
Sandra LongcrierLongcrier CommunicationsVoting
Sue MadoleRetiredVoting
Fred Schmidtfsb architects+engineersVoting
Becky SchoelenGreat Nations BankVoting
Debby WilliamsArt and Design ConsultantVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
Caucasian 8
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 6
Board Term Lengths 3 years
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions to the Organization 100 %
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions to the Organization 10 %
Board Orientation Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Sept 01, 2018-Aug 31, 2019
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $501,768
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $507,020
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$92,890$99,033$102,589
Individual Contributions------
Investment Income, Net of Losses$13,160$13,162$12,346
Unrealized Gain/Loss$5,012$1,170($8,926)
Membership Dues$24,150$20,274$18,376
Special Events($21,955)($3,206)$2,691
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$256,983$268,680$238,968
Administration Expense$110,093$104,295$97,016
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.981.011.13
Program Expense/Total Expenses70%72%71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$663,261$660,809$664,086
Current Assets$442,260$432,625$424,105
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$48,532$40,393$47,871
Total Net Assets$614,729$620,416$616,215
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities9.1110.718.86
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $165,163Earned Revenue $181,746Earned Revenue $171,010
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGov't Unspecified $92,890Gov't Unspecified $99,033Govt - Unspecified $102,589
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions $80,037Contributions $64,497Contributions $81,100
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next Five Years? Yes
Comments on Financials
Foundation Staff Comments

All prior year financial information is from the IRS Form 990s.

Note: In fiscal year 2017, $15 was added to "Other" revenue for a Prior Period Adjustment.

Contributions may include foundations and corporations when the breakout was not available.

The financial information presented is obtained from the following sources: IRS Form 990, independent audit reports, financial statements – board approved when available, and supplemental information from the organization. We do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness, errors or inaccuracies. With respect to information regarding financial performance, nothing on this website should be interpreted as a statement or interpretation by OCCF staff.

Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year.

Address 444 South Flood Avenue
Norman, OK 73069
Primary Phone 405 329-4523
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Douglas Shaw Elder
Board Chair Debby Williams
Board Chair Company Affiliation Art & Design Consultant