brenda Williams memorial scholarship


Supporting young people in the performing arts

The Brenda Williams Memorial Scholarship provides annual scholarships for young people pursuing training in the performing arts. Because Brenda Williams was such a prolific performer, well known to audiences at every theatre company in central Oklahoma, these scholarships may be distributed to any nonprofit arts training institution in central Oklahoma. 

Students of any 501(c)3 performing arts studio, academy, or university program in the Oklahoma City area will be eligible to apply for funds. Each year, a performing arts professional committee will determine the awards based on proven merit, financial need, and other application factors. 

The Brenda Williams Memorial Scholarship is funded through generous donations to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. The mission of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, a nonprofit public charity, is to serve the charitable purposes of its donors and the charitable needs of the Oklahoma City area through the development and administration of endowment and other charitable funds to preserve capital and enhance value.



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About Brenda Williams

Brenda Williams was a beloved figure in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Born on April 25, 1958, to Edna and Odis Williams, Brenda grew up in Moore High School, where she graduated in 1976. Afterward, she attended the University of Oklahoma and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1980. 

After graduation, Brenda pursued an acting apprenticeship at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. She eventually returned home to Oklahoma City and performed and directed with many theater companies in the area. Brenda was even a founding member of the Guthrie's Pollard Theatre. 

Notable roles at the Pollard included A Trip to Bountiful, The Full Monty, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, An Act of God, and Disaster!, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown. 

She was extremely popular with audiences and artists throughout central Oklahoma, appearing in countless productions. She appeared in And Then They Came for Me, The Diary of Anne Frank at Oklahoma Children’s Theatre. At Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, she was seen in in The Grapes of Wrath, Romeo and Juliet. At OKC Rep, she was in Laughter on the 23rd Floor. She appeared in Sordid Lives and Enchanted April at Carpenter Square Theatre

At the Lyric Theatre, Brenda had memorable roles in many productions. She played the title character's tough yet nurturing grandmother in "Billy Elliot," the quick-witted matchmaker in "Fiddler on the Roof," the take-no-prisoners dodgeball coach in "Hairspray," and most recently, the zany Mother Superior in the 2021 outdoor production of the madcap musical comedy "Nunsense." 

The story of Brenda Williams is one of success and hard work. She had a passion for the performing arts, and she worked hard to make her dreams a reality. Her talent and determination earned her the respect of her peers and fans alike. She will be remembered for many years to come as one of the most talented actors to ever grace the stage in Oklahoma City.

Supporting the Brenda Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund

Please consider a contribution toward our endowment fund that supports performing arts education for learners of all ages. Help friends & family grow this scholarship program to honor Brenda's lifetime of work in the classroom & on stage through a tax-deductible donation