Central Florida Community Arts expands programs and partnerships through major new funding.
With unassuming offices and rented class and performance venues spread throughout four counties, at a glance one might underestimate the impact CFCArts could possibly have on the Central Florida community. However, in the past 9 years, what started out as a small choir has grown to include the country’s largest Community Choir and Florida’s largest Symphony Orchestra, a flourishing community theatre, performing arts programs for students, a School of the Arts, outreach programs, summer camps, and so much more. Thanks to multiple generous organizations and individual supporters, CFCArts has recently received $450,000 to help continue to grow these programs and reach more people in the Central Florida community.
“CFCArts has built thriving partnerships and lasting supportive relationships that help us have a diversified portfolio of funding-sponsors, donors, and grants,” says Founder and Executive Director Joshua Vickery. “CFCArts uses these gifts to impact our community by making the arts affordable and accessible to all.”
Soon that impact will include a full-time music therapist on staff as part of a partnership with AdventHealth. This project will be supported by $250,000 in grant funding by the AdventHealth Community Health Impact Council over the course of 3 years. Together, the new CFCArts and AdventHealth Community Music Therapy program will deliver whole-person care to people in our community who would benefit from music therapy but could otherwise not afford or have access to it.
CFCArts will also be expanding their Outreach Summer Camps for students in kindergarten through grade 9 and implement new arts programs in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, Central Florida Urban League, and Carver Living Youth, thanks to the award of $100,000 grant from the Walt Disney Company. Through this project, CFCArts will be meeting what they believe is a critical need in underserved communities to bring arts enrichment opportunities to every child and family regardless of geography or income level.
“It is so important for children to have a safe space to work through their feelings and life challenges in a controlled and creative environment,” says Associate Director of Education & Outreach Kaileigh Anne Tayek, who helps oversee programming. She cites research compiled by the National Endowment for the Arts which states that 49.5% of at-risk youth exposed to continuous arts experiences were serving in professional careers in management as opposed to only 21% of their peers who had less or no arts exposure. Tayek, with 8 years of teaching experience, has seen this impact first-hand. “The ability for a student to express themselves in a creative outlet is a very powerful thing,” she says. “It becomes a tool they’ll learn to use throughout life. What begins as self-expression leads to self-awareness, which leads to self-actualization, and ultimately a healthier and happier generation of young adults.”
On September 27, CFCArts celebrated its 9th anniversary with its annual fundraising breakfast. From local politicians and arts advocates to members of its choir and orchestra, over 300 supporters of CFCArts came together to celebrate and raise over $100,000 to help this organization continue its mission in the community. Looking ahead towards what will mark a decade of growth, Vickery shares, “Our 10th year anniversary will be a time for us to share our stories, for the community to meet our artists and for Central Florida to observe a message and movement of the power of the arts. We hope to make a lasting impression on our community through new partnerships, programs, and an artistic season of quality and excellence!”