From Central Florida Community Arts
Central Florida Community Arts (CFCArts) has been approved for a $10,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to support the CFCArts UpBeat! Musical Theatre Program. UpBeat! is a performance group for teen and young adult exceptional learners. UpBeat! produces multiple performances each year, including both plays and musicals, and is open to actors with a variety of exceptionalities, including (but not limited to) autism, Down syndrome, and ADHD.
“Making the arts accessible to everyone is a pillar of our mission as an organization,” said Joshua Vickery, founder and executive director of CFCArts. “We are so thankful for the National Endowment for the Arts’ role in ensuring this program’s sustainability.”
This project will keep the program low-cost or entirely free for participants and will expand offerings to include a summer show, programs for younger participants, and technology for a blended model of in-person and virtual programming. CFCArts’ project is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding.
“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as Central Florida Community Arts re-engage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”
CFCArts announced last year they were the recipients of the National Organization for Arts and Health’s 2020 Hamilton International Arts in Health award in the Arts for Innovation category with the UpBeat! program. When live events shut down in March 2020, the organization immediately pivoted to produce an original play entirely on a virtual platform. The new online experience not only gave local actors with varying abilities a way to stay connected through the pandemic, but the virtual platform made the program accessible to other adults across the United States.
“I am sincerely proud of the students, care partners, and my team who make this program possible,” said CFCArts School of Arts & Health Director Kaileigh Anne Tayek. “The passion for these students and the product we create is apparent and I am so excited for future seasons to come.”
Central Florida Community Arts (CFCArts) is a nonprofit organization that exists to build and serve community through the arts. Besides producing seasonal concerts, the heartbeat of CFCArts is to give back to the community by providing affordable arts experiences for all ages and abilities. Visit CFCArts.com for more information.