March 28, 2019 (Hyannis, MA)
Program will focus on providing support to economically disadvantaged students
The Arts Foundation of Cape Cod (AFCC) has launched a new program, AFCC Access, to connect area youth with artistic and cultural activities they otherwise may not have the opportunity to participate in.
The program, which will take place over the course of the school year, is aimed at students who are economically disadvantaged. It is being funded by Cape Cod Healthcare and an anonymous angel donor.
“Everyone deserves to have access to the arts, especially children,” AFCC Executive Director Julie Wake said. “There is growing evidence that shows exposure to the arts builds confidence, strengthens connections with others, teaches critical thinking, and supports positive, healthy decisions among youth. We think all children on the Cape should reap the benefits that the arts can provide.”
The AFCC is partnering with several nonprofits that work directly with children, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands, YMCA Cape Cod, and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren on Cape Cod, to identify students between the ages of 7 and 17 that can most benefit from extracurricular arts-specific programming.
“We are proud to partner with the Arts Foundation in connecting young people with opportunities where they can develop and pursue a passion for the arts,” said Stacie Peugh, president and CEO of YMCA Cape Cod.
J.R. Mell, regional director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, said AFCC Access is “going to do exactly what the title of the program is – provide access to the arts for kids in our program who otherwise could not afford to do this. It will definitely open doors for our littles to explore and get involved in the arts.”
Students chosen for the program will be connected to cultural organizations on Cape Cod that are members of the AFCC. Those organizations will provide meaningful extracurricular arts enrichment activities that meet the needs, interests, and talents of participating students.
Wake said the goal is to secure enough funding to have 25 students in AFCC Access by the end of the first year. That number will go up to 50 in the second year and 100 in the third and each ensuing year.
“With the economic disparity that exists on Cape Cod, there is a real need for this type of programming which helps to address that disparity for our youth,” Wake said. “Arts and culture should not be an option for our children. They are a necessity.”
Businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring AFCC Access and parents interested in learning more about AFCC Access should contact Julie Wake at 508-362-0066, ext. 111 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the AFCC
The AFCC’s mission is to support, promote, and celebrate the arts and culture of Cape Cod. It fulfills its mission by funding grants, fellowships, and scholarships; by advocating for more awareness on the impact the Cape’s creative economy has on our region and beyond; and by building a strong arts community network through membership.