Progress of Grant Award programming
This grant was awarded to expand programs for individuals of varying abilities and those facing disease and/or memory loss. Before March of 2020, CFCArts was in the process of expanding most of our programs, including two new locations for the Musical Minds Choir for those with dementia and their care partners. Once in-person offerings were suspended due to COVID-19, CFCArts recognized the critical importance of continuing these programs, as many of the populations they engage with were acutely struggling with isolation and depression. Since March, CFCArts have continued or resumed the majority of our programs in virtual settings, and launched new initiatives including: Facebook Live and Group Music Therapy sessions, with over 6,000 reached; two high-quality performances from our UpBeat! Theatre Troupe for those with varying abilities; healthy arts and movement programming for older adults; and, a palette of arts offerings provided to Arts & Wellness partners beginning in Fall 2020.
How the organization shifted their plans/programming due to pandemic circumstances:
Much of CFCArts’ programming takes place in venues across the community for participant ease and accessibility. In March, venue partners closed their spaces and within two weeks, CFCArts had moved programs online. Their educational team’s quick pivot ensured a sense of normalcy and
connection for the participants who needed it most. Learning how to teach in a virtual setting was a challenge; however, the team rose to the occasion. In order to ensure the greatest possible access, they also committed personnel time toward one-on-one trainings with participants, some of whom were not naturally comfortable in a virtual space. Programs like UpBeat! have required greater one-on-one time with participants and curriculum has adjusted accordingly. CFCArts is happy to report that they are still expanding, since participants are now joining from across the country, revealing the uniqueness of and need for programming.
Lessons learned from having to re-group which will help the organization going forward:
In the past six months, CFCArts’ education team has become proficient in offering virtual options for programs, and believes this will serve them well in moving forward. Many of the populations they serve are high-risk for contracting the virus and related health issues, and will not soon be returning to in-person offerings. Even once the current crisis abates, for many participants with varying abilities and needs, a virtual option will provide greater flexibility and access. As CFCArts engage with individuals from across the country, they are also recognizing the need for similar Arts & Wellness Collectives in communities outside of Central Florida. While other arts institutions shut down or rolled back programs, they recognized the essential value CFCArts could provide, and hope to share what they have learned about accessible, virtual programming with other organizations and communities.
Founder & Executive Director
Central Florida Community Arts
407.937.1800 x 715