Recognizing that the arts are much more than crafts, a ballet, or a symphony, the Community Arts Foundation (CAF) intends that its projects include many types of art-related activities for all kinds of people. Indeed, CAF is an arts education program designed cooperatively between the school system and the community to promote an appreciation of and an involvement with the arts, including special emphasis on meeting the cultural needs of a cross-section of the community. The arts can allow all people to express themselves by developing special talents, to become more aware of themselves and their feelings, to become more sure of themselves, as well as becoming aware of their potential, to more effectively and positively communicate with others, and to develop better attitudes toward the quality of life that the community offers.
Community Arts Foundation in Marion, Kentucky has a stated purpose to encourage an appreciation of the arts and to motivate an active involvement with the arts by the people of Marion and Crittenden County. This is accomplished by offering these individuals convincing and wide ranging experiences with the arts, varying from dance and drama to crafts and photography. Relative to this, CAF promotes the ongoing development of a strong arts curriculum within the schools and a structured means for coordinating and utilizing community resources, as well as its most important resource – the people – in developing a lasting arts program.
Community Arts Foundation has five major components, which serve as the focus for the development and implementation of CAF. They are:
1. Commitment of the Crittenden County Board of Education -
The local Board of Education serves as a primary inkind sponsor of CAF, as well as promoting the value of the arts to the students of the Crittenden County Schools.
2. Commitment of Fohs Hall, Incorporated -
This organization which coordinates the overall operation of historic Fohs Hall will also be a primary inkind sponsor of CAF by providing and promoting Fohs Hall as a community center devoted to the arts.
3. School Involvement -
a. Students need the opportunity to participate in the arts. Subsequently, students and faculty of the Crittenden County School System will be strongly involved with CAF.
b. The arts can become valuable tools for learning when they are used in the teaching of other subject areas. Thus, an important goal of CAF is to demonstrate that a structured arts program, involving school and community, can enhance a school’s curriculum and strengthen the learning of basic skills such as reading and social studies.
4. Community Involvement -
The Marion/Crittenden County community has a wealth of resources in terms of people, places, specialties, and attractions. The community has much to offer in support of and involvement with the arts. It is the intent of CAF to involve all segments of the community.
5. Review and Evaluation -
At the end of each project year, CAF will coordinate a complete review and evaluation of the programs. Additions, revisions, and/or changes in the structure of CAF will be based upon on each review and evaluation.
In conclusion, the city and county government along with our community as a whole, realize and understand the valuable asset of having a viable and worthy community arts organization. It is a strong tool in the recruitment of industry; it is often the bond that binds our heritage to our community and much more often, it is the vehicle that provides an atmosphere for freedom of expression through the arts.