The goal of HapCO Music Foundation is to raise awareness of the importance of arts and music in education, with a specific focus on the under-served youth of West Orange County, Florida. The West Orange County community, consisting of Winter Garden and the Town of Oakland, has limited access to and availability of services and resources designed to empower growth and development in arts education. There are inadequate opportunities for arts and music in the community outside of the school system, which is limited as well.
According to a 2008 study, the underserved populations of these communities do not have the economics or means of transportation to actively participate in arts and music activities. The nearest County programs are approximately 17 miles away. This ultimately affects the level of youth engagement in and appreciation of arts and music. In addition, recent economic challenges have resulted in budget cuts in arts programs that have affected both the public school system and the community at large.
In West Orange County, mainly the arts have been severely cut (as much as 30%) or completely eliminated from public schools. Community events have been greatly impacted as well, due to the lack of funding from private and government sources. This disrupts social cohesion, as the arts are viewed as a community unifier. In this effort, we present the Triple “A” Festival as an outlet to create and deliver arts programming to the public and the youth of the community. Our purpose with this event is to educate and provide interactive exposure to local artists. These artists represent various art forms including, but not limited to: dance, visual arts, music, poetry and drama. Through this event, we also promote community involvement. Local people participate as performers, exhibitors, vendors and volunteers. This results in increased availability of arts and music activities in the community. In keeping with our mission, this festival ultimately increases exposure of our young people to the arts and encourages their active engagement.