Central Florida Community Arts launches School of the Arts

The arts nonprofit is expanding their programs with four new program areas.

  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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Art enthusiasts, rejoice — Central Florida Community Arts is about to upgrade in a big way. 

The nonprofit, which provides art camps, classes, activities and more throughout Central Florida, recently unveiled its new “School of the Arts” relaunch — an expanded collection of activities starting in August. 

“It’s been busy, but it’s been necessary,” said Leah Porrata, senior director of education and outreach for CFCArts. “It’s such a natural next step for us. It’s a big deal but it’s not something we had to force.”

CFCArts hosts its programs and activities through a network of schools, churches, community centers and other campuses across Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. It has a number of clearly-defined activities — choir, orchestra, theatre and dance lessons — but Porrata and staff felt additional educational programs were becoming confusing to the community. 

“We had several different lines of business, we had programs that didn’t belong to any particular area,” Porrata said. “We’ve taken all of these different programs at these different schools and locations out in the community and our own campuses and have put them all under the School of the Arts.”

CFCArts now has four main program areas for its many activities: The Academy, which provides Performing Arts classes; Arts in Action, which aids aging seniors; Arts & Wellness, which has classes for people with disabilities; and Outreach, a new program area that helps communities in need. 

The organization unveiled its initiative at the “Re-Imagine: The Future of CFCArts” event Aug. 2. Each program area will have an additional programs, including prenatal/toddler programs, internship opportunities with UCF, group classes and virtual learning. It also has partnered with several disability organizations for more classes in the Arts & Wellness area.

Staff had bandied about the idea of a relaunch for several months but Porrata said an anchor donation from the Universal Orlando Foundation gave the group the boost they needed to expand. With additional help from private donors, the nonprofit has more than $250,000 to fund the new venture. 

Registrations are open for the new classes. 

Arts Education Program Areas

The Academy. The Academy previous existed as the School for Performing Arts and will continue to provide classes for students interested in the arts. 

 Arts in Action. This already-existing program area helps aging seniors with the help of the Winter Park Health Foundation. 

Arts & Wellness. While the disability-focused programs have already catered to people with physical and cognitive disabilities, it now will partner with groups such as Quest Inc. and Conductive Disability Center of Orlando for new activities. 

Outreach. Originally a descriptive term for community programs, Outreach has been upgraded to its own program area that focuses on supporting communities in need. 


Central Florida Community Arts

WEBSITE: cfcarts.com

PHONE: (407) 937-1800



Harry Sayer

Harry Sayer is the Black Tie editor for the Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and previously worked Black Tie for the Observer newspaper in Winter Park and Maitland. You can catch him at one of Sarasota's fundraisers and shindigs.

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