The Center for Community Arts - - Volunteer Leadership and Community Engagement.
Over 20 years ago, 12 women in the small coastal community of Cape May, New Jersey - - black, white, artists, educators, community leaders - - had a vision to create a volunteer-lead arts group that would use the arts to enhance community relations and brings the arts to the communities' kids - - especially the underserved. That was the Center for Community Arts (CCA).
Starting with just one Saturday night program, CCA's youth arts programs have grown to now include in-school and after school programs, library-based programs, and summer camps. Beginning with visual arts, CCA's programs now include movement, writing and radio (and even graphic novels!), and reach out to all age groups. Starting in one church hall, CCA's youth arts programs now are held in schools and public libraries.
CCA's Founding Mothers also saw the need for a community arts center. Their search identified the Franklin Street School, which was built in 1927 as a segregated elementary school. Researching the use of the School lead them to an understanding of the rich but untold history of Cape May's African-American community. This lead to CCA's Community History Program, which now includes annual exhibits, a collection of 60 taped oral histories, walking tours and trolley tours (including one on Cape May's role in the Underground Railroad), and the preservation of the Franklin Street School.
WCFA 101.5 FM, CCA's all-volunteer radio station, was the next logical step in bringing the arts, history and community engagement to the area.
CCA - - community based, volunteer lead, celebrating diversity, the arts and community history.