Mission: Appel Farm has a strong commitment to arts education for people of all ages, which it achieves through outstanding arts classes and professional development for teachers. It also presents music that derives from a foundation of social awareness, as well as multicultural traditions.
Indeed, the Center's founders regarded the arts not only as a vehicle for self expression, but as a means and a catalyst to create community, influence social change by teaching young people about the importance of participating in the democratic process, and embracing the right to the free expression of ideas.
In conjunction with this core ideology, the goals of Appel Farm are to create a warm, vibrant, supportive environment for creativity, and a place where people are accepted for who they are - a place of tolerance and respect.
Programs: Appel farm's residential summer arts camp transforms the lives of children and professional artists from around the world. With an extensive scholarship program, at-risk youth from inner cities such as newark, camden and the southern new jersey region join with children from all backgrounds to receive high quality arts instruction from arts educators and working artists in a non-competitive and nurturing environment.
conference facility - appel farm arts partners with regional organizations to hold on-site conferences and retreats.
arts education in the schools and community: appel farm partners with south jersey school districts to offer arts education programs, including long-term residencies, curricular partnerships, after-school programs, and professional development for teachers. Appel farm partners with social service and community organizations to provide art making opportunities for the sake of improving heath and well-being. Appel farm also offers its own series of arts classes, workshops, concerts and festivals on-site.
Having served as a Trustee and volunteer for so many years I have many good memories, but one really stands out.
About 25 years ago we were having an Autumn afternoon reception for donor organizations and I was asked to stop on my way over and pick up the young scholarship camper who was to play the piano. He came in, sat down at the grand piano and played from memory for 2 1/2 hours -- show tunes, pop, gospel and classical -- with barely a pause between.
On the way home the coversation turned to camp, which he had attended that Summer for the first time. I asked "What was the best thing about camp?" His instantaneous response: "They have great pianos, all in tune and I could play as much as I wanted!"
Learned later that Anthony had spent up to eight hours every day for four weeks just playing. He didn't have a piano at home and learned to play in church and later in school. This was the chance of a lifetime for him. Unfortunatly, I lost track of Anthony and don't know how his story turned out.
This truly illustrates why the Trustees, Staff and Volunteers feel that Appel Farm is worth our investments of time and money.