OCAF: improving Orcutt arts
When it comes to district and state funding of art programs, smaller schools are almost always on the lower level of financial support. Teachers and arts programs in the Orcutt Union School District (OUSD) know this all too well as they end up relying heavily on the non-profit Orcutt Children’s Arts Foundation (OCAF). The Spartan Oracle wanted to compile information about the organization to figure out exactly how it operates and supports the arts
A private organization, OCAF is centered around supplying Orcutt schools with opportunities for artistic freedom. In their own words from their website, “(OCAF) is dedicated to funding a high-quality arts education for every student…”.
Their main function is allowing teachers to apply for grants for their classrooms. Teachers can apply for up to $500 each month, and only need to explain what they need and how it will enrich their students’ education. The goal of these is to allow teachers to have money to spend on art supplies or projects which will hopefully enrich their students. Going beyond the regular classes, OCAF also prioritizes funding additional programs such as band, music, choir, drama, and other extracurricular visual arts.
With no direct forms of income, OCAF depends on fundraisers and donations to lead their cause. The most extensive and important event they put on is their annual Gala. The night of the Gala serves to promote a variety of student achievements in the arts, as well as serve to be their main fundraiser.
Guests pay a large cost to attend the formal event, both for a wonderful night of food, entertainment, and celebration; but also to support the organization. Once inside, guests are treated to a review of the year’s achievements and art and may partake in the a silent action. This year, bowls, stools, and paintings designed by Orcutt Academy High School students were auctioned off alongside other items which revolved around art. The money collected from the Gala, plus that of other events, is the main fuel for OCAF’s support of the arts programs.
Pursuing the arts in the Orcutt Union School District is only made possible by the hard-working, generous staff at OCAF. Foundations like these that truly care about their community turn our art departments’ dreams into realities; allowing for artists to focus more on their work and not on how they’re going to fund it. And for that; students, teachers, and artists in the OUSD are forever grateful for OCAF.