SFOA kicks off fund-raiser

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the first day of the school year, Summer Festival of the Arts (SFOA) will kick off its annual fund-raising appeal with a special dinner at Demuro’s Top of the Hill Restaurant in Southwest Harbor.


Restaurateur Debbie DuBois has offered all proceeds from the night to directly benefit SFOA’s scholarships and programs.

In addition, donations to SFOA’s Annual Appeal made until Nov. 1 will be matched by an anonymous donor. “Our goal is to offer the highest quality yet affordable art experience possible,” said SFOA Executive Director Frank Bachman. “Tuition for every student this summer was subsidized by over $250 each. Our mission is to ensure that any local child who wishes to attend camp and explore the arts is given the opportunity to do so.”

In 2009, there was an increase of nearly 20 percent in SFOA enrollment over last year, and with the introduction of the “Sprites Program,” served 251 students between the ages of 6 and 15 with more than 65 visual and performing art classes. The creative spirit was in the air at Summer Festival of the Arts this 30th anniversary season, a spokesman said, with emerging artists exploring, creating, performing and most importantly, having fun!

Every year SFOA must raise more than $40,000 to keep camp affordable and to provide scholarships to approximately one-quarter of its campers. In the last 30 years, SFOA (which began at Pemetic Elementary School with a dozen children and a handful of teachers) has served more than 5,000 budding young artists from across Hancock County and beyond.

SFOA depends on the generous support of volunteers, individual donors, businesses, grants and foundations to successfully offer local children an intensive three-week arts festival each July.

Roberta Demuro who appears regularly on Friday and Monday evenings at Demuro’s Top of the Hill Restaurant will be making a special appearance at the Sept. 8 fund-raiser. Call 244-0033 to make reservations, or 244-3855 for more information about SFOA, www.sfoamaine.org.

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