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Friends of the Arts, Inc. (FOTA) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization founded in 1972. FOTA's mission is to enrich cultural life on Long Island, which is achieved through the presentation of world-class performances and through stimulating educational programs for children. One of the region's most respected arts organizations, FOTA presents performances of classical, jazz and popular music at its outdoor Long Island Summer Festival and Long Island Jazz Festival. The concerts draw thousands of music fans, comprising many age groups and backgrounds, to the magnificent location at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park in Oyster Bay. FOTA's major activities reach more than 45,000 people each year. The innovative ArtReach arts-in-education programs reach more than 20,000 children in 40 school districts in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. With more than 80% of every dollar raised going directly to our programs, we ensure that donations are used effectively to help us achieve our mission of improving cultural life on Long Island for future generations.
Friends of the Arts is located in the Manor House on the grounds of Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, a former Gold Coast estate of unparalleled beauty in historic Oyster Bay. The Long Island Summer Festival is presented out-of-doors under a 1200-seat Festival Pavilion, equipped with state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment. An expansive lawn, perfect for relaxing and listening, is adjacent to the Festival Pavilion and accommodates up to 1,500 additional attendees. The Long Island Summer Festival is unique in both the magnificent surroundings and the quality of performance. Committed to developing audiences for the future, Friends of the Arts places great emphasis on the importance of the arts for young children and teenagers. ArtReach, FOTA's arts-in-education programs for children grades K-12, includes a variety of innovative performances, workshops and residencies, conducted by professional artists and designed to integrate the arts into the curriculum and assist teachers in using the arts as a teaching tool. ArtReach programs provide learning experiences that can enable students of diverse abilities, backgrounds, and styles of learning to expand their knowledge, gain self-esteem and improve academic performance. ArtReach also addresses the New York State Learning Standards that each student is required to meet. In addition, ArtReach programs enhance existing arts curricula and help fill the void in performing arts activities that have been curtailed or eliminated by budget cuts, especially in school districts in underserved communities.
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