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Appel Farm's mission is to provide people of all ages, cultures, and economic backgrounds with a supportive, cooperative environment in which they can appreciate and present works in the performing and visual arts. The philosophy of the Center encompasses the belief that the arts are an exciting and essential part of the learning process, and that artistic talent is innate and waiting to be developed in every person. The centers' primary objectives are: * to provide opportunities and support for local, regional and national artists whose work stimulates, challenges and educates; * to present diverse year-round programs which enrich the cultural vitality of the region by serving the needs and interests of a vast rural community and rapidly expanding suburban community; * to develop future artists and audiences by exposing young people to the arts process and the work of professional artists and arts educators; * to support artistic growth among cultural groups by providing an affordable facility that encourages ensemble rehearsal and performance.
Appel Farm was founded in 1960 as a private summer arts camp for children. Albert and Clare Appel, both professional musicians and music educators themselves, believed that the arts play a crucial role in a child's learning skills, personal growth, and sense of community. They converted their 176-acre farm in Salem County, New Jersey into a uniquely supportive community of students and arts educators. Appel Farm Arts & Music Center was incorporated in 1978 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a professional staff and a volunteer Board of Trustees. Now in its fifth decade, Appel Farm has evolved into a multidisciplinary regional arts center. The Center's programs build on the Appel's founding principle, providing opportunities for arts education, arts appreciation, and creative expression to more than 52,000 children and adults each year.