Ron Schaefer, the founder of the acclaimed French Woods Festival of the Arts (www.frenchwoods.com), is the visionary behind the Hancock-French Woods Arts Alliance. Originally a music teacher in the New York public school system, Ron has spent the last 40+ years in the performing arts camping business affording children the opportunity to be exposed to and to excel in the arts.
Motivated to ensure that there is a next generation of passionate artists, the impetus to form HFWAA came from Mr. Schaefer's desire to be able to assist dedicated young people committed to a career in the arts by offering financial support in pursuing their education.
Additionally, Ron Schaefer recognized that the French Woods Festival camp is located in an area of New York that is both economically repressed and culturally diverse. In an environment where performing and visual arts are the first subjects to be cut in school, he, uniquely, felt and feels a responsibility to offer those families a quality performing arts program for their children. The creation of HFWAA can help set the stage for a lifelong appreciation of the arts by creating and offering programming throughout the school year and during the summer to these families and others in similar demographics.
Long-term, the Schaefer family dreams of making French Woods Festival a venue that is available to assist local artists and aspiring artists by offering off-season workshops, performances, lessons and an avenue to display their art and/or craft. Through HFWAA, the Schaefer family's commitment and with your generous donations, this could happen.