What is the Hancock-French Woods Arts Alliance (HFWAA)?

More than 50 years ago, Ron Schaefer started the renowned performing arts summer camp called French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts. The mantra of Ron Schaefer all those years ago, was that through summer camp, children would have the opportunity to be exposed to and to excel in the arts. Originally a music teacher himself, Ron was motivated to ensure that there is a next generation of artists. That was the impetus to form HFWAA.  Today, the Hancock-French Woods Arts Alliance is a 501(c)3 US public not-for-profit Corporation that provides emergency assistance, supports leadership training, and assists 22 young adults annually in their pursuance of arts education.

Why support HFWAA?

We understand there are many worthy causes where you can contribute.  There are many impressive arts organizations that would welcome your donation. HFWAA is small. But what we do has the potential to create far-reaching grand results. “The Alliance” was formed to help ensure that there is a next generation of passionate artists. Our task is to assist dedicated young people committed to a career in the arts with financial support in pursuing their education. As an organization and you as a donor can feel it and touch it and see the difference HFWAA can make in a young adult’s life. But, when we also look at the big picture, we help make certain that the future – your children’s and grandchildren’s futures will continue to have the theater, dance, music, art, and film.    

With the COVID-19 pandemic, our fundraising has been radically reduced because traditionally we relied on the support of the French Woods camp families and vendors. With the closing of summer camp 2020, we need your support now more than ever. 

What if I want to contribute to a project that HFWAA is supporting?

We encourage you to learn more about a particular program and explore additional ways to lend your support.

Is my contribution to HFWAA tax deductible?

Yes, HFWAA is a 501(c) 3 U.S. public charity under the IRS code.  All donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

How can we be sure that students and projects you fund are legitimate?

Scholarship candidates are required to fill out a rigorous application that demonstrates financial need and a commitment to the arts. Other selection criteria include a commitment to community service and HFWAA, GPA requirements, proof of pursuing other means of support and positive outside evaluations. Applications are analyzed by the executive director/accountant and are referred to an advisory board.  Other program requests are brought to the board for review.  Budgets and projections are required. 

Will you provide any direct relief to individuals and if you do so, how can your donors be sure that the monies distributed to these individuals are used as intended?

HFWAA gives direct relief only when specific cases of extreme need are referred to us. These cases are subject to especially stringent investigation and accountability.  The relationship with and credentials of the organization or individual making the referral is vital.