TD grant helped bring camp to life for over 250 children
Arts and entertainment venues like Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida were among the first businesses to be impacted by COVID-19. While the venue works to adapt to new guidelines brought on by the current health environment, the arts center charged on this summer.
Recognizing the opportunity and the demand for hosting safe and fun summer camps, the Dr. Phillips Center team worked closely with their health care partner to develop strict guidelines to safely operate the camp, that had virtual and in-person sessions that ended on July 31.
Thanks to a grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the camps were brought to life for more than 250 children. That included 122 children from local underprivileged communities who were able to participate for free.
This grant is aligned to the TD Ready Commitment's Connected Communities driver which aims to increase opportunities for participation in events and activities that bring people together.
In May, the bank launched the TD Community Resilience Initiative. The TD Charitable Foundation, through this initiative, supports organizations like Dr. Phillips to create a way for children and families who otherwise could not do so, to access performances, summer camp and other cultural events. This support helps to bring people safely together when they otherwise would be forced to stay isolated at home.
Dr. Phillips Center's Vice President of Programming and Education Foster Cronin explained that the impacts from COVID-19 motivated the team to be innovative.
“The effects of the pandemic and the adjustment to a ‘new normal’ prompted us to think differently and actually create new opportunities and new ways to deliver arts education,” he said. “This summer, we included a mix of virtual and on-site opportunities to explore hybrid arts education experiences.”
At their on-site camp, the Dr. Phillips Center team maintained the highest creative and artistic standards, while keeping their campers and instructors safe. The camps included movement, singing, improvisation and a lot of energy – all while campers and instructors wore masks and maintained at least six feet of social distancing.
"Hosting summer camps required a lot of extra planning and attention to detail. It was a terrific initiative and experience, and I’m proud to say our education team knocked it out of the park,” Foster said.
The best part? The campers weren’t the only ones who loved the camps. Parents were grateful for having a safe place for their kids to just be kids for a few hours a day
“My 9-year-old daughter attended camp and she absolutely transformed over the course of the week," said one parent. "She and her 3-year-old sister have been stuck at home for five months and counting, and she really needed an outlet outside of the house. When the camp ended on Friday, she came home with an energy I had not seen in weeks.”
Dr. Phillips Center is working to increase access to cultural events
Peter Meyer, TD's Central Florida Market President of Commercial Banking, applauds the team from the Dr. Phillips Center for its ability to innovate and offer meaningful programs to the community.
“They created an outstanding summer camp program that was first-in-class and met the highest standards of health and safety," Peter said. "They provided something meaningful and engaging for children during an especially challenging time. TD aligned with that mission – to serve the community and serve our young people by giving them the opportunity to take part in an enriching summer camp experience.”
With their vision of Arts For Every Life, Dr. Phillips Center works to create access to cultural experiences for everyone – whether that’s through camps, performances or many other programs. Among the many community-based initiatives of the center, it provides free arts education to low-income communities and free programs to area schools; it offers youth with special needs the chance to perform on stage and provides scholarships to camps.
Through their work, performing arts is making a difference. The arts center’s programs and camps have helped children gain confidence, work through speech delays and impediments, and learn to express themselves.
This grant is aligned to the TD Ready Commitment's Connected Communities driver which aims to increase opportunities for participation in events and activities that bring people together. In May, the bank launched the TD Community Resilience Initiative through which the TD Charitable Foundation is able to offer support for organizations like Dr. Phillips to create a pathway for children and families who otherwise could not do so, to access performances, summer camp and other cultural events. This support helps to bring people safely together when they otherwise would be forced to stay isolated at home.
“I think it’s critical for the types of programs being offered by Dr. Phillips Center to not just be maintained, but be in a position to expand and thrive," said Dominique Goss, TD Senior Manager of Strategy & Social Impact. “The arts contribute to the vibrancy of the community that TD supports and champions. Dr. Phillips Center plays a significant role in making our community better, and we’re proud to partner with them.”
Learn more about other programs supported by TD Charitable Foundation.