City Schools’ Visual and Performing Arts Foundation Raising Funds to Earn Matching Grant, Support SDUSD Students in the Arts

VAPA Foundation logo

Download the Press Release (PDF) here.

For immediate release: August 17, 2021
Contact: Stephanie Thompson Communications

San Diego, CA—The Visual and Performing Arts Foundation, an independent nonprofit that supports the San Diego Unified School District’s Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) programs, is setting its sights on San Diego Gives, September 9, to raise matching funds to qualify for a city grant.

This fundraising effort comes at a time when the VAPA Foundation would be preparing for its signature event of the year, a concert featuring the talents of the SDUSD students who benefit from VAPA programs and support year-round. Due to current concerns about COVID-19 and its variants, and with the health and safety of students as its top priority, the Beyond Brilliance concert that was scheduled for October 24, 2021, has been postponed to a later date in the Spring.

“We are excited that students and teachers will soon finally be reunited after a year of online schooling, and the VAPA Foundation has been hard at work trying to raise funds for the upcoming school year,” said VAPA Foundation Executive Director Michael Camacho. “This event is also an annual fundraiser for us, so donations to help us qualify for the City’s matching grant would make up for the funds we would have raised. And it’s a terrific way for supporters to continue to help San Diego students.”

Donate here: During the 2020-2021 year of online schooling, many SDUSD students did not have the personal funds to purchase art supplies, musical instruments, sheet music, dance shoes, and the like. The VAPA Foundation is focusing on raising funds to help support these students and schools, with the help of a matching City grant of $32,000. In order to receive the full benefits of this grant, it must be matched through private donations. The Foundation aims to reach this goal before or on September 9, 2021, the first annual San Diego Gives day.

San Diego Gives is a special day of giving across San Diego County, building a community resource for local nonprofit organizations and connecting people to the causes they care about most. This new 24-hour online fundraiser focuses on addressing San Diego’s needs and shines a light on the tremendous work of local nonprofit organizations throughout our community. More than 100 nonprofits are participating.

Donations to the VAPA Foundation matching grant can be made online at San Diego Gives or on the VAPA Foundation website.

About the VAPA Foundation

The mission of the VAPA Foundation enhances the quality of and access to arts education in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD). This is done several ways:

  • VAPA Enhancement Program (VEP) enables TK-12 SDUSD teachers to apply for VAPA related artist residencies, field trips, professional development, or materials that go beyond the school budget.
  • Honor Concerts bring elementary, middle, and high school students from across the district to audition, collaborate, and play together for the community in professional settings.
  • Recognitions spotlight the students, teachers, administrators, and community members committed to creating, teaching, and supporting arts education.
  • Collaborations create bridges between SDUSD and the host of local artists and organizations committed to transformative arts learning.
  • Conducting research that helps us determine how to focus our initiatives in a way that targets programming in schools that demonstrate the most need and provides important tools for arts education advocacy.

In its first four years of funding, the VAPA Foundation has:

  • Awarded $99,662 to create enhanced arts education projects at SDUSD schools
  • Granted awards to 72 teachers at SDUSD
  • Served 4,886 SDUSD students directly through projects that include interactive field trips/workshops, artist residencies, professional development for teachers, and the purchase of non-consumable materials, equipment and musical instruments for any arts discipline

Other programs supported by the VAPA Foundation include:

  • Fall Fiddle Fest: Teaching artists work with students in every performance level for a delightful afternoon of fiddle music!
  • Mural Mentoring: Artists work with schools to turn blank walls into works of art to beautify their campus and neighborhood.
  • Spring Honor Concerts: Instrumental concerts for elementary through high school and an honor choir concert.
  • Cluster Arts Festivals: Spring celebration of visual arts, music, dance and theatre. For more information or to donate please visit

Media contact: Stephanie Thompson Communications

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