Voices from the Field
Creating an Arts-Based Afterschool Program in Rural Maine
By Valerie Zapolsky
I’m hoping that people in some other small town that is poor in financial resources but rich in talent and heart will read our story and be inspired to develop their own afterschool program. Rangeley Friends of the Arts (RFA) is a nonprofit arts organization in Rangeley, a town of 1,200 souls in the rural western mountains of Maine. Working with existing facilities and a largely volunteer workforce, we have established Creative After School Arts, or CASA—a program that provides a safe home away from home and enriching programming to local students five days a week. Our example shows that communities can build arts programming for youth with few resources, as long as they have the will.