SCAPA: School of Creative and Performing Arts

As the oldest Filipino organization in Hampton Roads, the Filipino Women’s Club of Tidewater (FWCT) was instrumental in starting a vibrant youth program that lasted for four (4) decades. The program members were active participants in the Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater (CUFOT) various functions like the Philippine week, Little Miss Philippines, Miss Philippines of Virginia, Mrs. Philippines to name a few.

In the summer of 2000 when the Philippine Cultural Center (PCC) building was inaugurated, a group of seven (7) interested individuals from various community organizations met with the chairman of CUFOT, Dr. Manny Hipol to discuss the idea of forming a school of creative and performing arts for the young Filipino-Americans.

The pioneering individuals were:

  • Lita Sison from the FWCT and Mrs. Philippines and Court
  • Coring Padilla from the Pangasinan Association and the Bayanihan Organization
  • Ciony Gamboa from the Samahang Tagalog
  • Sol Aguinaldo from the Philippine Nurses Association
  • Dr. Laarni Bibay from the United Ilocano Association of Tidewater
  • Aida Fanugao from the Zambales Association
  • Rose Daria as the CUFOT Cultural Director

From that initial meeting and after many more, SCAPA was born! They decided that the school will have a youth program whose mission will be to promote the Philippine culture to the FilipinoAmerican youth through structured educational activities. The objective will be to teach children, ages five and up creative arts to include language arts, singing, dancing, folklore, legend, theater, “balagtasan” and heritage workshop.

Volunteers were recruited to provide their expertise in implementing the objective. With the help of Araceli Suzara, PhD., from Old Dominion University, the volunteer teachers learned how to develop lesson plans.

Classes were held on Saturdays from 10am to 12pm following the City of Virginia Beach school year.

All the children enrolled in SCAPA participate in the yearly showcase at the end of the school year. The showcase is partially funded by the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities. The curriculum gets revised and updated yearly depending on the availability of expertise. For example, this year, the “Anklung” has been added; which is the playing of a musical instrument made out of bamboo tubes attached to a bamboo frame.

Invitations from different affiliations for our Company dancers to perform averages two performances a month, and include out of town festivities.

Our dream to preserve the culture and tradition of the Philippines by passing it on to our youth is what SCAPA is all about!


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