What is FAFA?

  • What is FAFA?  FAFA, Florence Academy of Fine Arts, is an administration, faculty, student body, parents and a community that are invested in the benefits that the Arts offer to the complete student.

    FAFA recognizes the importance of Academics (the mind), Athletics (the body) and Arts (the heart) to the development of the complete student.  We encourage our students to participate in other activities such as athletics and we strongly encourage academic proficiency within each of our areas.

    How can FAFA benefit your child?  Studies have shown that students involved in Fine Arts have improved test scores, improved social skills and were more motivated than their non-arts counterparts.  The arts have been shown to close the gap between socioeconomic groups creating a more level playing field for children.

    A study completed in 2009 discovered that at-risk students cited involvement in the arts as their reason for staying in school.  If the child is in school the chances are much higher for graduating which in turn means that the graduation rate will increase.

    Students involved in Music have seen improved SAT scores, students involved in Theatre have shared the same experience but have seen an increase in self- esteem and their ability to stand before large and small groups for presentations has improved.  Students involved in Creative Writing have improved reading and reading comprehension scores. Those students involved in Visual Arts have shown an increase in math comprehension and improved analytical skills.

    The students in FAFA have seen a significant increase in scholarship offers and interest from upper level colleges.  Our students have proven themselves to be leaders and have shown great skill in time management.

    We expect a great deal from our FAFA students and our faculty does everything possible to make the learning experience the most valuable of their educational lives.  In FAFA we encourage creative thought and hard work.  Our students are given opportunities that are offered in no other school in the state.

    The Florence Academy of Fine Arts is an award winning Fine Arts Academy within Florence High School.  In the first year of the Academy the students earned over 300 area, regional, state, national and international awards.  The students also earned over one million dollars in scholarship money. In the last 6 years our students have earned over 14 million dollars in scholarships. They have been accepted to some of the finest schools in the country and have begun exciting careers in the arts, making their mark on the world!

    In the first year, one hundred and seventy students applied and auditioned for FAFA and one hundred and twelve were accepted.  Each year more students join this illustrious program and as of this writing they have 217 in the Academy.  Because of FAFA the number of students involved in Fine Arts has risen from approximately 500 to almost 1,100 within four years and the number actually accepted into FAFA has almost doubled.  Jerry Foster Director of Fine Arts says “there is not another program in the state of Alabama that offers the courses that are offered to our students”.

    The introduction of FAFA as a school within a school has spurred the interest in the arts so much that we now offer 6 different Fine Arts classes in the 5th grade/7 in the 6th grade and 8 in the 7th and 8th grades.  We presently have over 2,358 students signed up for Fine Arts classes from the 5th through the 12th grades.

    We have become the leader in Fine Arts throughout the State and this year we were a CLAS Banner recipient and we also received the Impact Award for making the biggest Impact on Arts education in the State of Alabama.  Schools from all over the state visit us to learn how they can expand the arts within their schools and systems.

    FAFA offers nine areas of Fine Arts.  They are listed below with some of the class designations that we offer;

    1-Band-concert band/jazz band/percussion ensemble/competitive percussion and marching band.

    2-Chorus-Choir/mixed competition show choir/Chamber choir/General Chorus.

    3-Creative Writing-Signatures magazine/creative writing/playwriting/writing for film/children’s books

    4-Dance-ballet/jazz/contemporary/dance troupe

    5-Digital Media-TV production/Sports/Radio/Film

    6-Orchestra-full orchestra/string ensemble/beginning and intermediate orchestra

    7-Recording Arts-songwriting/beginning and intermediate guitar/engineering/stage band

    8-Theatre-Theatre I-IV and Stagecraft I-IV

    9-Visual Arts-2D and 3D animation/drawing/painting/ceramics/sculpting in clay and stone carving/fashion design/fashion construction/fashion media/furniture design

    The above are just a few of the offerings we have in FAFA, all total there are 122 different classes! We offer the most basic classes (I know nothing about the arts classes) to the college level classes in all areas.  Our objective is to give each child the best education we can, while at the same time giving them lifelong lessons and memories!

    FAFA is not for everyone, it is for the “Leaders of Tomorrow”!  Come, let us teach you how to lead!