FCO times file photo.jpg

The Fenton Community Orchestra performs a concert in 2019 in this Times file photo.

The Fenton Community Orchestra (FCO) announced it has been awarded a $15,000 matching-grant funded by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

“We are grateful for continued support from MCACA and the NEA,” said FCO board chair Eric Szczepanski. “The Operational Support matching grant allows us to support a part-time staff with professional experience in artistic leadership and nonprofit administration.”

Andrew Perkins, director of instrumental music at Andrew G. Schmidt Middle School in Fenton, has served as FCO’s music director and conductor since 2011.  

Tetyana Clarke, donor relations and stewardship officer at University of Michigan-Flint, has served as FCO’s operations manager since 2018.

“It is really wonderful to see so many great grant applications,” MCACA Director Alison Watson said in a press release. “During these tough times, it is a strong affirmation that the field is still vibrant, and the value of our programs is not only recognized, but can contribute to ongoing efforts to support vibrancy in our communities throughout the state.” 

“I also want to thank our community and Season 11 sponsors, The State Bank and First Choice Heating & Cooling,” Szczepanski said. Applying for grants from MCACA-NEA is made possible with matching donations from our family of donors and local businesses. Your support helps the FCO meet its mission and strategic initiatives.”

FCO’s Strategic Priorities are to: 

• Create opportunities for participation in a community orchestra. The FCO currently offers a full community orchestra, Simply Strings, a chamber string group, and Prelude String, string lessons for young people in grades 3-8th.  

• Enhance community life by making the orchestra experience accessible for all citizens to enjoy. The FCO hosts three to four free concerts to the public each season. The FCO also enhances outreach to seniors and youth through performances in local schools and senior centers.

• Engage stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the organization. Through fundraising and sponsorship opportunities, the FCO actualizes its purpose in providing opportunities for members to play in an orchestra and contribute to the quality of life in our community by supporting an engaging performing arts program. Support FCO at fentonorchestra.org.

About the Fenton Community Orchestra 

The FCO’s purpose is to provide a place for musicians of all ages to connect through music by providing an educational and entertaining music program for both its members and its audiences. The FCO is a 501c3 non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible. Learn more at fentonorchestra.org.

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