Appel Farm Arts and Music Center
457 Shirley Road
P.O. Box 888
Elmer, NJ 08318-0888
ContactMr. Lawrence R. Schmidt
To provide general support for Appel Farm's arts education programming and activities benefiting schools and communities in southwestern New Jersey, including low- and moderate-income or vulnerable populations whose access to arts educational opportunities is limited. Programs include the Center's Creative Connections, artist residencies, award-winning HeART & Health program, arts classes and workshops, and the Appel Farm Arts Camp as well as new initiatives.
Established in 1960, Appel Farm has evolved into one of New Jersey's leading fine and performing arts organizations, recognized by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts as a 'Major Presenting Arts Organization.' The Center's founders, Albert and Clare Appel, who were musicians and professional arts educators, believed the arts play a critical role in fostering a child's learning skills, personal growth and sense of identity. Most of the Appels' 176-acre farm near Elmer (Salem County), New Jersey, was converted into a unique community of students and art educators. The Arts and Music Center was officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 1978, and operates with a professional staff governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. Its mission --'to provide people of all ages, cultures, and economic backgrounds with a supportive, cooperative environment in which to explore the arts'-- conforms to the Appels' founding philosophy. The Center's values are rooted in the principles that the arts are an exciting and essential part of the learning process, artistic talent is innate and waiting to be developed in every person, and creativity is a contributing element toward developing a sustainable environment and communities. Appel Farm fulfills this mission and philosophy by offering an internationally renowned summer Arts Camp and youth development program for children; Community Arts Outreach Programs that target underserved audiences and serve communities at-large; year-round on-site instructional Arts Classes for children and adults; and live artistic performances for children, families and the general public. (Formal programming previously known as the Family Theater Matinées and a Concert/Presenting Series are presently being suspended and being reevaluated). Over 15,000 children, adults, families and senior citizens are projected to experience and benefit from Appel Farm's cultural activities in fiscal year 2014.
Appel Farm's Arts Education Department and Art Camp are led by qualified, credentialed directors and supported by additional administrative and programming pesonnel. Following Dr. Loren Thomas' resignation in October, Appel Farm's Deputy Director Lawrence Schmidt, a veteran of nearly 30 years experience in New Jersey's cultural nonprofit community, was named as Interim Executive Director while an executive search is commenced.