The Foundation for Filipino Artists, Inc. (FFAI), is a non-profit organization under IRS 501 (c) (3). Its mission is to help artists to promote and develop human awareness, cultivate the utmost potential of people to be able to take on leadership roles in training and human development towards global responsibility for the betterment of the global community and that in New York.
Its goals are as follows:
- To promote Filipino artistry and creativity;
- To foster awareness and appreciation of Philippine artistic and musical heritage in the community;
- To promote cultural interaction among various ethnic groups in the community; and
- To raise funds through the $5 Campaign to build a Community Center.
Since 1988 the FFAI has been a proactive partner in the development and enhancement of Northern Queens Community in various ways. It is the only Filipino art organization in area that focuses primarily in the field of performance and promotion of Filipino culture among various ethnic and American communities. The yearly projects of the Foundation are four pronged:
- Special Projects
- Computer-based After-School Program
- Filartists Recovery Program for the Haiyan (Yolanda) Typhoon Victims in the Philippines
- The Rondalla
A string ensemble that is an acculturation of Philippine indigenous forms, Spanish symphony and operatic arias, the rondalla has figured prominently in rural Filipino community life. This ensemble consists basically of plectrum instruments: banduria, laud, octavina, guitar and bass. In 1993, the Foundation formed its New York Rondalla and has since been performing locally and in Europe.
- The Summer Workshop for Children and Youth
This workshop was borne out of FFAIs concern for youth in the community. Begun in 1998, the workshop proactively organizes comprehensive programs on arts, music, dance, educational tours and sports. These activities lay a strong foundation for programs that help young people develop socially, academically and emotionally in a supportive environment using the facilities of the Corpus Christi meeting rooms.
- The Children's Dance Group
Conscious of the appeal and significance of dance to children as a blend of human kinetics, sports and art, as well as its importance in the cognitive, physical and emotional development of youth, the FFAI formed the Children's Dance Group. Dances and songs learned during the summer are performed at concerts and events throughout the year.
- The Children's Bell Choir
These groups were launched in 2004 and 2005 respectively, in order to bring ethnic music and indigenous instruments to public awareness and appreciation, and as entertainment in different schools and centers of learning in the community including senior citizens.
2023-2028 FFAI OFFICERS
- President: John B. Kagaoan, P.E., MSCE
- Vice President: Chariel Sebarillo
- Secretary: Cecilia L. Capiral-Matela
- Financial Officer: Caroline Galvante
- Outside Auditor: Concepcion Ghosh
- Graphic Arts Consultant: Marcelino Rodriguez
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Honorary Chairperson: Lolita V. Savage
- Executive Director: Susanne Rodriguez
- Jessica Barrera
- Gezelle Garcia
- Edna Gueson
- Emerson Ea, PhD
- Calvin Keen
- Benjamin Santos, Jr
Below are legal documents of the Foundation for Filipino Artists, Inc., as a 501 (C) (3) incorporation in New York. Also, the FFA is tax-exempt, ST-119 Certificate Number EX 234689.
- 501 (c) (3) documentation
- Certificate of Incorporation
- New York State registration
- Citizen of Distinction Award
- Exempt Organization Exempt Purchase Certificate ST-119
Since the founding of the Foundation, 34-67 60th Street, Woodside, NY, was the Office, the practice place, summer work shop, meetings, parties, and housing transient artists. Not until 1995 the Foundation was able to secure a room at Corpus Christi Compound at 61st Street, Woodside, NY. At this place, the FFAI held all the activities in the compound, and in 2009 the Foundation was offered the use of three rooms in parish center up to the present. Currently the Foundation holds the activities at 39-38 58th Street in Woodside, NY.
In 2013 for its 25th anniversary, FFAI brought the first Filipino Opera to the East Coast: the Noli Me Tangere Opera with music by Felipe Padilla De Leon and libretto by Guillermo Tolentino, based on the novel written by Dr. Jose Rizal. Sung in Tagalog, the cast was led by tenor Sal Malaki as Ibarra, soprano Antoni Mendezona as Maria Clara, baritone Andrew Fernando as Padre Damaso, and soprano Maria Christina Navarro as Sisa. The project was made possible by the Executive Committee chaired by Loida N. Lewis and members Aida Bartolome, Jerry Sibal, Michael Dadap, Dr. Angie Cruz, and Edwin Josue.
The Foundation in 2015 for its 27th anniversary presented the USA premiere of Spoliarium - The Opera, libretto of the renowned artist-educator, Fides Cuyugan Asensio, and multi-awarded artist, Ryan Cayabyab. This neo-romantic opera masterpiece revolves around and is named after the painting that won the Gold Prize at the 188th Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid and its relationship to the passionate love story of its creator, the renowned Filipino world-class artist, Juan Luna.