School for Creative and Performing Arts
Point of Contact: Lita Sison
Phone: (757) 515-7347
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 decades. The program members were active participants in the Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater (CUFOT) various functions such as the Philippine Week, Little Miss Philippines, Miss Philippines of Virginia, and Mrs. Philippines of Virginia, to name a few. In the summer of 2000, when the Philippine Cultural Center (PCC) building was inaugurated, a group of seven 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, the CUFOT Cultural Director
From that initial meeting and after many more, SCAPA was born. We decided that the school will have a youth program whose mission will be to promote the Philippine culture to the Filipino-American youth through structured educational activities. The objective is to teach children, ages 5 years and up, creative arts to include language arts, singing, dancing, folklore, theater, “balagtasan”, and heritage workshop. Volunteers were recruited to provide their expertise in accomplishing our objectives. With the assistance of Araceli Suzara, Ph.D. from Old Dominion University, the volunteer teachers learned how to develop and execute lesson plans. Classes were initially held on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, mirroring the City of Virginia Beach’s school year. Our curriculum is reviewed yearly, and revisions are based on the enrolled student’s needs and the availability of staff and faculty. We recently made minor adjustments to the class schedules to prevent conflict with regular school’s SAT, SOL, proms, and homecoming affairs. Classes are now from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm every Saturday, from the first Saturday of October until the end of February. All enrolled students will participate in the annual Showcase presentation on the 2nd Sunday in March. Initially for the first 2 years, the Showcases were partially through grants by the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities. We have been self-sustaining ever since, and we are very fortunate to have numerous philanthropic individuals and groups in the local area who continue to bestow charitable endowments to SCAPA.
Invitations from different affiliations for our Company dancers to perform has been averaging one performance per month, and includes out of town festivities. We were also invited to participate in cultural dance competitions at the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC and received first place honors twice in those competitions. Lately, we were invited by the Richmond State Fair with the Philippines as the select country to be featured.
Whenever possible or when opportunity arises, we try to introduce our students to the world of Arts, since we firmly believe that Arts can improve a student’s cognitive and intellectual abilities. We take them to stage plays, symphony, and ballet when available and reasonable. Above all, we also share three important values to our students:
• love and respect of immediate and extended family
• importance of religion and its practice in our daily lives
• college education is a must in this competitive world.
These values helped us in achieving SCAPA’s main purpose – to preserve and share the culture and tradition of the Philippines by passing it on to our youth.2017 – 2018 Faculty & Staff Members
Program Director: Rose Daria
Administrator: Pepe Cabacoy
Registrar: Lita Sison
Administrative Assistant: Richard Manuel
Peping Medrana Ester Medrana Lita Sison Cely Diaz
Dr. Connie Aspili
Website & Communication: