Children invited to explore their creative side at Arts Alive's summer camps

aheymann@vagazette.com

Arts Alive will inspire young minds for the 11th year in a row at its Summer Arts Camp and the Missoula Children Theater Drama Camp.

Donna Kline, Arts Alive coordinator, said about 135 children from West Point and King William, King and Queen and New Kent counties attend the week-long camp.

“A lot of the campers are repeat campers. They come year after year because they are excited to attend the classes,” Kline said.

There are 49 classes children can choose from this year in subjects such as dance and visual arts, to guitar and straw art, according to Kline.

“Actually, we have a magic class this year that I think is going to be pretty popular,” Kline said.

“(The camp) gives kids an opportunity to try new things, because there is such a variety and mix of classes they can explore different avenues.”

Theresa Sirles, whose son and daughter have attended the camp for four years, said her children got into music through the program.

“My son and daughter are both in the high school jazz band even though they’re still in middle school, and both of them took introductory music classes at the Arts Alive Summer Camp,” Sirles said. “I think it really helped them develop a love for music and creativity.”

“(The camp is) just a way (children) can explore new things and develop their creative side,” Kline said.

Teachers and instructors for the program are from the surrounding areas.

“We hire them, so it’s a source of income for our community and the kids know some of the teachers because they are teachers in the schools,” Kline said.

A week of Arts Alive with four classes, a T-shirt and art supplies included costs $150.

“The cost is pretty reasonable for a summer camp,” Kline said.

To help offset the cost, Kline said the camp receives funding from four local counties and the Charles City-James City-New Kent-York County Farm Bureau.

“With that support, it does help the (cost) be more manageable for the parents,” Kline said.

Arts Alive also sponsors the Missoula Children Theater Drama Camp, where campers have a week to prepare a play, which they perform twice on Saturday at the end of the week. This year’s production is “Aladdin.”

The camp is staffed by professional actors from Missoula Children’s Theatre.

While Sirles’ children won’t be at Summers Art Camp because of busy schedules, her daughter will be attending the theater camp.

“I would highly recommend this program to all age groups,” Sirles said.

“I think it’s an incredible opportunity, a wonderful resource for the region and I can’t say enough positive things about Arts Alive overall bringing that opportunity to a small community is just underappreciated at times.”

Want to go?

Summer Arts Camp is from June 24-28, West Point Schools Complex, 1040 Thompson Ave., and is for rising first graders to 14-year-olds; $45-$150. Missoula Children’s Theater Drama Camp is from Aug. 5-10, West Point Schools Complex, 1040 Thompson Ave, and is for rising first graders to rising 12th graders; $85.

Registration for both camps starts at 9 a.m. May 3. For more information and to register online, visit artsaliveinc.org/summer-camps.

Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.

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