With an established history of two decades behind them, some projects simply are determined to continue, and that includes the Watauga Arts Council’s Summer Arts Camp program.
The WCAC teamed up with Watauga County Parks and Rec in 1993 to establish to the first artistic summer camp experience and bring the Missoula Children’s Theatre to Boone. From there, a tradition was born.
At first, the arts council only offered the theatrical component of the week-long summer camp and WCPR offered supplemental classes and activities so that children not involved in rehearsals would be productively engaged. After a few years working with this model, the concept had become so popular that the two organizations decided to divide the camps into two separate programs in order to accomodate the large number of interested families.
The arts council then continued to offer Summer Arts Camp each year and brought in the Missoula Children’s Theatre to provide the theatrical component, supplementing rehearsals and preparation of the play with art classes, music classes, movement classes and storytelling. The camp has continued to grow in popularity over the years and many local children have quite literally grownup participating in the annual camp.
Recently, however, due to the recession and with growing expenses, the arts council realized it could no longer afford to bring in the Missoula production. The council did not contract with MCT for the first time in 20 years and considered alternate ways to serve children during the summer months.
After receiving numerous inquiries about the camp, which were then followed by disappointed reactions to the news of the cancelled program, the council has reconsidered the idea and found a way to host not one but two different summer camps this year.
Camps have been held at Watauga High School in the past and could accomodate up to 65 children. This year, each of the two camps will take place at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace and will only be offered to up to 35 children.
Also new this year, the camps will be limited to children entering first through seventh grades (approximately ages 6-12).
HANSEL AND GRETEL, JULY 13-17
The first theater camp will be held July 13-17 and participating kids will rehearse and perform Hansel and Gretel. They will participate in a variety of visual arts classes, music classes and storytelling, too.
Campers will arrive at 9 a.m. each morning and will be picked up at 4 p..m. on Monday through Thursday, staying later on Friday afternoon for the final presentation of Hansel and Gretel, the culmination of all of their hard work.
PUPPETRY AND CONSTRUCTION, AUG. 10-14
The second camp will offer children a terrific chance to gear up their creative thinking just in time for the start of a new academic year.
Offered during the week of Aug. 10-14, the camp will follow the same basic format as the first camp, but will feature new and different activities.
The theatrical component will deal more with puppetry, construction and performance with various types of puppets, while the visual arts, music and storytelling will provide new and different activities from those offered during the Hansel and Gretel camp. This will offer those children who would like to participate in both camps an opportunity to experience new projects and activities during each week.
HOW TO REGISTER
The registration fee for each camp is being held at the same rate as in the past several years. For the first child in each family, the fee is $185 per camp with each subsequent child in the same family being able to register for $165 per camp. The arts council is accepting registrations now and the camps will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
To find registration forms, visit the WCAC online at www.watauga-arts.org or stop by the Blue Ridge ArtSpace, 377 Shadowline Drive in Boone. Forms can be returned by email to [email protected]. Call the arts council at 828-264-1789 for more information.