Bringing the arts to children

Bringing the arts to children
Long serving as just a small piece of the traditional summer camp experience, arts and crafts have typically made up a small fraction of the pie, but this year the efforts of a local organization has resulted in the creation of a camp devoted entirely to the arts. With an idea spanning a year in the making, the Weakley County Arts and Humanities Council has put together a summer arts camp for children ages 7-12 from July 15-17 at the Dresden Elementary School made possible by a grant, the Weakley County Board of Commissioners and many private donors. “Our organization has been active in the community of Weakley County for years, especially in the area of bringing the arts to children. This arts camp has been in the planning since last year and was something we have wanted to do for a long time,” WCAHC president and camp coordinator Dr. Carol Eckert remarked. Each of the three days of the camp will be split into two sessions: a 9-11 a.m. morning session for children ages 7-9 and a 12-2 p.m. afternoon session for children ages 10-12 p.m. Several University of Tennessee at Martin art faculty, a music faculty emeritus, alumni and current students will be teaching in the areas of visual art, music and theatre. “We decided to ‘mine’ the talents of our membership for our teaching staff. We have many talents to share with children ages 7-12,” Eckert said. Staff members of the camp listed in the brochure include: Rita Winter – BA of Music, owner/director of Music Place, teaches music; Jody Stokes —Senior BFA art ed. UT Martin, theatre performances; Diane Shaw – MFA in Painting, teaches at UT Martin; David Sheridan — Published poet, playwright, artist and actor; Joyce Reynolds – Postal Worker, teaches traditional doll making; Nelda Rachels – BA in English, writer, dollmaker; Les Macdiarmid – BFA in Studio Art, artist, muralist and teacher; Barbara Jones – BA of Arts, MA of Music, PhD, Retired Professor of Music; Grace Eckert – BS in Fine Art, fiber artist, teaches at UT Martin; Carol Eckert – BA in Sculpture, MA in Art History, PhD in Art Education, Teaches at UT Martin; Derrick Casey—BFA in Theatre UTM, numerous acting & directing experiences Classes featured in the morning session of the camp include doll making, drawing, music, painting, photography, sculpture, theatre, ukulele, weaving and poems. The afternoon session includes cornhusk dolls, drawing, fiber, orffateers, painting, poetry, photography, sculpture, theater and ukulele. For $30 per child, each student will be assigned two classes based on marked preference, but a specific choice cannot be guaranteed. “We tried to keep the cost minimal for students so that as many as were able could sign up. We have also offered some scholarships to children who have an interest in the arts but might not have been able to afford it otherwise,” Eckert explained. “The main purpose of the camp is to offer children ages 7-12 an art experience this summer that is both educational and fun. Dresden Elementary School has kindly let us use their facilities, so that is where the camp will be held. Other organizations across the state do hold similar camps sponsored by various groups. We do not require that the children be from Weakley County to sign up, so if someone has a grandchild visiting from elsewhere or some such, they are welcome to sign up.” Forms and fees must be in by July 1. Brochures were distributed among area schools, but the information can be obtained by contacting Dr. Eckert at 731-881-7987. The forms and fees can be mailed to: Dr. Carol Eckert, WCAHC Summer Arts Camp Coordinator, 303 N. Ezell St., Sharon, Tenn. 38255.

Leave a Comment