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Partnerships help grow Arts Center’s summer camp offerings

As the partnerships grow, so do the course offerings in the Wayne Center for the Arts Summer Camp program.

For the next eight weeks, youth ages 3 to 18 can participate in a variety of classes, some of which include help from the Ohio Light Opera, the Secrest Arboretum and a few local businesses.

And because there has been a concern about making the classes accessible to the children of working parents, the schedule has been standardized and pre- and after-camp care is available. All classes begin at 9 a.m., said executive director Dayna Sear, and end at either 12:30 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. In addition, the center is providing a free half-hour of pre-care from 8:30-9 a.m. And for a fee of $20 per week for nonmembers and $15 a week for members, children can stay at the center until 6 p.m.

And for most of the eight weeks, there’s something for everyone. “What we tried to do,” Sear said, “was to have an offering for the majority of age groups every week.”

Classes begin June 8 and a number are filling up quickly and may well be closed once enrollment reaches the maximum number. Registration can be done online at www.wayneartscenter.org up until the day before a class starts or may be done in person right up until the day of class. But considering how popular some of classes seem to be, Sear said, “If they want to camp, they should register early.”

As of June 2, 185 had preregistered for classes, already more than the 140 total registrations from last year. And, Sear noted, 20 percent of the total enrollment happens in the 10 days before classes begin.

In order to make all the classes happen, the center is relying on a lot of summer help, including art teachers and college art students. But it is the partnerships that are increasingly becoming key, Sear said. Last year, the center and the Ohio Light Opera came together for a single course for younger children but has expanded that this summer into what it is calling the Triple Threat Theatre Camp. From June 15 to 19, ages 5-7 will do half days exploring movement, voice and imagination, while full days are planned for ages 8-10, 11-13 and 14-18, with rehearsals of musical numbers, scenes and monologues and instruction in special topics like stage combat and Shakespeare. In addition to OLO personnel, WCA theater program coordinator Elana Kepner and instructors Chelsea Northey and Anna Weiss also will be involved. Northey and Weiss have done the center’s Storytime Theater in the past and are joining with Kepner in the creation of the Wayne Center for the Arts Theater Ensemble.

Deborah’s Garden Market will also be part of the classes, and students who create upcycled garden art will find the pieces have a home in a green space near the center and behind the new South Street home of Ride On. The Secrest Arboretum will host a Bugs & Butterflies class and WCA operations director Lesley Williams said, “They’ve been really great with offering us a space.”

Master drummer Baba David Coleman will return to the center for a make-and-play musical instrument class and an African drumming class.

Also new this summer is a High School Portfolio Immersion series for ages 13 and up. Sear said the six-course program can be taken as a whole or by individual class. “We are excited to build a place for high school students to really call home,” Sear said, where they can put together portfolios and have their work critiqued. The program includes the Art Design Challenge July 6-10, which Williams said is modeled on reality television series like “Project Runway” and “Work of Art.” Each day, students will be presented with a different design challenge, including the design of a store window. “You’ve got these materials and these products to use,” Williams said. “Now, go.” And each day will have a challenge winner, who will get some sort of tool as a reward that can be used in the next day’s challenge.

Students also can take part in the Art of Clay and Yoga, which brings in the experience of Studio on Liberty owner Tracy Heck. Students will create a Japanese tea set and take part in the tea ceremony. The marriage of the two, Williams said, brings in “kind of the meditative quality of creating art.”

While June and July will be busy with classes of all kinds, Sear said the center is gearing up for more outreach in August. “We’re taking art out,” she said, “to where people might experience it for the first time.”

Published: June 4, 2015
New Article ID: 2015706059958