This week's Art Talk Monday is from Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director. NCLAC is excited for the upcoming summer months, because summer equals art camps! For over twenty years we have been offering art camps in our region, with talented teachers and interesting projects. This year we have three camps scheduled: Ruston 1, June 23-27; Jonesboro, July 7-11; and Ruston 2, July 14-18. Our camps are for students who will be entering 2nd through 7th grades in the fall. Each camp runs Monday through Friday, 9am-noon, and the camp fee includes all supplies and a daily snack. $60 covers tuition if you pay and register by May 1st; $65 is the camp fee after May 1st.
We have wonderful teachers lined up this year, including some who teach in area schools. Lauren Dixon of Dubach School will be teaching at Ruston 2, and Adrian Gibson, from Talented Art in Ouachita Parish, will be teaching at Ruston 1. Artist Matthew Knopps will be back again, as will fiber artist Rachel Johnston. We are excited to welcome Beckie Huckaby of Cedar Creek School, who will be leading our Drama classes. Bethany Raybourn of Farmerville High School will be working as camp coordinator again this year, keeping everyone fed and on track. There are other teachers, assistants, and NCLAC interns who will be working diligently to ensure each camp’s success.
This great team will be leading campers in two-dimensional art, three-dimensional art, and drama. Each week when camp ends, we hold a “Final Friday” presentation, where campers display the week’s artwork and hold a short performance they’ve prepared in drama. Friends and family are invited, and it’s a perfect way to end a week full of creativity.
We are very appreciative of the support we receive from our local partners who provide space for our camps. First Baptist Church of Ruston is offering classrooms for the Ruston camps again this year, as is United Methodist in Jonesboro. We work hard to keep our camps affordable for children, and the donation of classroom space is a huge asset in this goal.
One of my favorite things when organizing these camps is rounding up our volunteer assistants. Each year we have parents call and say, “My child has aged out of camp but has loved going for so many years. Can he/she assist?” For me, this is the mark of a successful program: parents trust us to care for and inspire their children, send them to us year after year, and then when they get older, the teens want to come back and volunteer to continue the art camp tradition. It’s a lovely cycle.
So, if your children or grandchildren attend NCLAC Summer Arts Camps each year, now is the time to register! And if your kids have never attended a NCLAC Summer Arts Camp, this is a great year to begin!
You may download a registration form here from our site, nclarts.org, or call our office at the Dixie Center for the Arts, (318)255-1450.