Art Talk Monday! (Let's meet our SAC Teachers!)

NCLAC’s annual Summer Arts Camps are in full preparation mode, with supplies arriving, registrations rolling in, and teachers prepping class materials. This year we have a handful of new teachers, as well as a number of repeats. Seeing familiar faces is always exciting to our campers and parents, and our teachers enjoy seeing the students’ growth each year. Last year was my first summer with NCLAC, and I saw happy signs of familiarity each Monday, as repeating campers and teachers met again after another school year. We will be seeing Paul Crook again as Camp Coordinator. Paul is an Associate Professor at Louisiana Tech University, where he teaches both undergraduate and graduate acting and directing courses and supervises all student directing projects in the Department of Theatre. He also serves as the Director of Recruiting for the Theatre program. Paul has directed and acted in theatres around the nation. He has previously served as the Associate Artistic Director for the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, a summer rep theatre in Durant, OK and currently serves as the Artistic Director of The B & B Theatre, a company that he formed with his wife, Mary Fran, a theatre professor at Grambling State University. Standing tall and proud, Paul is a perfect camp coordinator: he greets campers each morning with nametags, serves them snacks with a smile, and keeps tabs on everything in between.

Also returning this year is Nick Bustamante, Associate Professor of Art at Louisiana Tech University. Nicholas was born in Los Angeles, California, but now resides in Lincoln Parish with his wife Hannah.  In 2000 he received his Bachelor of Art degree from Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.  He then went on to earn his Master of Fine Arts degree from Long Beach State University in Long Beach, California in 2003, and has been teaching at Louisiana Tech since 2004. Recently, Nick has been working on a large-scale community mural in Homer, the Homermural Project, where he will also be teaching a summer arts camp. As a university professor, Nick enjoys working with NCLAC in the summers, as the young students offer an energetic and youthful outlook on life. He will be teaching in both Homer and Ruston, leading projects such as Contemporary Diorama and Magnetic Space Mural.

In the Drama classes, Allie Bennett will be back for several camps. Allie is the owner of Stitchville, a local fabric and yarn shop, located in downtown Ruston. Allie, in addition to being a sewing and knitting wiz, is a seasoned performer, with experience both in front and behind the stage. Allie graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 2004 with her Bachelor of Theatre. While there she studied acting, costuming, and stage combat.  She and her husband then moved to Germany with the U.S. Army where Allie became an active participant with the Terrace Playhouse, a major element in the Department of Defense’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program. During her time there, she was extremely involved in costuming, where she designed and constructed shows including Alice in Wonderland and Seussical the Musical, and also spent a great deal of time on stage, where some of her roles were in I Remember Mama, Sleeping Beauty, and A Few Good Men. Allie is a frequent collaborator with NCLAC, having just instructed another round of our Drama Warehouse program that was held in Jackson Parish this year.

As you see, NCLAC’s arts camps are staffed by qualified, caring teachers. They care enough, in fact, to continue to work with us year after year. If you haven’t registered your child yet, please take care of that today by calling our office at(318)255-1450. If you would like more information about our camps and other educational programming, please visit our blog at