The Southern Indiana Center for the Arts is making big changes to its annual summer art camps this year.
Instead of children learning about the arts through crafts, pottery, drawing, painting, music and dance at the art center in Seymour, volunteers are taking the camps on the road.
The art center’s board of directors has announced that it will offer eight mobile art camp sessions in June at different sites throughout the county. Those sites include the Boys & Girls Club of Seymour, Gaiser Park, Shields Park, Brownstown Park, Kessler Park, Crothersville’s Bard Park and the Medora Senior Citizens Center.
Children, ages 5 through 12, are invited to attend the camps, which will run from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for $5. The same three age-appropriate art projects will be offered at each site, plus additional fun activities and a snack.
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A celebratory event to wrap up the camps is being planned for July 14 at the art center with food trucks, activities and music.
The changes are in response to the ongoing financial struggles the center has been having, said board co-president Jane Hays and board member Georgiann Coons.
“The main problem is that we don’t have a paid director, so we don’t have anyone in charge this year,” Coons said. “Doing the camps this way will cut down on our costs, on our teaching and the planning.”
Since former director Darnell Dukes resigned from the director position, the center relies on volunteers for daily operations and to provide art instruction and opportunities for the public to engage in art.
“In the past, we’ve had a paid director, and we’ve paid instructors to come in and lead the camps, but we just don’t have that money,” Coons said. “So we decided it’s going to be all volunteer.”
The idea of not having summer camps was discussed as a cost savings measure, but ultimately the board decided that children need exposure to the arts during the summer in some form.
“The board is taking it upon themselves to plan and run the camps,” Coons said.
Besides Coons and Hays, the board consists of Eric DiBlasi Jr., Allison Williams, Joe Persinger, Jim Plump, Deb Bedwell, Laurie Windley, Deloris Olivarez and Kellie Park.
The idea for the mobile camps came from discussions with Seymour High School senior May Huff, who has volunteered at art camps in the past, Coons said.
“She said there are a lot of kids that probably don’t have the financial means to come to art camp, so what we decided we are going to do is make the camps mobile and take them out into the county,” Coons said. “Every kid will get to do something.”
In the past, art camp has cost $55 for SICA members or $90 for non-members. Funding for the camps this year is coming from the more than $2,300 raised by Seymour Community Schools art students who made and sold Christmas ornaments last year.
Coons said by conducting the mobile art camps, the center should be able to attract more kids.
“In the past, we’ve had about 160 kids at summer art camps, because we’ve been limited in space at the art center,” Coons said. “If we have 50 kids at each mobile site, we would reach 400 children, so we’re hoping to reach at least 200.”
Also by taking the camps out into the community, the art center is able to reach kids who wouldn’t normally be able to come to art camp because of cost or transportation, Hays added.
“Being at the parks, a lot of kids can walk or ride their bikes to get there,” she said. “We’re trying to think outside the box.”
Coons said she expects there will be people who are disappointed with the changes, but others who will appreciate something different.
Deadline for registration for summer art camps is May 1. The camps are limited to 50 children at each site. Registration forms are being sent home with every elementary school-aged student in Jackson County. Forms also are available on the art center’s website at soinart.com and Facebook page.
For more information, call 812-522-2278 or email [email protected].
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Southern Indiana Center for the Arts Mobile Summer Art Camp
June 5 – Boys and Girls Club, Seymour
June 7 – Gaiser Park, Seymour
June 12 – Shields Park, Seymour
June 14 – Brownstown Park
June 19 – Kessler Park, Seymour
June 21 – Crothersville Bard Park
June 26 – Medora Senior Citizens Building
June 28 – Boys and Girls Club, Seymour.
Camp sessions are from 9 a.m. to noon at each location and the camp fee is $5 for each child.
The camps are open to children from ages 5 through 12. Three age- appropriate art activities will be offered at each camp, plus a fun activity area and a snack.
Children are welcome to attend more than one session, but the activities offered at each site are the same each day.
Registration forms are being sent home to every student in Jackson County elementary schools and the form is also available on SICA’s Facebook page and at www.soinart.com.
Deadline for registration is May 1. Fill out the registration form and mail, along with payment, to Southern Indiana Center for the Arts, 2001 N. Ewing St., Seymour. The Center is also open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
For information, call 812-522-2278 or email [email protected].