Maya Angelou’s recent passing has unleashed a steady stream of the great poet’s insightful writings across social media and mass media. One of my favorites is…
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
– Maya Angelou
And it reminds me of another famous quote—this one from Albert Einstein:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
– Albert Einstein
What do both of these quotes have in common? Children. Both quotes reinforce the importance of instilling and nurturing a love of the arts in children, stimulating and feeding their vivid imaginations, curiosity and creativity.
Although the calendar doesn’t officially say “summer” until June 21, it’s summer vacation time for most area children… and what better time than summer, to nurture your child’s (or grandchild’s) artistic side(s)?
Think back to your childhood and recapture that exhilarating feeling of the last day of school, with long summer days stretching before you, offering big blue skies and warm sunshine. Without classroom clocks, time seemed to stand still, with plenty of time to play, explore and let your imagination run free.
Studies have actually shown that children have the capacity to learn more during the summer season than any other time of the year, partly because they are generally healthier, and therefore more open to learning. The green growth we experience in nature during summertime also takes place in children—as evidenced by their bigger periods of growth in height throughout the summer. Not as visible, but still present, is children’s great capacity for creative learning.
With that in mind… I recently spoke to ACAC Program Director Wendy Heiges about the incredible lineup of Summer Arts Camps offered at the Arts Education Center in downtown Gettysburg.
“The Summer Arts Camps offer the opportunity to experiment and work with materials children usually don’t have at home,” she explains. “Every summer we try to feature new styles of artistry, but we also mix in the idea that classics are important too.”
“Some camps are popular year after year—we don’t reinvent the wheel, so we keep them on the schedule but we change and vary the projects to keep the camps fresh and exciting for the kids. For example, some kids come back to take the Dirty Hands Pottery camp every year. But we make sure we’re offering new projects, new colors and new glazes to continue to feed their ideas and imagination.”
“All instructors teaching the Summer Arts Camps have experience teaching children and are certified to do so. Actually, they are all used to teaching much larger groups of children in the public schools. So when children take our Summer Arts Camps, they receive much more personal attention because our maximum enrollment is capped at 12.”
A few fascinating new camps on the June 2014 schedule include:
Color-In My Piano (ages 9-12), June 23-27, 9:00 am-12:00 p.m.
Pianos aren’t just black and white! If you love music, you can quickly become a lover of piano and discover the piano’s many beautiful colors! Experience the versatility of piano playing – singing along, pattern-based chording, and improvisation. Sessions will also include music reading and rhythm study through both a lesson book and group games. Experience with keyboard notes a plus but not required. Kayla Weaner $155 (members $145) Color My Piano Registration
Mixing Music with Art, (ages 7-10), June 23-27, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Discover how music has transformed and inspired artists throughout history to present day! Soar through a week of sight and sound while creating 2D and 3D artwork inspired by music and famous artists. Hands on learning about musical instruments each day will make this a visual and auditory experience you don’t want to miss! Marie Smith $155 (145 members) Mixing Music with Art Registration
Fantasy Art Camp, (ages 12-16), June 23-27, 9:00-12:00 p.m.
Here’s your opportunity to design your own alien figure and its own habitat! You’ll begin by viewing a video and then do lots of drawing and thumb-nail sketches to develop the character and its environment. As you learn to transform your animal and human forms into creative fantasy aliens, you’ll add the habitat with plant life, rock formations, and other components that is part of your fantasy world. Stanley Gilmore $155 (145 members) Fantasy Art Camp Registration
Click here for the full summer lineup! Many camps are filling quickly, with additional dates being added.
Please know that scholarships are available as well. Access to the arts, tapping into every child’s inner Picasso, should be barrier free. Click here for scholarship information.
And a few final pearls of wisdom:
“A child’s attitude toward everything is an artist’s attitude.” -Willa Cather
“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” –Albert Einstein
“Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” –Albert Einstein
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso
“It took me 4 years to paint like Raphael, but a life time to paint like a child.” -Pablo Picasso