My name is Rachel and I’m the new Arts Education Director at Festival Theatre. A few things about me: I just finished graduate school, I joined the Festival Theatre staff last January, and I know all the words to Don McLean’s American Pie.
I wanted to write a quick blog post about our Art In Action! summer arts camp for kids ages 5-12, which is replacing Creativity Camp.
We decided the best way to recommit our summer youth programming to our mission of meaningful enrichment through the arts was with a new name which put that mission at the forefront. To us, Art In Action! means empowering kids to take ownership of the creative process and put it into action!
Here are our two main goals: we want our campers to think of art as a verb. It’s something you do, not something you make. A process, not a product. When you focus on art as an action, then mistakes are less scary. And it's only through making mistakes that we can learn. We believe that practicing this mindset makes for better creative thinkers and better people.
In theatre, often called the collaborative art form, it’s easy to feel unempowered as an individual because you rely on so many other people. You first need to be cast, then directed, etc. But it doesn’t need to be that way. We want our campers to feel like they don't have to wait around to be cast in a play. They can write, produce and star in their own show! They can be actor, director, producer, designer-- an entrepreneur! How to ideate and originate your own work is among the most important professional skills you can learn.
Along with the new name, here are a few other changes we’re making:
- We are now a morning camp rather than a day camp: 8:30 am - 12 pm. Our new fee is $50 per child.
- Our teaching artists will receive a more in-depth teacher training.
- We are developing a whole new curriculum in response to feedback from the parents and guardians in our camp community. Our campers will explore elements of story and character through games, exercises, and creative movement with the ultimate goal of creating a completely original short play.
- As Arts Education Director, I will be in attendance each week maintaining our standard of quality education.
Like what you hear? Help us spread the word so we can reach as many in our community as possible! Registration is available now by clicking here.
Rachel Kuhnle, MFA
St. Croix Festival Theatre