Summer Arts Camp to go virtual

Published 11:56 am Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Since the summer of 2008, the Stanly County Arts Council has hosted a summer arts camp for elementary-aged children.

After reviewing the guidelines from several sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state, the N.C. cultural arts sector and Stanly County Schools, the Stanly County Arts Council Board of Directors have decided to convert their in-person arts camp to a virtual arts camp this summer.

The health and safety of the campers, counselors and teachers are paramount.

“We are grateful that technology affords us a way to still be able to reach our youth by sharing the love of creating visual art, expressing emotions through dance, expanding imagination through theater and exploring the many benefits of music,” Stanly County Arts Council Executive Director Renee VanHorn said.

This year’s summer arts camp will be virtual through Zoom, July 13-16 and July 20-23.

To limit the amount of screen time each day, the camp has been altered to be two weeks (eight days) with two classes per day. Rising first- to third-graders will meet each day from 10-11:15 a.m. and rising fourth- to sixth-graders will meet from 1-2:45 p.m.

A scheduled break will occur between classes. Mondays and Thursdays are dance and music classes and Tuesdays and Wednesdays are art and theatre classes.

Deadline to register is July 8.

Registration forms and additional information are at

The virtual arts camp is everything one loves about in-person arts camp, but utilizing technology to keep everyone safe during these uncertain times. The certified arts teachers will present their art discipline (dance, music, visual arts, theatre) with a creative twist using the book “Where the Wild Things Are.” They will use a combination of pre-recorded video and Zoom to teach creative movement in dance and instruct each camper how to create their own 16” x 20” canvas art masterpiece in visual arts.

In theatre, the camper will learn to express the characters and the story of “Where the Wild Things Are” through their voice and body movement.

In music, they will make their own instruments to learn rhythm and beat.
Zoom will allow interaction to occur between the campers and the teachers.
With grant funding from the Stanly County Community Foundation and a local sponsorship, the Stanly County Arts Council is able to offer the Virtual Summer Arts Camp free.

This does not include supplies. Pre-packaged supply kits may be ordered through the Arts Council for $18. It will include everything the camper will need for all classes, including the book “Where the Wild Things Are,” all supplies for the visual art class (16” x 20” canvas, 10 colors of Crayola Artista II Washable paint, four different size brushes, pencils, etc.), supplies for music class and more.

For parents/guardians who would like to purchase supplies on their own, a recommended supply list will be emailed to each camper prior to the start of camp.

The virtual arts teachers will be:

• theatre teacher Wes Tucker, founder of the summer arts camp and theatre teacher at West Stanly High School;

• visual arts teacher Rebekah Crisco, art teacher at North Stanly Middle School and teacher for many years at Badin and Millingport elementary schools;

• music teacher Derek Smith, band director at West Stanly High School; and

• dance teachers Mary Grubbs and Jesse Springer, teachers at Albemarle Academy of Dance.

The Stanly County Arts Council continues to strive to promote the arts across the community and hopes, in a year where arts education was cut short in the classroom, that a wider range of students can access the Summer Arts Camp in this virtual setting.

The Summer Arts Camp is one of the favorite programs sponsored by the Stanly County Arts Council, VanHorn said.

“We love seeing the smiles, hearing the giggles and witnessing the sparks that our arts teachers and counselors ignite each summer with our campers,” VanHorn said. “This will still happen, just from a screen instead. We all look forward to the day that we can once again enjoy the arts in person, but for now, we are grateful to be able to provide arts enrichment to the community.”

For any additional details, contact VanHorn at or by 704-982-8118.

The Stanly County Arts Council was founded in 1974. It continues to promote and support all art forms in the community. Its mission is to encourage and promote broad-based cultural and educational activities in the arts throughout Stanly County.

The Stanly County Arts Council is supported by private donations and by the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.