Youth enjoy Stanly County Arts Council’s Summer Arts Camp

Published 1:53 pm Monday, August 1, 2022

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The Stanly County Arts Council recently hosted its annual Summer Arts Camp for two weeks — one week at West Stanly High School and a week at Stanly Community College.

Each week, approximately 85 campers, ranging in age from rising first graders to sixth graders, explored classes in theatre, dance, music and visual art, all taught by licensed professionals.

The theme for this year’s camp was “Diving Into the Arts,” with activities based on the story of “Rainbow Fish” for the kindergarten through second graders and the Shark School series of books by Davy Ocean. Each camper received the book as a keepsake.

Camp director was Wes Tucker, who initiated the camp in 2008 and has served as director each year.
Tucker, the director of the West Stanly Players and the chair of English/Drama at West Stanly High School, is also the theatre teacher at camp.

Shelby Walker learns about costumes during Wes Tucker’s theater class. (Photo by Charles Curcio/staff)

Returning visual art teacher from North Stanly Middle School Rebekah Crisco led the campers through creating their own canvas art masterpiece.

Natalie Hudson, left, and August Thompson put the finishing touches on their paintings. (Photo by Charles Curcio/staff)

Albemarle Academy of Dance teachers Mary Grubbs and Jesse Springer taught each camper different types of dances and choreography plus the basics of biomechanics of the human body.

Aleah Enamait, camp counselor Megan McLary and Aubrey Amick learn about dance at the camp. (Photo by Charles Curcio/staff)

Alana Cooper, chorus and general music teacher at North Stanly Middle School, taught the children the different aspects of music, from rhythm to genres and different instruments, and shared her love of music and arts with the campers.

Alex Courtney, Mila Russell and Naveah Gray make music using hollow tubes called boomwhackers at the 14th annual Stanly County Arts Council Youth Camp at West Stanly. (Photo by Charles Curcio/staff)

“Summer arts camp has been conducted every year since 2008. Wes Tucker and Edmund Roush developed the idea when serving on the arts council together. It’s the only all-encompassing arts camp offered in Stanly County, exposing our youth to all four disciplines of art: visual, music, dance and theatre. Last year we were restricted in how many we could serve due to Covid, so this year it was wonderful to be able to fully offer camp to 80-85 youth per week,” said Renee VanHorn, executive director of the Stanly County Arts Council. “We are grateful for the support from the local community. Their assistance with generous donations of goods and financial support.allowed us to keep the arts alive this summer.”

Wren Shealy and Braelynn White have fun in the camp’s dance class. (Photo by Charles Curcio/staff)

The Stanly County Arts Council was founded in 1974. It continues to promote and support 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.

The Summer Arts Camp allows the youth in Stanly County to continue their arts education during the summer months in a camp-like environment.