For kids who prefer not to experience the great outdoors this summer, thus reducing the need for sunblock, bug spray, or the dreaded hat that makes my face look fat; there are alternatives. In Little Rock and the surrounding area, these camps include courses that encompass more than two dozen arts and humanities mediums. A list of the largest and most popular have been combined here, enabling parents to see at a glance what’s out there.
Probably the largest, is the Summer Arts Camp, hosted each year by The University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The 2007 offerings include the standard Voice, Keyboard, Guitar, and Violin Classes; as well as courses in Creative Writing, Storytelling, Photography, Drama, Art, and Musical Theate & Dance.
What sets UALR’s camp apart from the rest are those that appear to be exclusive to their program. Children ages 5-15 can learn International Cooking skills; conversational Chinese and culture or the art of Chinese Brush Painting.
More courses can be found on their website http://www.ualr.edu/csa/summrcamp.htm which also includes an online registration form.
Fees are $150 for each session, although there is a $5 discount if you register and pay the entire tuition more than 30 days prior to the camp. They also extend a 10% multi-child discount. In addition, the cooking and photography classes both have a $10 supply fee. Camp dates are June 19-23 and Aug 7-11.
The Wildwood Opera Camp will take campers through the entire process of preparing an opera for the stage. From designing the sets and the costumes, to learning and performing the music; this year it’s Gilbert and Sullivan’s “HMS Pinnafore”; they learn it all from seasoned professionals.
Auditions are required, and there are some full and partial scholarships to help offset the $500 fee. Dates are July 24-August 4; and camp runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wildwood is open to both boys and girls ages 10-18. For auditions, call Mary Smith at 501-821-7275, ext 242. The gardens are home to the Arkansas Opera Company, and information can be found at http://www.wildwoodpark.org/
So you want to be in pictures? There are a variety of camps in Central Arkansas just for your Harrison Ford or Julia Roberts Wanna-be.
Kids Modeling and Acting Camp is open for those who range in age from 5-10. It runs June 26-30 from 5-7:30 p.m. Excel Models and Talents of Little Rock run the classes. You can go to their website www.excel-mt.com for more registration and directions. For $395, participants will train in all aspects of the genre, including photoshoots, runway modeling, commercials and auditioning. Campers will be asked to participate in fashion shows.
The Arkansas Arts Center is conducting a Junior Arts Academy, involving students ages 6-9. Two blocks of classes which each last two weeks will teach visual and theater arts and will culminate in short plays performed by campers. Camp dates are June 12-23 and June 26-July 7 with performances on June 24 and July 8. Cost is $425 for each 2 week session OR $800 for the entire 4 weeks.
Your older child might be interested in their Summer Theater Academy and Workshop. Youth ages 10-18 will learn voice and diction, pantomime, stage presence, singing, movement and more; but entrance for this one is by audtion only. Auditions are April 16 and May 7 at 4 p.m. Camps run three week and there are two camp dates. June 26-July 14 and July 17-August 4. Cost is $450 for one session or $750 for both.
Contact the Arts center for camp brochures and audition forms at 501-372-4000. For more information on the Arkansas Arts Center, you can go to their website at: www.arkarts.com.
Students involved with the Summer Musical Theater Intensive will be showcased in a public production on The Arkansas Repertory Theater’s Mainstage. Limited scholarships are available to offset the $375 tuition. Campers ages 10-14 will participate July 19-22 and those aged 15-21 will be in session from June 26-July 8. This camp is designed for those serious about learning the craft of musical theater and will enhance their acting, dance and vocal skills. Contact them at 501-378-0445 ext. 124 or at www.therep.org.
For those closer to the Benton area of Central Arkansas you might consider Summer Soup at Theater Soup.
It’s open to male and female campers from the ages of 5-18 Cost is $200 with an additional $25 registration fee for each of the two sessions. Students will learn theater instruction pertaining to a musical including costumes and set design, auditioning, dance, and vocal diction and pitch.
Session one campers will study and perform “Stuart LIttle: The Musical” June 12-25. Session two will run from July 24- August 6 and will feature “Alice in Wonderland” For camp brochures or more information call them at 501-744-4939
Kids from Kindergarten-Fifth Grade, who love art can give The Arkansas Extended Learning Center a call at 501-666-0759 or check out their website at www.extendedlearning.org to get information on their Summer Art Camp.
Two sessions which run June 19-22 and July 10-13 from 9:30-noon each day can learn the basics of mosaics, water colors, throwing clay, glass fusing and much, much more. They accept day to day drop ins for $40 or you can go the whole week for $119. Registration is required to insure a place in the class, which fill up quickly.
String Musicians will have a blast at UALR’s Summer Strings Program. Cost is $100 for the week of June 26-30, where they will stay from 1-4:30 p.m.; learning Music Theory, Performance, Chamber Music and how to listen in an orchestra. It’s open for all ages with at least one year of lessons on violin, cello, or other stringed instrument. The class will end with a performance on Friday afternoon for family and friends.
As you can see, there are many opportunities to enrich our children’s lives through the arts and humanities this summer in the Little Rock area. All of the above mentioned camps had very helpful representatives that will be glad to answer any questions you might have about their respective programs. In the meantime, Happy Camp Hunting!