Whitehall-Coplay Press

Saturday, August 24, 2019
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOStudents perform in Flutophone concert at conclusion of City Arts Camp. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOStudents perform in Flutophone concert at conclusion of City Arts Camp.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOStudents present theater sketch as part of finale of City Arts Camp. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOStudents present theater sketch as part of finale of City Arts Camp.

‘Their chance to shine’ In 21st year, City Arts Camp middle school offerings in second year at CMS

Friday, June 14, 2019 by ERIN FERGUSON Special to The Press in Focus

City Arts Camp, a collaboration of the Allentown Art Museum, The Baum School of Art, Civic Theatre of Allentown, Community Music School, Miller Symphony Hall and Repertory Dance Theatre, provides students a fun and exciting experience in art, dance, music and theater.

The six established arts and cultural organizations came together 21 years ago to create a week of artistic exploration for children, providing an interdisciplinary, comprehensive introduction to the arts, while inspiring them to discover their creativity.

“The original idea of this partnership came from Dolly Haltzman, who was the director for many years at the Repertory Dance Theatre where her daughter [Jennifer Haltzman Tracy] now holds the position. Her concept was to bring all the disciplines of art together and introduce the rich cultural aspects of Allentown to its youth. That was her original vision and what it is still all about,” says Shannon Fugate, Executive Director of the Baum School of Art.

The tuition-based program is held 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 24-28. Registration deadline is June 21. Some scholarship-financial aid is available, covered by area donors.

Students are to be dropped off at Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown, and picked up at the Baum School of Art, 510 W. Linden St., Allentown.

Throughout the week, arts campers are taught by faculty members and educators from each partner institution.

At the Allentown Art Museum, campers will learn to appreciate different artistic styles and movements represented in the museum’s collection. Community Music School will provide Flutophone curriculum as well as other music instruction. The Baum School of Art will lead campers in art, design, painting and sculpting.

“The elementary students will be introduced to the world of arts and will come away with so much more than just learning technique. They will learn to collaborate and work as a team, build confidence and learn how to express themselves individually. This camp opens them up to exploring all the different disciplines in art,” says Fugate.

For the second year, City Arts Camp offers four one-week sessions for middle school students. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 8-Aug. 2, Community Music School, 1544 Hamilton St., Allentown.

The middle-school program is tuition-free courtesy of a grant from the Harry C. Trexler Trust. The Dorothy H. Baker Recital Hall in Community Music School has enough space for the various arts disciplines to be held in one location.

Community Music School will provide instruments and instruction for students to write and perform their own rock-pop music using drums, electric guitars and vocals in the “Modern Band” program.

The Allentown Symphony Association’s El Sistema Lehigh Valley will provide a violin workshop for students.

The Baum School of Art will focus on techniques for painting, sculpture and design. Students will create paintings inspired by music and will learn the principles of composition and color theory to create collaborative paintings that will be given to Community Music School.

“The curriculum for the middle school students is a bit different. We engage them more age-appropriately and are able to appeal to their interests on a different level,” says Fugate.

The elementary and middle school programs offer dance instruction from Repertory Dance Theatre whereby students will explore creating their own choreography for a contemporary dance performance that incorporates pop, breakdancing and hip-hop.

For the Civic Theatre component, students will work on improvisation skills, explore character work, refine vocal projection, play theater games, engage in scene work and explore staging.

At the conclusion of each City Arts Camp, students showcase their artwork and welcome friends and family to Miller Symphony Hall, for elementary students, and to Dorothy H. Baker Recital Hall, for middle school students, to perform dance routines, music performances and theater sketches. In solo work and ensemble pieces, students will have the opportunity to perform as individuals and a team.

“What the kids come away with and learn in such a short period of time is magical. The parents share their joy with us after their end-of-the-week performances, often left in awe of their children’s accomplishments in such a short period of time,” says Fugate.

“These camps combine music, theater, arts and dance with an opportunity for hands-on participation and performances. They really give kids their chance to shine.

“We have so many families that come to see the show that are overwhelmed by the scope of what the children have learned and are capable of. It’s a very powerful experience,” says Fugate.

To register: Baumschool.org; 610-433-0032