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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
Summer Camps

The arts can improve a child's thinking skills

Special Sections Correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: June 21, 2013 at 11:48 AM

For those children with a taste for the arts, there are many summer camps in the Tampa Bay area that will appeal to their creative sides.

While the current focus may be on keeping children physically active during the summer break, it is just as important for a child's mind to stay active. According to Ken Hannon, associate executive director of the Dunedin Fine Arts Center, "Studies have shown that children who study art end up doing better in all of their studies."

The creative processes involved in the arts strengthen abstract thinking and problem-solving skills.

Whether a child's interest is in the performing arts or the visual arts, parents can find a summer camp that will awaken the child's imagination.

The Glazer Children's Museum: The Glazer Children's Museum in downtown Tampa is a popular destination for youngsters, and the museum has several week-long and daily artistic summer camps scheduled for 2013. Additionally, the Glazer Children's Museum is hosting the sixth annual Summer Splash on April 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Summer Splash is a fun way for parents and children to learn about the summer camp offerings at the museum, as well as those being offered by a variety of other organizations. There will be live entertainment, games and giveaways, and the museum exhibits will be open to participants. Summer Splash is an ideal resource for parents to learn about programs being offered for children of all ages during the summer. Representatives are available to answer questions and concerns while children enjoy the fair-like environment. Cost is $5 per person or free for museum members. For information, visit glazermuseum.org, or call (813) 443-3861.

Carrollwood Cultural Center Summer Camp: The center offers hands-on and creative activities through its summer camps, which run from June 10 to Aug. 16. Camps run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with early morning care starting at 7:30 a.m. and afternoon care going until 5:30 p.m.

For more information, visit carrollwoodcenter.org or call (813) 269-1310.

Visual arts camps

Practically Pikasso Kids Art camps: With locations in St. Petersburg and Safety Harbor, Practically Pikasso is offering weekly half-day and full-day camps for children ages 3 to 15 beginning June 10, with half-day camps from July 15 through Aug. 9. Campers will get to work in a variety of mediums, including pottery painting, canvas, spin art, tie dye, clay and glass painting.

"We attempt to touch on every medium," says Paula Lemear, Pikasso store manager. "Children learn art techniques as well as information about specific artists and art history. The camp expands their creativity and keeps their minds sharp."

Camps include an educational component as well as kid-friendly films during lunch breaks. Before care and after care is available as well. For information, visit practallypikasso.com, or call (727) 822-5204.

Dunedin Fine Art Center camp: Dunedin Fine Art Center is offering a series of five summer camps, including Mini-Masters (ages 4 to 5), Sizzlin' Summer Visual Art Camp (ages 6 to 10), Mural Madness (ages 8 to 12), the all new Arts in Motion (ages 8 to 12) and Art Squad (ages 11 to 14).

Each week-long camp features a different theme, such as Pyramid Power, Under the Sea and Knights, Queens and Dragons. Camps are full-day sessions from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Mini-Masters offers both half-day and full-day sessions. Children will explore various media, including drawing, painting, 3D art, clay and photography. The Arts in Motion camps focus on martial arts, contemporary dance and theater production.

Before and after care is available for an additional charge. The center is hosting a Summer Camp Open House April 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. so that parents and children can meet the instructors and get a better understanding of what the camps have to offer.

For information, visit www.dfac.org or call (727) 298-3322.

Morean Arts Center: The Morean Arts Center in downtown St. Petersburg is offering week-long camps for children in age groups 5 to 6, 7 to 10 and 11 to 15.

The Summer Art camp allows youngsters to explore a variety of processes and media used in the creation of visual art pieces. Children will learn the proper use of art tools and media through hands-on experiences that are appropriate for their age group.

The Summer Clay camp guides children through the process of creating sculpture from clay. Younger children work on simpler table-top projects, while teenagers will learn to master the technique of the clay wheel and forming pieces by hand.

The Summer Glass camp is open to those in the 11 to 15 age group and includes instruction on working in three different glass mediums. Children will use what they learn to create original works from glass. For information, visit moreanartscenter.org, or call (727) 822-7872.

Tampa Museum of Art: Young artists ages 6 to 14 can take advantage of the Tampa Museum of Art?s half-day or full-day, week-long summer camps. Children can choose from camps focusing on drawing and painting or mixed media and sculpture, or both.

Camps begin June 17 for children ages 6 to 8, July 8 for children ages 9 to 11 and July 22 for children ages 12 to 14. During the drawing and painting camps, children will focus on the principles of painting and drawing with charcoal, pencil and paint as well as experimenting with different processes. The camp will increase the youngsters' understanding of color, composition and the proper use of different media.

In the mixed media and sculpture camps, children will experiment with volume, space, line and texture and how each relates to building and carving three-dimensional forms. Campers will work with wood, metal, wax and clay to create individual and group projects.

For information, visit tampamuseum.org or call (813) 274-8130.

Kokol Art Studio Summer Camps: Noted local artist Beth Kokol?s week-long afternoon visual arts camps in South Tampa are designed to be fun, while encouraging and developing creativity.

The Mix It Up and What's in the Box camps for children ages 5 to 12 include age appropriate projects in a variety of media, including sculpting, printmaking, clay, painting, drawing and mixed media. The What?s in the Box component of the camp allows children to unleash their imaginations in creating their own unique environments inside of a box.

The painting/mixed media camp for children ages 10 and up is for those who wish to develop a deeper understanding of painting, drawing and mixed media with a focus on developing good technique and skill.

Kokol Art Studio offers weekly evening workshops for middle and high school students looking to improve their artistic talents as well as evening adult/child classes where parents can create projects together with their children.

For information, visit www.bethkokolarts.com or call (813) 334-5100.

Tampa Theatre Summer Camps: The Tampa Theatre Summer camp provides an opportunity for young filmmakers to learn the art of movie production. The week-long classes for children in third through sixth grades meet from 9 a.m. to noon, while children in seventh through 12th grades meet from 1 to 4 p.m.

The camps cover every aspect of moviemaking from generating an idea to storyboarding, filming, lighting, sound and editing. All equipment is provided and the completed original productions will be screened at the Tampa Theatre Film Camp Festival.

Three of the camps, which begin June 17, focus on live action film making, while the fourth camp focuses on stop action animation. Campers receive a DVD of the finished production. Films from previous camps can be watched at www.youtube.com/Tampafilmcamp. For camp information, visit www.tampatheatre.org/education/summer-camp, or call (813) 274-5510.

Performing arts camps

Tampa Creative Camps: Children who are interested in the performing arts may want to consider Tampa Creative Camps. The summer camp sessions run weekly beginning June 4, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Owner Jackie Toledo says that the camps are designed ?to build a child?s self-confidence through participation in the arts.?

Open to children ages 5 to 13, the camp teaches magic, acting, singing, dancing and juggling, as well as visual arts. While some children may be very outgoing and be anxious to perform on stage, even shy children enjoy the camp, working behind the scenes creating stage props, masks and costumes. The camp focuses on presenting two productions during the summer: ?Snow White? on June 28 and ?Seussical the Musical? on Aug. 8.

Toledo says that children not only have fun and make new friends while learning theater at the camp, they also develop life skills and learn to face their fears. For information, visit www.tampacreativecamps.com, or call (813) 410-5682.

Patel Conservatory Summer Camps: The most extensive offering of summer performing arts camps is available through the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa. The camps are available for all ages and skill levels, covering everything from classical dance to rock band and on-camera acting to hip hop dancing.

Most camps last one to three weeks and begin in early June. The camps allow children to explore areas of interest in the performing arts or to expand their skills in a fun, professional environment.

Those who aren?t sure which area of the performing arts they would like to pursue can take part in the Introduction to Performing Arts camp and experience singing, dancing and improvisation. Those with a desire to play a musical instrument can take the Instrumental Petting Zoo camp and test-drive a variety of instruments to find the one that feels right.

For those who have already found their passion, the Patel Conservatory offers more than 100 camps and classes in music, voice, dance and theater for children to learn the craft and improve their skills.

For information, visit www.patelconservatory.org or call (813) 222-1002.

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