Over the last 20 years, summertime arts opportunities for youth in Del Norte County have multiplied. Due to the hard work of several local nonprofit organizations, arts educators and arts-supportive volunteers, several day camps and activities for young people are now on the table during the summer months.
This trend had been encouraged further by the Wild Rivers Community Foundation's program of Summer Youth Mini Grants (www.wildriverscf.org). Small grants are awarded to agencies to expand and enrich summer recreation programs for Del Norte and Curry counties children operating between June and September, providing monies for expenses such as arts and craft supplies (as well as sports and recreational equipment), special events and field trips, and camperships/scholarships for low-income participants.
Several of the camps and activities described here offer some scholarship help when it’s needed. Phone numbers have been included, for tuition inquiries and further information.
For 20 years, music educators in our region have banded together to accomplish the one-week North Coast Summer Band Camp.
“It was the brainchild of Frank Allard (a longtime, former music teacher for the Del Norte County schools),” said Amy Ross, who is a both a music teacher for the district and teaches at the the choir and band camps. “It’s always held the week immediately following the Del Norte County Fair,” she noted.
From 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each weekday, 75–80 students who have played an instrument for at least one year and are entering the sixth through eighth grades get instruction in sections on their specific instruments, and conclude the day with a full band rehearsal.
There is a public performance at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, in the Crescent Elk School gym. So far, about 30 registration forms have been turned in for this year’s camp. Those interested need to apply soon; the camp starts at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 6. To get an application or more information, contact Ross at 465-3732.
• About five years ago, Lighthouse Repertory Theatre stepped up to fill a gap in summertime experiences for kids by offering the Summer Performing Arts Day Camp, which gives acting, vocal, dance, costuming and props experience to 33 students entering the first through eighth grades.
This year, the camp expands to two weeks and will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays Aug. 6-17. The camp is currently at capacity on paper, but a waiting list has been created. Information: call 465-3740.
There will be a theatrical performance open to the public on Friday evening, Aug. 17, at Mary Peacock Elementary School. The script of “Pirates vs. Princesses, with Zombies at the End” has been written by local English instructor, writer and thespian, Ruth Rhodes.
• New this summer, Stagelights — a nonprofit based in Brookings — has organized a “Day of Drums,” to be held in Crescent City on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Pine Grove School. Beginning at 10 a.m. and running until 2 p.m., this unique workshop gives students and families of all ages a chance to learn about and play Latin and Native American hand drums and percussion, as led by Mombo Hernandez and Michael Penny.
The day concludes with a barbecue lunch and a group drum circle. Space is limited to 50 people; those interested should pick up and fill out the registration form as soon as possible at Del Norte Office Supply. Information: call Scott Graves at (541) 412-3404.
For children interested in dance and movement, a couple of options are accessible:
• Dance Art Studio’s summer session began July 16, and runs through Aug. 24. Offered at that 485 I St. location are ballet, jazz and acrobatics for ages 3 and up. Information: call 464-6817.
Free classes called “Music and Movement” are provided by the Del Norte Child Care Council (DNCCC) for First 5 Del Norte at the Family Resource Center, 494 Pacific Ave. The session from 10 to 11 a.m. on Mondays is for the wee folk ages 1–2. The session from 3 to 3:45 p.m. on Fridays is for ages 3–5. Information: call Ashley Presler at 464-8311, ext. 212.
• Visual art classes are not as widespread as the performing arts, but a small number are available. Artist Laura Wiens is teaching introductory two-hour workshops and three-week sessions of beginning oil painting for youth ages 8-18 in her studio/gallery space, High Ground, in the harbor above Crescent Harbor Gallery. Some scholarships are available, thanks to an anonymous donor. Information: call (719) 494-9216.
• Recology Del Norte, in conjunction with Julindra Recycling, sponsors a free Recycled Summer Art Program from 3 to 5 p.m. every other Thursday through Aug. 30 at the Del Norte County Library (464-9793).
The next session is Aug. 2; projects include collage and sculptural hangings.
• Last but not least, also sponsored by DNCCC for First 5 and free at the Family Resource Center from 10 a.m. to noon on Fridays are “Play and Learn” classes for kids 5 and younger, which incorporate hands-on projects in science, health and art, including watercolor, puppets, collage and finger painting.