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Keep kids creative, connected and engaged this summer

Keep kids creative, connected and engaged this summer

June 10th, 2018 by Adam Cole, in Life & Entertainment

Shelby Kardell/News Tribune Students perform during Capital City Productions' first kids theater camp held at Shikles Auditorium in Jefferson City on Friday, August 04, 2017.

With summer getting into full swing in Jefferson City, there's a ton of opportunities to get children involved in the arts community. With camps ranging from basic art classes to full-on theater productions, the artistic possibilities this summer are endless.

Capital City Production's of "Shrek Jr."

After last summer's camp featured a packed production of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast Jr.," Capital City Productions summer camp is bringing children in the Jefferson City area back to the stage with a production of "Shrek Jr."

"We did our camp last year, our first time, never had a camp before or anything," CCP President Nate Grey said. "It was really good. We had like 50-some kids."

The camp teaches the children about a lot more than just acting, Grey said.

"They get free dance lessons and singing lessons, but we also get into lighting," he said. "We get to teach them how to build a set, we teach them sound, the whole bit. They run the whole show."

Grey said the theater company has figured out "a lot of things" since the first summer camp, including changes in camp age requirements, pricing and showings in part because the camp is expanding.

"Eventually, what we would like is two groups because we're growing and growing and so we're hoping we have enough people sign up in the 8 to 12 (year old) bracket that we could have that version of kids and then do an older one," Grey said.

In fact, with the growth of CCP's summer camp, the company has found itself putting a focus on younger actors and thespians in the summer months. Shows like "Newsies" and "Shrek" have seen a high turnout of teenage cast members, he said.

"They love doing big productions, and doing their productions at school just isn't enough (so) we have shows like 'Newsies,'" Grey said. "The majority of it is all high-schoolers from Helias and Blair Oaks and JC and everything. I try to put those shows in the summer so they can be involved."

Auditions for CCP's "Shrek Jr." are June 25-26 with camp taking place July 16-27. CCP will have two productions of "Shrek Jr." on July 27-28. Visit for more details.

Parks & Recreation Kids Art Camp

Taught by award-winning local art teachers Yvette Joyce and Janis Burgin, the Parks & Recreation Kids Art Camp hosted by Capital Arts is back for its fifth summer.

The camp, which is a week long, offers children a multitude of projects in various art forms.

According to Burgin, children enrolled in the camp have worked on art forms including port acrylic, watercolor, dyes, print making, air-dry clay, needle felting, carving and charcoal drawing.

"We really try to give them a diverse variety of what they'll be doing," said Leann Porrello, executive director for Capital Arts. "Everyday they do a different project."

Although the curriculum changes from year to year, Porrello said the camp tries to keep a consistent message for the young artists.

"We really encourage them to think about art also, not only just in a class environment, but just out in the world as well," Porrello said. "Anything that you find on the street, in your local park, you can turn into art. So we try to teach them that sometimes something as simple as like going out and picking up some leaves and then doing leaf stamping."

The camp takes place July 23-27. Contact Capital Arts at 573-635-8355 or visit for more details.

Village Art Studios Summer Art Camps

Nestled in the Village Square, the Village Art Studios will be hosting themed art camps for students ranging from elementary school to high school for the majority of the summer.

With themes like "In the Garden," "Birds of a Feather" and "Insectomania," as well as a week-long 60s psychedelic-themed teen camp, Village Arts offers plenty to keep children busy this summer.

"We have three teachers," Ann DeRosier, artist at the Village Arts Studio, said, "so Cindy (Schnieders) does paper mache and canvas. Charlotte (Middleton) does cut and paste collage, and then things like two-dimensional, mixed media."

All three of the teachers — DeRosier, Middleton and Schnieders — have taught at either the elementary or high school level.

"They're so agreeable and interesting in trying new things," DeRosier said. "They're friendly, they just love you and they will take instruction. They don't think they know it all."

According to DeRosier, the "Crea-Teens" week-long teen camp will focus more on specifics artists of the 1960s and have "more sophisticated" projects.

For more details, visit or call 573-230-1414.


Parks & Recreation Visual Art Camp - June 18-22 and July 9-13

The Visual Art Academy classes consist of hands-on painting, drawing, cartooning, clay and many other mediums taught by local and professional artists and art teachers. The camp is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at McClung Park Indoor Pavilion. Registration is open through Monday for the first week and through July 2 for the second week. For more information, contact Kathleen Stroup at 573-230-5846 or Parks and Recreation at 573-634-6482.

MUSE & Itsy Bitsy Theater Sketch Comedy Camp - June 18-22

Children ages 8-15 will enjoy learning about the art of sketch comedy utilizing material with special permission from Studio C. The camp is 9 a.m.-noon, with drop off available at 8 a.m. A comedy show will be presented June 23 at Itsy Bitsy Theater at Capital Mall; this event is open to the community. For more information, call 573-469-2392 or visit MUSE Theatre Company on Facebook at

Showdown Academy - June 11-30

Evening registration closed early this month for Showdown Academy — open for those in grades eight through 20 years old — evening performances to see what the students have learned from their theatrical, playwriting and composing experiences are scheduled for June 29- 30. For more information, visit or call Parks and Recreation at 573-634-6482.

MUSE & Itsy Bitsy Theater Folktales and Fables Camp Performances

Children ages 5-8 enjoyed learning warm-ups, getting onstage and curtain calls during this camp held last week. Children will perform their developed individual stories to the community from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. during Folktales and Fables, nature and Missouri conservation based storytelling, July 7 at Runge Nature Center. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 573-469-2392 or visit MUSE Theatre Company on Facebook at