The Grand Creativity Camp 2018 / by Brittany Mathiowetz

This past June, we held our first Creativity Camps at The Grand Center for Arts & Culture. Four excellent instructors, Beth Sletta, Ed Fornberg, Heidi Wilker, and Rhonda Johnson, lead the 4-day event assisted by volunteers throughout the day. The instructors each specialized in different areas including visual arts, science and technology, music, and more. The response by participants and their families was incredible and we will certainly be expanding on this for Summer 2019!

 Morning session kids with their hubcap flowers and flower pots.

Morning session kids with their hubcap flowers and flower pots.

Morning Session (Grades 1-2)

The morning sessions were held from 9-11am and included students that had just finished the first and second grades. We had a good mix of both boys and girls and each had their own interests to explore. One of the most popular projects were the Hubcap Flowers. For this project, the kids painted colorful designs on old hubcaps, Using wire and garden hose, they created stems and leaves to support their flowers. The finished products were installed in The Grand backyard along the fence and patio areas. They really add a splash of color and whimsy our outdoor area and the kids are so proud to see something they created in a public place for all to see!

Of course the hubcap flowers were just one of many projects the kids completed. Origami, rain sticks, aboriginal masks, drums, and painted rocks were all kid favorites. One morning, the kids had the opportunity to combine the arts with technology and created music using play dough, electricity, and a laptop! They learned not only about conductivity, but also music and computer skills.

Afternoon Session (Grades 3-5)

Our afternoon session was held from 1-4pm and was geared towards older children who had just completed grades 3, 4, and 5. Again we had a great mix of boys and girls who came ready to learn and explore each day! As with the morning session, the older kids also created hubcap flowers of their own as well. It was so fun to watch the kids plan what they were going to create on their flowers. Some had very specific designs and plans from the get-go, while others dove right in and adjusted as they painted away. All the flowers turned out so great!

The older kids had more advanced projects to suit their age level. One of the most popular projects was painting using robots! This involved driving robots through paint and onto paper using an iPad to control the movements. As you can see, mixing arts and science was a common theme throughout the entire week. The children also decorated flower pots with paints, markers, beads, tiles and other found objects. They even got their hands a little dirty and planted flowers in them too!  Other popular projects included clapping sticks, finger pianos, spirit drums and using clay to create 3D art projects. By the end of the week each kid had created enough musical instruments to start a band of their own!

 The afternoon session and instructors with their paint rocks on back deck at The Grand.

The afternoon session and instructors with their paint rocks on back deck at The Grand.

The kids were sent home with some really incredible pieces or art and new skills and appreciation for other cultures. We had books available for the kids to further explore topics that sparked a particular interest in them. We also watched videos featuring different cultural traditions before trying them out for ourselves.

All in all it was a great week for all involved and we can't wait to grow the program next year!