Summer Camps Offer Fun, Learning in Arts, STEAM, Film, Theatre

Engineering & Technology is one of two STEAM camps offered at ASC this summer. Other Camps are Game Design & Development, Art I, Art II, Filmmaking, Theatre, and Theatre Jr.

Engineering & Technology is one of two STEAM camps offered at ASC this summer. Other Camps are Game Design & Development, Art I, Art II, Filmmaking, Theatre, and Theatre Jr.

Limited Number of Scholarships Available

Spring is in its early days, but registration is already underway for the Arts & Science Center’s 2019 summer camps.

Students ages 7-17 can explore topics such as art, engineering, technology, game design and development, filmmaking, and theatre.

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ART

Art I is a half-day camp (June 10-14) for ages 7-12. Art II is a full-day camp (July 22-26) for ages 13-17.

Both camps include lessons in drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture with exploration of current ASC art exhibitions. Students will create 2D and 3D projects, and focus not only on artistic methods and working with different media, but also appreciating how to create and visualize art through nontraditional means. ASC Public Programs Coordinator Shakeelah Rahmaan will lead the art camps with workshops by guest instructors.

Art I will include a “puddle painting” workshop with guest artist Jeannie Stone. Art II will feature Build Your Own Altar with guest artist Suzannah Schreckhise. Both artists have works featured in the Our Front Porch exhibit, on view at ASC from April 25 through July 27.

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FILMMAKING

In Filmmaking Camp (July 8-12), students ages 7-17 will experience all of the technological, creative and artistic aspects of filmmaking. They will explore storytelling as an art form, by developing a film idea, shooting the video, recording audio and editing their creation.

Eva Belle, mass communication instructor and debate coach at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, leads the camp.

One can see how much fun students had during the 2018 camp by checking out the films they created. (Last year’s camp films will also be shown at the 2019 UAPB Film Festival on April 10.)

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STEAM

ASC Digital Media Specialist Ashley Smith will lead the two STEAM camps, which are for ages 13-17.

Through hands-on building and experimentation, Engineering & Technology (July 15-19) students will be introduced to electric circuits, LEDs and switches, stop-motion animation, computer coding and apps, conductors and semiconductors, programming motors and app development.

Game Design & Development (July 15-19) students will use virtual development to learn the fundamentals of creating a game through computer programming and animation, creative problem solving, mathematics, storytelling and teamwork.

Students can enroll in both half-day camps for a full day of STEAM learning with a discounted fee.

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Theatre

Justin A. Pike returns to lead the theatre camps.

Theatre Camp is full-day, month-long (June 3-28) immersive camp for students ages 13-17. They will learn all aspect of theater production: from directing to acting, from scenery construction to light & sound design. Through theater, students will practice creativity and innovation while they improve their skills in performance, collaboration, and technology. The camp will culminate in a junior production.

Theatre Jr. Camp, a half-day, two-week (June 17-28) camp for ages 7-12, will introduce the basic concepts of storytelling, acting technique, and production tech. Students will have fun with lively drama games designed to support the budding thespian in your student. The camp will culminate with a skit performed for family and friends. 

Pike is artistic director of The Studio Theatre in Little Rock, and director of the Young Players Second Stage program at The Royal Theater in Benton. Pike studied theater at the University of Central Arkansas.

SCHOLARSHIPS

A limited number of scholarships are available; eligibility is based on financial need, including household income and household size. The deadline for submitting scholarship applications is 10 days before the first day of the camp begins, but parents are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible. Scholarship application forms are available online or picked up at ASC’s front desk.

Windgate Foundation, Ben J. Altheimer Foundation, and the June and Edmond Freeman Endowment are among the organizations graciously contributing to ASC’s scholarship fund.

EXTENDED CARE

Extended care is available for parents and guardians who need a little extra time to pick up their children from camp. Extended care lasts until 1 hour past the camps’ designated end time. Cost is $5 per day preregistered, or $8 per day unplanned. 

Advanced registration is required for all camps. Camp registration and more details are available at the summer camp web page. For more information, email ASC Public Programs Coordinator Shakeelah Rahmaan at srahmaan@asc701.org or ASC Theatre Education Coordinator Lindsey Collins at or lcollins@asc701.org, or call 870-536-3375.

Crossroad Festival­ Explores Southeast Arkansas’s Cultural Heritage

Family-Friendly Programming Highlights African American, French, and CHinese Communities’ Contributions through Story, Music, Food and Film

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By Shannon Frazeur

The Arts & Science Center invites the community to learn more about the area’s cultural heritage during the 2019 Crossroad Festival, ASC’s three-day, family-friendly cultural celebration. This multi-program event explores Jefferson County and Southeast Arkansas’s cultural heritage through the interpretive lens of story, music, foodways, and film.

All festival events are free and open to the public with no tickets or reservations required. Families are encouraged to attend.

Attendees of Folktales Family Fun, 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2, will be invited to make masks of the French Creole folktale characters Bouki (left) and Lapin. (PHOTO COURTESY DR. ELISTA ISTRE)

Attendees of Folktales Family Fun, 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2, will be invited to make masks of the French Creole folktale characters Bouki (left) and Lapin. (PHOTO COURTESY DR. ELISTA ISTRE)

Each year, the festival highlights different cultural groups that have made a lasting impact on the history, culture, and traditions of Southeast Arkansas. This year’s event features programming on the African American, French and Chinese communities’ regional cultural heritage.

“It’s not a festival in the contemporary sense with food and product vendors,” said ASC Executive Director Dr. Rachel Miller. “Instead, it’s a celebration.”

The festival kicks off Friday, March 1, at 7 p.m. with a program incorporating African American folktales and slave narratives into an interpretative performance involving musicians and actors from the community. Saturday, March 2, features two family programs featuring folklore and food, with hands-on activities. The event caps off Sunday afternoon, March 3, with a screening of the 2006 animated film The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, with director and Pine Bluff native Byron Vaughns.

The 2019 Crossroad Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and sponsorships by the Pine Bluff Advertising & Promotion Commission and Simmons Bank.

This is the second year for the Crossroad Festival. Last year’s festival focused on the region’s Quapaw Indian, French, and African American cultural heritage.

The Crossroad Festival was inspired by ASC’s Heritage Detectives project. A historian and artist were placed in Pine Bluff, Dumas, McGehee, and Lake Village classrooms to work with students on uncovering and depicting the diverse cultural influences of Southeast Arkansas through pictorial histories.

The festival idea percolated after ASC staff attended cultural programs at other institutes.

“The event was first initially conceptualized after staff attended the FUSION: Arts & Humanities Arkansas festival hosted by the Clinton Presidential Center in February 2017,” explained ASC Executive Director Dr. Rachel Miller. “In discussion with members of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma Cultural Committee, it was determined that there would be an audience for a similar event, but specifically focusing on the Quapaw’s history and legacy in Jefferson County.”

ASC will host a screening of the animated film  The Adventures of Brer Rabbit  on Sunday, March 3, at 1 p.m. during the Crossroad Festival.

ASC will host a screening of the animated film The Adventures of Brer Rabbit on Sunday, March 3, at 1 p.m. during the Crossroad Festival.

Shortly thereafter, ASC staff attended a screening of the documentary film First Cousins: Cajun and Creole Music in South Louisiana documentary, and met with the film’s producer and scholar Dr. Elista Istre about influences of Cajun and Creole culture in Delta regional music. 

“All agreed that Pine Bluff, a city originally settled by Joseph Bonne, who was half French and half Quapaw Indian, would be ideal central location to host a cultural event that explores the county's French and Quapaw roots through primary sources,” Miller said.

In June 2017, ASC hosted a free screening of the AETN documentary, Dream Land: Little Rock’s West 9th Street. “We received an overwhelming response from the audience to host more similar events that focus on the area's African American heritage,” Miller said. Subsequently, ASC reached out to Jimmy Cunningham Jr., executive director of the Delta Rhythm & Blues Bayous Alliance, about organizing an event exploring Jefferson County’s African American history through music.

2019 Programming

Friday, March 1, 7-9 p.m. — Tricksters, Tall Tales, and Blues Notes

Jimmy Cunningham

Jimmy Cunningham

This year’s festival kicks off with a night of lore, music and interpretation with the program Tricksters, Tall Tales, and Blues Notes. The event will combine living history, folklore, and musical performance in exploring African American experiences in Southeast Arkansas. Jimmy Cunningham Jr., with whom ASC collaborated during last year’s festival, writes and directs this program featuring regional actors and musicians.

The program is presented in four parts, and will explore four themes: folk heroes, prison folk music, animal folktales, and urban folklore.

Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. — Folktales & Foodways Family Fun

The festival’s second day will comprise two family-friendly programs, with lunch available for purchase.

In the morning session, Heritage Studies and Living History Interpretation scholar Dr. Elista Istre will lead Folktales Family Fun — a family storytelling, hands-on program. She will share traditional French Creole stories of the characters of Bouki (a fox) and Lapin (a rabbit), which are similar to the “Brer Rabbit” tales. She will also explore the links between West Africa, the Caribbean, and the American South. The program will include a craft workshop in which the children can make a mask of Bouki or Lapin to take home with them.

Dr. Elista Istre

Dr. Elista Istre

Ilstre is the founder of Belle Heritage, offering consulting, programming, and tours that inspire individuals and organizations to celebrate the beauty of heritage. Last year, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press published her book Creoles of South Louisiana: Three Centuries Strong, which began as a dissertation during her time in Arkansas State University’s Heritage Studies program. She will have her books available for purchase at the festival.

She was also involved with the 2018 Crossroad Festival. She and her sister, Dr. Moriah Istre, screened their documentary film, First Cousins: Cajun and Creole Music in South Louisiana, and sat on a panel that discussed the French connections within Louisiana and Arkansas. She lives in Lafayette, La.

For the afternoon program, Istre will join Food Studies and Material Culture scholar Kevin Kim to expand the festival theme of cultural diffusion and adaption with Foodways & Tales. The program will provide a historical context for the foodways of South Louisiana’s Creole people, and Southeast Arkansas’s Cantonese communities, and address how both cultures have negotiated the fine lines between assimilation and isolation within the larger mainstream American culture.

Kevin Kim

Kevin Kim

Both scholars will share family stories and recipes. In a cooking demonstration, children from the Jefferson County 4-H Club will cook greens the Creole way to compare and contrast with how the Cantonese prepare greens as demonstrated by Kim.

Kim is a doctoral student in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he also teaches courses on material culture and popular culture. His research interests focus on the cultural politics of food in American life, with a special emphasis on Asian American foodways. His work has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR). He has held curatorial internships at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and has worked with the Southern Foodways Alliance. He was born in South Korea and has lived in Los Angeles and Little Rock.

Pop’s Place food truck will be at ASC from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. so visitors can enjoy lunch between the programs­.

Byron Vaughns

Byron Vaughns

Sunday, March 3, 1-3 p.m.The Adventures of Brer Rabbit Screening and Q&A with Director/Animator Byron Vaughns

Continuing the exploration of African American folktales, ASC will close the 2019 festival with a screening of the 2006 animated Universal Pictures film The Adventures of Brer Rabbit. A question-and-answer session will follow with the film’s director, Byron Vaughns.

A Pine Bluff native and a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Vaughns has worked on many classic animated television shows including Alvin & the Chipmunks, The Smurfs, Animaniacs, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. He won an Emmy in 1993 for directing Tiny Toon Adventures, which was selected for best animated daytime series. Vaughns lives in White Hall after residing in the Los Angeles area for more than three decades.



First-Time Director Brings Musical Fun Of 'Sister Act' To ASC's Bellamy Theatre

Nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier (Angelica Glass) shakes up a Philadelphia convent and helps its vocally challenged choir became a singing sensation in ASC's musical production of "Sister Act." The show opens Thursday, July 26, and runs through Sunday, July 29.

Nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier (Angelica Glass) shakes up a Philadelphia convent and helps its vocally challenged choir became a singing sensation in ASC's musical production of "Sister Act." The show opens Thursday, July 26, and runs through Sunday, July 29.

By Shannon Frazeur

Lindsey Collins has been running around for months, spinning the plates that is directing a theatrical production.

The musical Sister Act marks her 30th — that’s right, 30th — production at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. But it is her first time calling the shots.

Sister Act  director Lindsey Collins

Sister Act director Lindsey Collins

Collins, her crew, and her cast of almost 30 are in final rehearsals for Sister Act, which opens at ASC on Thursday, July 26, runs until Sunday, July 29.

Sister Act tells the the story of a nightclub singer named Deloris Van Cartier, who witnesses her gangster boyfriend murder one of this cronies. She is put into protective custody at a convent full of non-singing nuns. Deloris uses her singing abilities to help the choir become a sensational singing group, all while learning valuable life lessons and the value of sisterhood, Collins explained.

“It’s a very fun little story.”

The musical is based on the 1992 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, but with some key differences.

“The music is all original, written for the show,” Collins explained. “It’s actually written by Alan Menken, who did all the music for The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors, and a bunch of other very popular musicals. And it’s all ‘70s disco music. It’s set in the ‘70s, so it has that fantastic disco vibe to it.”

Sister Act is also a heavy ensemble show. “Usually you have a few ensemble numbers and mainly solos, but in this show, it’s mainly ensemble numbers and a few solos.”

It’s also music heavy, she said. “It’s probably 80 percent music, and 20 percent dialogue.”

NEWCOMERS AND VETERANS

For most of the cast, Sister Act will mark their first time on the Catherine M. Bellamy Theatre stage.

“We have a cast of 28. And 20 of the 28 have never been in a show before — this is their first time ever being in a play here,” Collins said. “And they all heard through word of mouth and through Facebook, through the marquee outside The Center, and they just decided, ‘Hey, I love Sister Act!’ The name drew them in. Everyone sees the name and thinks of the movie.”

A production with so many new actors might seem daunting, but not for the Sister Act cast and crew.

“They are very very committed to what they’re doing for this show, and that makes my job a whole lot easier,” Collins said. “They're all super talented. Pine Bluff has way more talent than I think we've ever knew, and we’re just scratching the surface with what we’ve done so far here.”

Angelica Glass plays the lead role of Deloris Van Cartier in  Sister Act .

Angelica Glass plays the lead role of Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act.

One of the newcomers is Monticello native Angelica Glass, who plays the lead role of Delores Van Cartier.

“She literally came out of nowhere,” Collins said. “We had a not-so-great turnout for our first round of auditions, so I decided to make an audition notice on all the swap shops on Facebook that I could think of. She just happened to see it go through her newsfeed and came to the audition that night.

“The minute she walked through the door, all three of us lit up like Christmas morning,” Collins said.

“She walked in, and she just embodied everything. And she’s one of the nicest people that I’ve ever met, and she’s super talented. As a director, you want someone who’s very easy to work with and takes direction really well.

“This voice comes out of her, and it’s just awesome.”

Collins pride in her entire cast is evident. “Everyone in this cast is so incredibly talented. We have a 17-year-old all the way up to 70-something.”

“There’s some people in this that just blew me away. They’re all very considerate of everybody else. It’s a very wonderful atmosphere to be a part of. We’re all working toward the same goal. There’s not anybody who feels like they’ve got too much on them. It’s a very cohesive unit, and we’ve been working together very well. I want everyone to leave this process, wanting to come back and do another show.”

While most of Sister Act’s cast is comprised of newcomers, the production crew are mostly ASC stage veterans.

Sister Act  Music Director Andee Book

Sister Act Music Director Andee Book

Andee Book works alongside Collins as Sister Act music director. He an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where he teaches applied voice, piano, music history, diction, vocal pedagogy, and music appreciation courses. He is also the assistant director of the Vesper Choir and departmental accompanist for various recitals and performances.

”He is amazing and I don’t know how we would have been able to have put this all together without his expertise because he is absolutely wonderful and gifted at being a music director,” Collins said.

Bethany Gere is choreographer. “She has this wonder vision, and she's able to get non-dancers to look like dancers, and that's a huge accomplishment in community theater,” Collins laughed.

“My choreographer and music director have been amazing,” Collins said. “We’ve had moments where we’ll have one thing going on on the stage, one thing going on in the studio, and one thing going on out in the hallway, just to keep things moving. I don’t like downtime, either. I don’t like people to sit there not doing something.”

Joel Anderson is assistant director. Sister Act is Anderson’s eighth ASC production. He played Edna Turnblad in ASC’s 2012 production of Hairspray. Anderson is also a pageant judge for the state of Arkansas. “He notices things I might have missed aesthetic-wise,” Collins said.

“It’s a very cohesive team. The crew is, the cast is. If we don’t all work together, it’s not going to work out right. And without them, I don’t think I would have my sanity left.”

‘Theater Rat’

Collins began working on or in ASC productions as a teenager in 2001, and Sister Act is her 30th production to be part of at the Arts & Science Center.

Previous ASC shows in which she has been in the cast or crew include:

  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory ("Mrs. Gloop")
  • Hairspray (“Velma VonTussle”)
  • Gypsy (“Mama Rose”)
  • Bye Bye Birdie (“Ursula Merkle”)
  • Chicago (stage manager)
  • Rebel Without A Cause (assistant stage manager)
  • Alice in Wonderland (makeup and costumes)
  • 42nd Street
  • Mr. Scrooge (“Mrs. Fezziwig”)
  • Antigone
  • About a dozen Razzle Dazzle productions (she’s done so many that she’s lost count)

“I love theater. I’ve been a theater rat since I was 15. It’s like putting on a pair of pajamas that fits just right. It may not fit everybody, but it fits me!”

So taking on the role of director was a natural progression for her.

“I got to the point where I wanted to be more creative with what goes on and I wanted to call the shots and make sure we had a great summer production. I was excited when [ASC Executive Director Dr. Rachel Miller] asked me to do it. First, I messaged her and asked if I could direct, and then we when decided on the show, I was thrilled.”

In addition to its theater productions, Collins has had an hand in other ASC projects, such as the biannual fundraising gala Potpourri.

“If The Center calls me, I’m answering the phone to help.”

Collins also helped teach ASC’s after-school shadow puppet program this spring. “That was so much fun. We had a group of about nine kids and they were amazingly smart and well- behaved, and it was a great experience, and I got to work with Leonor [Colbert, ASC’s public programs coordinator], who is a blast to work with.”

“I love The Center. It’s my second home. I might as well have a tent here.”

Collins has a bachelor’s degree in theater from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and did several productions while a student. She is a Pine Bluff High School graduate, and except for the four years she attended UAF, has lived in Pine Bluff her entire life.

She works for CoOperative Life Insurance Company. Collins said that her boss, ASC board member Adam Robinson, is “super supportive” of everything she’s doing with the show. Her family — which includes her husband of 10 years, Jeff, son Dorian, and daughter Caylex — is also supportive. “There are times when it becomes consuming being in charge of something like this, but the outcome is so worth it.”

She has dedicated every show she has been a part of in honor of her father, John Byus III, since he died two years ago.

Collins has enjoyed the collaborative and creative process of bringing Sister Act to ASC.

“It’s a really awesome process. I like that we have a lot of new people because they’re able to share their talents with me, and our cast, and the rest of Pine Bluff. That’s exciting, to share your abilities and your talents, and your love and your passion and whatever it is. That’s why I wanted to direct something.”

 

SISTER ACT

July 26 (opening night-SOLD OUT!), July 27, and July 28 at 7:30 p.m., and July 29 at 2 p.m.  

Director: Lindsey Collins. Music Director: Andee Book

Music by: Alan Menken. Lyrics by: Glenn Slater

Tickets are $18 for members, $22 for nonmembers, and $10 for students. Tickets may be purchased online, by calling 870-536-3375, or visiting the Center in person at 701 S. Main St. in downtown Pine Bluff.

 

King Foundation Grant to Expand ASC's Makerspace Theatre Program

Students in the Arts & Science Center’s shadow puppet program shared the product of their work with family and friends May 23 during Family & Community Night at ASC. The evening was a culmination of a 12-week after-school theater program with students from the Boys & Girls Club. The program was facilitated by Leonor Colbert (above), ASC Public Program Coordinator, and Lindsey Collins, director for "Sister Act," ASC's summer musical. The King Foundation grant will help to support ASC's youth theatre-immersion program.

Students in the Arts & Science Center’s shadow puppet program shared the product of their work with family and friends May 23 during Family & Community Night at ASC. The evening was a culmination of a 12-week after-school theater program with students from the Boys & Girls Club. The program was facilitated by Leonor Colbert (above), ASC Public Program Coordinator, and Lindsey Collins, director for "Sister Act," ASC's summer musical. The King Foundation grant will help to support ASC's youth theatre-immersion program.

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The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas has received a grant of $35,000 from the Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation in support of ASC's expanded youth theatre-immersion program, "The Stage," ASC Executive Director Dr. Rachel Miller announced June 13. "The Stage" is a makerspace for innovation and creativity through theatre.

students in The Boys & Girls club get ready to show off their shadow puppetry for family and friends at ASC on May 23.

students in The Boys & Girls club get ready to show off their shadow puppetry for family and friends at ASC on May 23.

Building upon ASC’s established STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Math) programming foundation, “The Stage” takes a holistic approach to theatre by engaging students in all aspects of theatre: directing, acting, playwriting, scenery construction, costume design, light and sound design, stage management, playbill design, and marketing and promotion of productions. All components are considered STEAM learning. By incorporating technology, students will learn coding and circuitry for scenery special effects, audio and film for documenting, and basic graphic design — all which ASC already provides through our programs.

Involving youth in community arts programs provides opportunity to cultivate civic engagement, which benefits the community at large; develop practical and personal skills considered instrumental in academic and career success, such as creative thinking, self-confidence, identity building, problem solving, collaboration, communication skills, and valuing constructive feedback, and ensures access to the arts for youth from low-income families who don’t possess the means to participate in programs in arts-resource rich regions of Arkansas.

ASC leverages funding from local and state grants, sponsorships, and foundations to provide half and full scholarships for “The Stage” summer program for ages 7-17. The all-day, month-long camp kicked off Monday, June 18, and culminates in an all-youth production of “It’s Not Ugly ... It’s Art!” on Friday, July 13, and Saturday, July 14.

In addition to the summer program, “The Stage” offers professional development workshops, internships, and free after-school theatre programming. This spring, Leonor Colbert, ASC Public Program Coordinator, and Lindsey Collins, director of ASC's summer musical production of "Sister Act," led the Boys & Girls Club 12-week shadow puppet program.

The King Foundation grant will assist the growth of ASC’s scope of community outreach through “The Stage” project. Starting this fall, programming will include an in-school component, a “digital” tool box for educators, and regional outreach.

ASC is immensely grateful for the King Foundation's support of our endeavors to provide access to the arts for everyone.

About the King Foundation

Carl B. and Florence E. King started the foundation that bears their names in 1966. Since then, the King Foundation has distributed more than $64 million to agencies operating in Texas and Arkansas while maintaining the legacies created by Carl “Big Jim” and Florence “Meemaw” King and their daughter, Dorothy.

Scholarships Available for Summer Camps

Students create their own short films during the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas’ filmmaking camp in 2017. The 2018 filmmaking camp for ages 7-17 will be held July 16-20.

Students create their own short films during the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas’ filmmaking camp in 2017. The 2018 filmmaking camp for ages 7-17 will be held July 16-20.

By Shannon Frazeur

Children and teens have several options for fun and educational activities this summer at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. ASC is hosting a slate of camps for students ages 6 to 17 in art, engineering and technology, game design and development, theater, filmmaking, and even swing dance.

Through the generosity of the June and Edmond Freeman Endowment, Simmons First Foundation, Windgate Foundation, Ben J. Altheimer Foundation and Synergy Forum Inc., ASC can provide full and partial scholarships for students to attend this year's summer camps.

“We’re very fortunate this summer to have the support of the community and to be able to offer these scholarships,” said ASC Executive Director Dr. Rachel Miller.

The camps exemplify ASC’s mission to serve as a cultural crossroad: engaging, educating and entertaining through the arts and sciences. The camps’ curricula incorporates aspects of “STEAM” — science, technology, engineering, ART and math — through student-driven projects. The camps also help students to develop the “soft skills” needed to cultivate leadership and collaboration.

“The arts help to develop 21st century skills,” ASC Public Programs Coordinator Leonor Colbert explained. “Art helps prepare kids to be future leaders in many areas of their lives because it boosts problem-solving skills, empathy, being able to see problems from other people’s perspectives, and communication and collaboration.”

Colbert is leading the two visual art camps. Art I (ages 6-11) and Art II (ages 12-17) combine lessons in drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture with exploration of current ASC art exhibitions. Students will create 2D and 3D projects, and focus not only on artistic methods and working with different media, but also on the creative process itself.

“With the art camps, it’s more than just doing a bunch of art projects — we will also do activities each day to stretch their creativity muscles,” Colbert said. “The older students will be encouraged to explore the value of art in their own lives and what role art can play in their future success.”

ASC Digital Media Specialist Ashley Smith will lead the two STEAM camps, which are for ages 12-17.

Through hands-on building and experimentation, Engineering & Technology students will be introduced to electric circuits, LEDs and switches, stop-motion animation, beginning computer coding and apps, conductors and semiconductors, programming motors and app development.

Game Design & Development students will use virtual development to learn the fundamentals of creating a game through computer programming and animation, creative problem solving, mathematics, storytelling and teamwork.

Students can enroll in both half-day technology camps for a full day of STEAM learning and a discounted fee.

Justin Pike, Artistic Director for The Studio Theatre in Little Rock, is leading “The Stage” makerspace theater camp for ages 7-17.

The program takes a holistic approach to theater. Participants will sample all aspects of theater — including script writing, stage management, set design, light and sound design and costume design — as well as acting and directing. Incorporating technology, participating students will learn coding and circuitry for scenery special effects, audio and film for documenting, and basic graphic design to create a program for their production.

Their month of hard work will culminate in the production of a one-act play, Gary Ray Stapp’s “It’s Not Ugly ... It’s Art!” with public performances Friday, July 13, and Saturday, July 14.

“The students will have done everything in this play from the ground up,” Colbert said. “Each student will be making substantive creative contributions to the production.” The students will do everything needed to put on a production, including designing and building the sets and other jobs that do not necessarily include acting and directing but are equally important.

“They don’t always see themselves on center stage — but there are so many different ways that they can be a part of it,” Colbert said.

Eva Belle, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Mass Communication instructor and debate coach, will lead the Filmmaking camp. Students ages 7-17 will explore storytelling as an art form, develop a film idea, shoot video, record audio and edit their creation. They will be immersed in both the technology and the creative and artistic aspects of filmmaking.

“The summer camp will be composed of educational and fun creative activities that we’re sure your child will enjoy,” Belle said. “They will learn the logistics of acting, storytelling and filming."

Special guest instructor Nick Davis will lead the “Swing, Art and All That Jazz” camp. Interested students must apply to this camp. If selected, this camp is provided at no cost to the student. 

Special guest instructor Nick Davis will lead the “Swing, Art and All That Jazz” camp. Interested students must apply to this camp. If selected, this camp is provided at no cost to the student. 

In the “Swing, Art and All That Jazz” camp, made possible through a grant from the Arkansas Department of Education, students will explore the living traditions of swing dance and music. Students will learn a different style of swing dance each day of camp and produce a short video about the history of swing. Special guest instructor Nick Davis is an ambassador with the Frankie Manning Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and instruction of traditional swing dancing. Davis has traveled nationally and internationally to teach and DJ at swing dance events, and founded Track Town Swing Club.

This camp is for students in seventh, eighth and ninth grades during the 2017-18 school year. Participants do not need to be in gifted and talented programs at their school to apply. If selected, this camp is provided at no cost to the student.

For full descriptions and dates of the camps, please visit the summer camp webpageAdvance registration is required for all camps.

Scholarship eligibility is based on financial need, including household size and household income. The deadline for submitting scholarship applications for June camps is June 1, and July 1 for July camps. Parents are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible.

Any questions about camps or scholarships may be directed to Leonor Colbert, ASC public programs coordinator, at 870-536-3375 or lcolbert@asc701.org.