By Nina O’Leary
The Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance is pleased to announce this year’s Prairie Arts Camp, featuring Twin Cities artists Julie & Gustavo Boada and made possible by the Lake Region Arts Council. Prairie Arts Camp is a summer day camp in Morris that gives children the opportunity to pursue a wide variety of creative outlets including visual, literary, and performing arts for students grades 2-4 and 5-7. The first week (August 3-7) will focus on performing arts, including storytelling, writing, improvisational theater, and dance. The second week (August 24-28) will be a visual arts camp, focusing on painting, clay, drawing, photography, and puppet making. Julie Boada will lead the first week of camp and Gustavo Boada will lead the second. Local artists will also be brought in to teach classes in their specialty, making Prairie Arts Camp a rare and valuable resource for students interested in the arts. Children may attend one week or both. The Boadas will also be providing some evening workshops for interested community members of all ages during their stay.
This summer, the camps will collaborate to create and tell stories of the prairie and all who live there, focusing on relationships to the land. Performing arts camp students will work together to tell and perform these stories using sign language, movement, theatre and music. The visual arts students will bring these stories to life in two and three dimensional ways with painting, drawing, puppets and masks later in the month.
“I hope to have a variety of stories that are directly connected to the prairie,” said Boada. “We will look at how the land speaks to us and how we speak of and to the land through our stories.” Both artists will aid the students in creating ways to communicate their stories “as a gift for the prairie.”
This will be the Boadas’ third visit to the West Central Minnesota area. In 2012 they were guests at Prairie Arts Camp and helped produce “The Wonders of the Wetlands” which was performed at the Morris Area Wetlands Management District Headquarters and featured large Buffalo puppets. In 2013, they taught a group of children and parents mask & puppet making techniques for the PRCA Summer Arts program.
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Registration for camp is now open. Call, email, or stop by the PRCA for materials, or register online through Morris Area Community Education (use course #1470 for week one, course #1471 for week two, and course #1472 for both weeks). Register before July 1 for a 10% discount. Need-based scholarships are available.