When I reflect back on Dutchess Arts Camp over the last 30 years, I recall so many creative and amazing experiences, memories that will last forever, and friendships that will continue to enrich my life. Thousands of children throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond have participated in this unique program which has always maintained the philosophy of Building self-esteem, while learning through the arts. How did it all begin?
In 1981 I opened my art studio on Mill Street in the City of Poughkeepsie on the 4th floor of a historic factory building and sublet space to 12 other visual artists. We named the studio Mill Street Loft. As an artist, art teacher, and mother, I recognized the need for an innovative summer arts camp which would totally engage children in the creative process through the visual and performing arts. At that time, there were almost no summer camps for kids in the region and no Arts programs in the area. As a result, I created the Dutchess Arts Camp to fulfill this community need and also to provide a unique and imaginative multi-arts program for my own children. It soon became the first program of Mill Street Loft with our professional studio artists as teachers and 19 children in attendance. It was an amazing success!
Over the last 30 years, Dutchess Arts Camp continued to blossom, serving thousands of children ages 3– 14 at multiple locations. Many of those children are now professional artist educators while others have come back as parents, bringing their young children as campers. I am so excited that this summer my five year old granddaughter will be attending the Poughkeepsie campus, and I can so easily remember back to 1982 when our daughter was a major part of the first years of creating Dutchess Arts Camp.
Dutchess Arts Camps now have campuses in Poughkeepsie, Red Hook, Millbrook and new this summer, Beacon; at The River Center, where we will provide multi-arts programs to children and adults throughout the year.
Children Explore, Discover, Create and Have Fun as they stretch their imaginations and make new friends in a nurturing environment. At Dutchess Arts Camp professional artist educators engage children in the creative process and empower them to express their own ideas. The program is developmentally designed for each age group and activities include clay, stained glass, puppetry, printmaking, fiber arts, animation, digital film, robotics, drawing, painting, set design, music, drumming, dance, magic, mime, drama, creative writing, cartooning, photography and more…
For more information, visit http://millstreetloft.org/dutchess-art-camp/