By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(May 28, 2020) The Worcester County Arts Council, the Worcester County Board of Education and the Worcester County Recreation and Parks Department have joined to offer children a free virtual art program starting today.
Anna Mullis, executive director for the arts council headquartered in Berlin, was approached by the Recreation and Parks Department about creating the Worcester County Art Link.
“The Worcester County Arts Council has partnered with two other Worcester County agencies, with the county [board of education] and the county recreation and parks department,” Mullis said. “I am very excited about this collaboration with the two agencies, because the main goal is to provide free arts enrichment programming for children during the summer for kids and teens.”
The art program will be held online through Zoom, and children will be able to register for classes at no charge through the Worcester County Recreation and Parks Department website registration platform at https://campscui.active.com/orgs/WorcesterCountyRecreationPark?orglink=camps-registration.
The classes will be interactive so children may participate with one another as well as the teachers and art instructors teaching the courses.
“We hope to be able to present the results of these classes on our Facebook pages and basically just encourage children to be creative during the summer,” Mullis said.
This is especially important since the Worcester County Art Council will not be able to provide its typical art programs during the summer because of the effort to contain the spread of
“The Worcester County Art Council has a very popular program during its annual summer arts camp for children with hundreds of kids participating each year,” Mullis said. “During these circumstances, we just felt that we couldn’t provide this program on the same the same format as we used to.
“In my opinion, art culture and creativity have always made a difference in a powerful way, especially during challenging times and being inspired and creative cannot be canceled,” she continued.
Classes will begin once a week on Thursdays, typically around 1 p.m. with a class size of no more than 16 students so the instructors will have time to work with.
Each course, according to Coordinator of Instruction Tamara Mills, will vary and may even have materials provided through the Worcester County Recreation and Parks Department.
“The three of us together are providing everything; [the board is providing] the art teachers and the staffing and the Worcester County Arts Council is providing the funding and the Parks and Rec Department will be providing the outlet, the source to share with people,” Mills said. “It will be a great partnership to allow people to be creative and have some fun using artistic lessons.”
The first art project held today was an origami art show, Mills said there are plans to have a clay project and even a coffee paint project.
“We thought about one of our future sessions possibly being a clay project, an air-dry clay, where we could provide some model magic,” she said. “We would provide the supplies at Parks and Rec so that people who participate can just swing by the Parks and Rec Department and pick up the materials, and that way they can participate using the materials.”
Everyone, parents and children alike, should be encouraged to work in art, she said.
“It’s a really nice creative outlet for people to be able to relieve some stress, and it’s a good tool for family time,” Mills said. “A lot of parents are still not quite back to work, or they’re still working from home. So it’s a good lunch break activity for parents to do with kids. And we feel it’s just a nice way to reach out to the community and help them do something at home that is productive and creative.”
Since the program is new, it will begin with four weeks and then the organizations involved will determine if the online arts program will be held throughout the entire summer.
For more information, visit the Worcester County Parks and Rec Facebook page as well the Worcester County Board of Education and Worcester County Arts Council Facebook pages.