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The Arts & Cultural Council of the Rappahannock

April 13, 2013
Contact: Kathryn Willis
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From Whimsy to Wonder to Wow: Arts for Kids Abound this Summer

Dance, Music, Painting, Drawing, Theatre, Crafts—no matter what the flavor, the arts help children explore their world, and discover a lot about themselves along the way. And summer, with its leisure days and outdoor opportunities, provides the perfect setting. The Fredericksburg region offers a bounty of choices to ignite the imagination of young people, from pre-school through high school.

A visit to guides those seeking arts experiences for children through dozens of creative opportunities. For example, there's the playful "Things with Wings" offered at LibertyTown by Elizabeth Seaver, whose endearingly quaint birds and bugs wheel through their grass-top worlds astride teetering bicycles. Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts' "Art Bug," now in its 23rd year, and led by multiple-honors recipient Cathy Herndon, is a perennial favorite. There is also the more serious Rappahannock Summer Music Camp, providing instrumental instruction by nationally ranked performers, held at Fredericksburg Academy. Or "Skate to Create," where skateboarders design signature graphics for their own skateboard, led by the intensely imaginative folks at PonShop in Old Town Fredericksburg.

The region's Parks and Recreation departments provide numerous affordable sessions, including break dancing (Stafford) and hip-hop (Fredericksburg), as well as arts, crafts, and theater opportunities. Christian Youth Theater, Riverside Theater and Stage Door are among arts organizations for focused theater, music and dance experience.

History camp (James Monroe Museum), diva dancing (Fredericksburg Parks and Rec.), grandparent-grandchild camps (Stratford-Westmoreland), voice (Riverside); Preschool Palette (Belmont-Stafford), arts sampling camps (Creative Side-Stafford; Fredericksburg Area Museum), pottery camp (LibertyTown-Fredericksburg)—there's a LOT to choose from.

The site profiles these offerings and many other offerings, and provides links for more information. Just click on Kids Summer Camps and Classes to discover the creative world awaiting the region's lucky young people.

No matter the choice, the arts are good for children. Research consistently shows that children who participate in the arts score higher on achievement tests; what's more, the more arts classes, the higher the scores. In addition, arts students participate more in community service, and report less boredom in school. Improved socialization skills, task completion, motivation to achieve, and ability to think critically are also linked to participation in the arts.

The Arts & Cultural Council's, an online arts and events service, supports the arts in the central Rappahannock region, and encourages arts participation. As a part of its mission, the Arts Council sponsors this online arts directory as a free service. Further, visitors to the site can add their own page to promote arts opportunities and events if they are not listed. Children and adults alike will discover a wild diversity of arts opportunities available throughout the region.

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Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.