By REBECCA HAZEN
Trenton United Methodist Church is sponsoring a Fine Arts Camp July 12-16, with a goal of enriching the local community and its young people.
The week long camp will feature classes in four different concentrations: art, music, drama and dance. As part of the camp, a child can attend five classes in the interest of their choice throughout the week. The classes are broken up into age groups: K-2, grades 3-5, middle school and high school.
Each class is one hour. The five one-hour sessions will conclude with a showcase of accomplishment on the afternoon of July 16. Scheduling makes it possible to attend classes in more than one concentration.
For example, the K-2 sculpture and mixed media art class will be held for five days at 8 a.m., while in another room, the theatre group for middle schoolers will be ongoing. A K-2 student could then attend the 9 a.m. music class, the 10 a.m. theatre class, and the 11 a.m. jazz/contemporary dance class. If a child wants to attend classes in all four interests, the classes will be from 8 a.m. to noon each day.
The cost to attend the camp is $50. Due to the generosity of grants received, children can attend classes for multiple disciplines and it will still only cost $50.
Grants were received by the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, McKenzie Foundation and Knights of Columbus. Church members have also donated scholarship money.
“We want this to be available to any family that wants to have their kids in the arts. Fifty dollars will allow them to do anything they want to do for the week, and if $50 is too much, we have scholarships we can provide,” TUMC Pastor Dennis Flaugher said.
Camp director Dottie Abercrombie said that there has always been a need in Dade County for a program like this.
“We were having a worship meeting, and Robin Rogers had the idea. We needed something for kids to do in Dade County, that doesn’t require them to leave the county. And it has to do with the arts. Not everyone is athletic, but we have lots of people who are talented in many ways,” Abercrombie said.
“Methodist congregations have always tried to measure ministry, not limited to how does a church benefit. That has never been our focus,” Flaugher said. “I think that has been the impetus behind the Fine Arts Camp. How is this going to benefit Dade County? How is this going to help the families?”
Each art concentration is being taught by a teacher, most of which have local ties. Leah Gossett will teach art, and she is a Dade County High School graduate. Erin Potter Faile will teach music, and she is also a DCHS graduate. Jessica Wilson will teach theatre, and she is the current drama teacher at both Dade Middle School and DCHS. Jessica Campbell will be the dance teacher, and she is from Chattanooga.
Abercrombie is a retired music teacher, which is how she was able to arrange the classes.
“These were all friends of mine, aside from [Jessica Campbell], which she is a friend now,” Abercrombie said. “I contacted them and asked what their specialties were and what they thought would work well.”
Registration forms were sent home with elementary students. They were also available at the middle and high school from the fine arts teachers. Forms can also be picked up at the church. There is space for 15 students within each art concentration.
To register for the classes, fill out the form and mail it to Dottie Abercrombie at 9707 Highway 11 South, Trenton, GA, 30752.
“I just hope that they enjoy themselves and they get to experience different types of art,” Abercrombie said. “There are not that many art opportunities in the classroom because teachers are bound by what they have to teach. I just wanted to give the students a chance to do something new and different.”
“I think Dade County does a great job of trying to create opportunities for its kids, but they also realize they have limitations, and nowhere does the arts get hurt more than in those limitations. We are hoping that what we will offer here will be a supplement and a compliment to what is already being done in the county,” Flaugher said.