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Community Stories

Manhattan Arts Center's summer camps are reaching new heights!

The Manhattan Arts Center offers drama and art classes throughout the school year, and in the summer camps are offered for children in kindergarten through eighth grade. Children can attend camp all day if they want, or there are options for just morning or afternoon camps. The weeks of camp have different themes, this past summer some themes included Fairies & Cyborgs, Mythology & Puppets, Campily Ever After, and Cloud Cuckoo Land.  The summer camp counselors are usually K-State art or drama students or graduates, many of which return year after year. Not only does the staff keep coming back but the campers do as well. There was a camper this summer whose parents couldn’t drop him off at camp because of their work schedule, but this child wanted to be at camp so badly that they rode their bike to and home from camp every day.

A typical day at camp starts in the theater with either reading about the weekly theme or using drama skills to act out the theme. The MAC has found that the reading in the morning encourages the children to want to continue reading at home. For lunch the campers bring their own lunch, but they will usually walk to City Park or another outdoor area to eat and have some free play outdoors. After lunch they head back to the MAC to do different art projects. The students are split up by grade level groups; groups depend on enrollment for each grade. The MAC has a goal to provide “Arts for All,” so there are scholarships available for students on the free and reduced lunch program in school and discounts for military families.

This summer the MAC hosted a special drama camp, just for tweens. This camp was an Inside Out themed camp where the students learned how to explore their emotions and how to communicate the emotions they were feeling. Campers would write, practice then perform the stories that they created. Tween drama camp taught students not just the performance side of theater, but also the all the technical work that is put in for a successful performance. The tweens loved this camp and said they couldn’t wait to come back and do it again.

During the 2016 summer Camp Mac had a record 410 registrations and is hoping to have even more next year. Between now and next summer the MAC is still very active. They have art classes for all ages years round, as well as music classes for children Pre-K to 12 and many opportunities to be in plays. Stop by the MAC so they can continue to provide art for all. 

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