Civic League arts camp continues in its 11th year

Jessica Boyd • Updated Jun 11, 2016 at 2:00 PM

The Wilson County Civic League’s Summer Arts Camp, in its 11th year, is geared toward reaching inner-city students in the Lebanon community who are in third through eighth grade. 

There are four classes offered for the summer, which include art, drama, music and dance classes. There is no charge for students to take any of the classes. There are about 29 students in the program this year.


“The main reason we have done this camp for 11 years is we want to foster creativity,” said Gerald Patton, the camp’s director. “We want the students to have something to do over the summer. Because a lot of the kids are bored because summer is so long, they get to interact with one another socially and in a creative way.”

Each class has its own theme. The art class theme is self-image and self-expression. Some of the students bring in photos from home and make a collage. 

The music class discusses the importance of dreams, and the students are working on a song called “The Power of the Dream,” which was one of the prominent songs in the 1996 Olympics.

“Andrea Parker teaches the dance class. She is a former participant in the program and has danced for the past 10-12 years. She is now back as a teacher and is working on a group dance with the kids,” said Patton.

Julia Coffin teaches the drama class. Coffin teaches at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, and she teaches the students skits and storytelling.   

In keeping with tradition, the camp will have a closing program June 16 at 6 p.m. It is where the camp showcases what they have done during the two weeks. 

“The parents, the community, and business sponsors are invited,” Patton said. “Everyone is invited so the camp can show what we have done and also to show their appreciation for their support.” 

Some of the camp’s major supporters are the Greater Nashville Regional Arts Council, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp. and the Arts Builds Community Grant.

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