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Donations will help bring free arts camp to County children

An anonymous donor has pledged $1,000 toward matching support of a local initiative to continue a free arts camp for children this summer.

Now in its second year, Impact Arts Camp is a free day camp offering arts education to children in the community – exploring everything from dance to food art.

“There aren’t a lot of free opportunities for children in Prince Edward County. We exist to provide everyone with creative and artistic outlets,” said Matthew Sheahan, the camp’s director. “Thank you to our amazing donors. Without you we would not be able to function. We are truly a community-built, grassroots camp.”

Sheahan, the department head of the arts at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute, believes in the importance of artistic expression as part of a child’s development.

“Studies have shown that communities with access to creative learning have lower school dropout rates and higher student success,” he said. “But arts funding is limited. Schools are cutting back on arts budgets and community arts programs can be costly for parents.”

Last year, thanks to a private donation, he was able to provide a solution, holding the inaugural Impact Arts Camp in Picton.

The camp offers 50 school-aged children a free, week-long day program including music, movement, visual arts and other creative endeavours.
The camp is open to children aged seven to 10, and this year, runs from July 10 – 13 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Free time provided an hour before, and after, camp allows working parents more time to drop off and pick up their kids.

Participation includes a number of workshops with professional artists, all materials, and allergy-safe lunches and snacks. It also includes a showcase on Thursday evening so participants can show their parents what they’ve created and learned.

“We’d like to keep this camp going, and keep it free,” said Sheahan, noting next year’s plans involve expanding age ranges and times. “But we still need to pay for food and materials. We also want to pay the wonderful teenaged volunteers who take a week off work to help supervise our campers.”

Volunteers are also welcome to help run arts workshops.

Click here to make direct donations through the Go Fund Me page, or here to visit the Impact Art Camp Facebook page to contact Matthew Sheahan.

Photos from last year’s camp by Mihal Zada



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