Arts Featured During Summer Academy Session

BERLIN– In an effort to expand its reach, the Worcester County Arts Council worked with local schools to offer a first of its kind Summer Arts Week.

From July 19-23, the Worcester County Arts Council (WCAC) partnered with Worcester County Public Schools to bring the arts to area elementary schools. Throughout the week, visual artists and musicians shared their work with students.

“We thought we’d take the program to the kids,” said Donna Main, president of the Worcester County Arts Council’s board. “We’re hoping this will expand our presence in the county.”

For decades, the WCAC has offered a week-long summer arts program to local children. Because it was typically held in Berlin, however, it wasn’t as accessible to students in Snow Hill and Pocomoke. This year, WCAC board member Priscilla Zytkowicz suggested the WCAC bring its summer program to the children by visiting elementary schools during their summer academy sessions.

“We wanted to be more diverse and more inclusive,” Zytkowicz said.

Artists and volunteers visited Buckingham Elementary School Monday to kick off the program, which continued the rest of the week at other Worcester County elementary schools. With the help of special guest artists, students were able to experience music, practice printmaking and create mosaics. Summer Arts Week will culminate Friday with a family field day in Snow Hill.

WCAC members were excited to see students at Buckingham Elementary School engaged in the program Monday.

“We’re really thrilled to see everything going so smoothly,” said Anna Mullis, WCAC executive director, praising the new take on the summer program. “It allows us to partner with other agencies and the impact is much larger.”

Zytkowicz said the program had fit well into the school system’s summer academy.

“The dovetailing is what’s wonderful,” she said. “It couldn’t get any better.”

Buckingham Principal Chris Welch agreed that it was a fun addition to the middle of the five-week summer program.

“Everybody’s embraced it,” she said.

By including the session in summer academy, she said it was reaching more students than it had in years past.

“It provides a diverse group of students with opportunities related to the fine arts,” she said.

The public will have a chance to see the art students have created next month, as a selection of the student-produced projects will be showcased Aug. 13 at a reception at the Worcester County Arts Council Gallery.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.