Dream Academy spotlight: Kentucky View arts camp

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Thirty students are coming away with a new appreciation for Appalachian arts thanks to the Kentucky View arts camp provided by the Marion County Arts and Humanities Council and the Marion County Public School Summer Dream Academy.
The week’s activities included a variety of artistic endeavors related to Appalachian culture, such as playing the dulcimer with accompanying dancers, making corn husk dolls, designing quilts on paper, and creating mosaics.
For camper India Young, the activities were a perfect way to spend a week during the summer, especially because there was a variety of artistic opportunities.
“There’s a lot of different things you can do -- you’re not just limited to visual art,” Young said. “You can also do musical art, dance forms, and they teach you about that. I’m sort of like an artsy person. I like to paint and I like to draw, even though I’m not the best at it.”
And while she enjoyed the opportunity to be creative, Young also noted that the camp was a great way to meet new people.
“I really like the creativity and also getting to meet new people,” she said. “Some of my friends are in there, but I’ve made new ones and I can start to make friendships with them.”
The camp also included some history lessons embedded into the crafts projects.
“They taught us about how people back in the day had to make their toys out of the resources they had,” Young said referencing the cornhusk dolls the campers made, and even named. “I named mine Mrs. Smith. I don’t know why that one came to mind, but I gave her a broom and she’s got a nice little hat and apron.”
Fellow camper Dylan Robbins said he liked how the art projects were easy to personalize.
“It’s unique because you can use fabric to decorate [the corn husk dolls],” Robbins said. “Some people even used grocery bags” to decorate them.
Robbins said he wanted to attend the camp because “I like art -- I draw a lot at home.”
The group also prepared for a showcase on Thursday evening. During the camp, a portion of the campers learned to play a song using dulcimers while the rest learned an accompanying dance.
On Thursday, the campers worked with guest speaker Octavia Sexton, an Appalachian storyteller from Jackson County, and on Friday the group took a field trip to Berea.
The Kentucky View arts camp is one of nearly 30 summer camp opportunities offered through the Marion County Public School Summer Dream Academy.