By Kathy L. Collins

firehouseSummer is the time for kids to enjoy a variety of activities including art camp. This year, thanks to some generous SouthShore residents, several children will be able to enjoy at least one week of summer youth art camp at the Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin.

Grace McKee, an artist and resident of MiraBay, had the idea to hold an art exhibit. McKee requested a donation of $5 and collected nearly $200 at the event. “I had designated the donations for scholarships for art classes for those who cannot afford them,” said McKee. “While talking to Georgia Vahue, Executive Director of the Firehouse, I learned of the summer youth art camp.”

McKee then contacted friends and acquaintances to see if they would be willing to join in her efforts. In March, a group including McKee, SouthShore Arts Council President, Vicki Knauff, Doti Devane, owner of Arrianna’s and The Vibe, and Rob Kennehan, owner of House Beautiful Tampa presented, Vahue with checks which will allow four area children to attend one week of camp.

Vahue said, “Last year 80 percent of our campers were on scholarships. Residents like Grace McKee and other sponsors make it possible to cover our camp expenses.”

The Firehouse has a great lineup of summer camps this year. The summer youth art camp is designed for children ages 8 to 14. The camps run during the months of July and August. Camp is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. including snack time and lunch break.

Camps for children ages 8-10:

-Theatre: Playmakers! July 1-11

-Clay and Cast: Clay-Works! July 14-18

-Musical Theatre: Curtain Up, Applause! July 28 -August 1

-Robotic Arts: Invent it! Make it Move! August 4-8

Camps for children ages 11-14:

-Theatre: Playmakers Studio July 7-11

-Clay, Cast and Mosaic Studio July 14- 18

-Musical Theatre Studio July 28- August 1

-Robotic and Digital Studio August 4- 8

The cost for one week is $140 and discounts are available for multiple weeks and members of the Firehouse. Meals and transportation are not provided. For more information, visit firehousecultural or call 645-7651.


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