Opportunities to keep kids busy during the summer months are seemingly limitless, from organized sports to day camps to reading programs. However, one group in Moundridge saw a void in those youth activities offered locally, particularly in regards to the category of art.
The Moundridge Arts Council hopes to change that with a new class, "Marvelous Me," being offered on Aug. 10 at the MAC building, 118 S. Randall, Moundridge. The class will be open to students in kindergarten through third grade for the first session and fourth grade on up for the second session, with former public school teachers Jean Regier (25 years teaching art) and Kathy Waltner leading the class.
Focusing on brushless techniques, Regier said the class will teach those students enrolled what different artistic tools can do and the method of mixing colors (for younger students), while older students will get a little direction in design as they create their personalized art on masonite.
"Art's so important to all of our lives and everything we do, and they have to start at that age. They are just ready for it," Regier said. "What I hope that they take from this class is the magic of being able to create something."
On top of being sort of a summer send-off before students head back to school, all involved with the class saw it as important to expand on the cultural offerings available in the community.
"I think it's just a good experience and great introduction to art, and what we're doing is trying to increase the arts in Moundridge and increase the availability to fine arts in Moundridge," Waltner said.
"There is definitely a need in town for continued arts education. During the summer, we've got a lot of athletics and things, reading programs through the library, but not much in the way of art," said Moundridge Arts Council secretary Rosemary Fisher. "I'm hoping that this will kind of inspire kids to take an interest in art. Moundridge has a very strong athletic program...and there is so much creativity in adults, as well as kids, and we hope to spark some interest in art."
Enrollment for the class is capped at 15 students per session, with Regier noting about one-third of the total slots have already been reserved. The first session for younger students will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. and the second session will go from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Cost is $5 per student and includes all of the necessary supplies.
While this is the first such class to be hosted by the arts council, and it hasn't been held just yet, the early feedback has organizers already planning for similar events in the future — something Regier is fully on board with given what is available currently.
"I would like to see it done on a regular basis because there are kids interested in it," Regier said. "Moundridge does not have an arts program in the elementary school. The kids are needing some of that input or that ability to participate in something artistic."
Class enrollment will remain open until 15 minutes before the start of each session. To register students, contact Jean Regier (620-386-0457) or Kathy Waltner (620-386-4629).