The arts center hosts a party camp that the community can celebrate – The Daily Gazette


The parents of the 18 children attending this week’s holiday day camp at The Paul Nigra Center for the Creative Arts in Gloversville is ready for the New Years celebration. That’s because campers, ages 5 to 12, are preparing for the countdown to 2022 by making their own pinatas, by making a macaroni and cheese bar with the toppings of their choice, and even making a deli board to take home.

These festive creations by elementary school children might surprise some parents. Then again, some parents are quite impressed with the arts center itself, according to the director of the center. Meanwhile, the summer camp and other centre’s offerings can be eye-opening experiences for children and community members.

“Many parents, when they walk through the front door for the first time with their children, are just blown away,” said Terry Swierzowski, director of the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts. “It introduces them to the whole litany of things we do here. “

Indeed, the four-day camp is just the beginning of what is happening at the arts center. Founded in 2015 by Arc Lexington, an accredited provider of disability services in New York State, the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts is a truly inclusive environment open to all. In addition to the camps – which have themes ranging from theater to outdoor adventure – the facility is a year-round community arts center offering everything from music and cooking classes to concerts, galas and retreats. networking. It also has gallery space, and the Fall / Winter 2021 art exhibit, through January 14, features over 38 artists and 104 works of everything from landscapes to portraits of New York artists, from California and Oregon. A quilts show begins January 22.

Children at the summer camp will have learning opportunities ranging from Monet and Pollock to cooking lessons, said camp director Lynette May. The goal is to celebrate learning and creativity through the arts of all kinds as well as STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) for a safe, fun, informative and educational experience. The cost was $ 200 for the four days, with discounts offered to members.

For young people like 8 years old Lake Harding in Mayfield, camp is simply a great opportunity to play with friends. She is particularly looking forward to the toboggan run scheduled for later in the week.

It draws most of our energy, ”Harding said. “They have an outdoor space so we can run around and build stuff with sticks.”

Staff members say their center can build more than stuff with sticks – it can help build a strong community.

Part of the experience at the arts center is the participation of students from Transitions, which is a program that emphasizes the development of academic skills, life skills and the general independence of high school graduates and graduates. young adults with autism and with learning differences. Transitions is part of the Nigra Arts Center campus. While Transitions students are on hiatus during this week’s summer camp, other events throughout the year give neurotypical children and students with different abilities the chance to interact. For example, Transitions students often serve as camp counselors at other camps, May said.

“It gives kids exposure to people with different abilities,” May said. “I think if you can start at this young age and expose them to people from all walks of life, it helps us raise a better community.”

Arts center staff members hope that programs like the summer camp will help increase the centre’s visibility.

“So many people think we don’t have the resources here in Fulton County, and we really do,” May said. “I think a lot of people don’t know we’re here. So it’s very important for our local community to know that we have this here. “

Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected]t and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.

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