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Summer camps offer creative outlet for kids

Special Photo ---- Carli Johnson works on a painting during the 2012 Arty Art Camp, presented by the Southern Heartland Art Guild in Covington.

Special Photo ---- Carli Johnson works on a painting during the 2012 Arty Art Camp, presented by the Southern Heartland Art Guild in Covington.

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Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith ---- Savannah Booker, 9, works on a project in pottery class, taught by teacher Penny Lee, at the 2012 ArtSmart Camp in Conyers

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Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith -- Area non-profit arts organizations will once again offer a range of children's activities through summer camps. At the 2012 ArtSmart Camp, presented by the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts, music instructor Rebekah Roberts teaches 6-year-old Jacob McGlamery a lesson in rhythm.

If your child has a penchant for the arts, then you might want to sign him up for a summer camp where he can dabble in activities like drawing, painting, pottery, singing and acting. In Rockdale and Newton counties, there is no lack of summer camp offerings to satisfy the artistic urge of children.

The Conyers-Rockdale Council for the Arts holds its annual ArtSmart Camp from June 17 to 20 at General Ray Davis Middle School, 3375 E. Fairview Road in Stockbrige, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. Activities during the week include drawing, watercolor, mixed media, acting, pottery and music. Cost for the camp is $165.

CRCA also provides a weeklong Musical Drama Camp for third-graders through college-age children from July 8 to 19 at the Rockdale Auditorium. Children learn a variety of musical numbers based on singing and dancing abilities and the camp culminates in a performance. Cost is $150.

Information for both CRCA camps can be obtained by visiting www.conyersarts.org or calling 770-922-3143.

Also, in Rockdale is a summer program that teaches teenagers how to film and produce a public service announcement about the dangers of texting and driving. Campers will also take field trips Georgia Public Broadcasting, East Mountain Studios and Turner Broadcasting Studios. The camp is for youth ages 12 to 19; runs June 3 to July 12, and is presented by the nonprofit Jreamwriter Young Global Citizens Program. More information can be obtained by calling 888-609-3396.

In Newton County, the Arts Association in Newton County offers its annual Creative Kids Camp, which starts Monday and runs through June 7, 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. each day on the campus of Oxford College. All classes still have openings, with the exception of the rising fifth-grade level.

Rising first-, second- and third-graders take instrumental music, vocal music and visual arts classes, while rising fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders are offered experiences in vocal music, drama and can choose between a class in visual arts or dance.

At the end of each day, campers are treated to a performance by professional artists from Young Audiences of Atlanta and this year's entertainment includes Tahino, a Latin American band, singer-songwriter Andy Offutt Irwin, improv group Laughing Matters and singer-songwriter Michael Levine.

Cost for the camp is $225 and includes lunch served by the Oxford College cafeteria.

The Arts Association is also offering its annual Musical Theater Camp for rising fourth- through 12th-graders from July 8 to 19 at the Newton High School auditorium.

Children learn a variety of contemporary musical numbers, including choreography, and present a performance at the end of the two-week camp. Cost for the camp is $250.

More information on both Arts Association camps may be obtained at www.newtoncountyarts.org or by calling 770-786-8188.

Another Newton County resource for summer arts camps is the Southern Heartland Art Guild which offers weeklong sessions where kids make projects including paintings, pottery and multi-media works.

"It exposes them to as many different kinds of visual art as we can during the time period to help them to recognize their own creativity and to see art in a different way, to change their viewpoint, and to be able to see art all around them," said Southern Heartland art instructor Wendy Harrington.

Sessions, designed for rising first-graders through 12-year-olds, run June 10 to 13, June 24 to 27, July 8 to 11 and July 15 to 18, each day from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Southern Heartland Art Guild, 1132 Monticello St. on the Square in Covington. Cost is $165.

New this year, the Art Guild will also offer ArtyCat, a camp that teaches elementary school-age children good manners and reinforces the lessons with art projects, games and role playing. The camps run July 15 to 18 and July 22 to 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cost is $85.

Children review concepts such as how to answer the phone, how to answer the door and what to do if they don't like a certain food at the dinner table.

"It's social manners presented in a fun way and designed to help them not think of good manners as something wimpy and for nerds," said Harrington, who added that a snack will be given to the children but no lunch time. "We offer it just before school goes back and we wanted to keep it short and sweet."

For more information on the Southern Heartland Art Guild summer camps, visit www.southernheartlandart.com or call 770-788-8799.