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Big fun at The Big Top’s summer arts camp for New Orleans youth

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We know we’re about to state the obvious, and we’re gonna do it anyway. It’s summertime, New Orleans (You don’t say?!). And what does summertime mean…hot, rain, hot, no school, hot, snowballs, and more hot.
Well, since the hot’s not going anywhere for a few months and our young New Orleanians won’t be heading back to school for at least another, why not kill two birds with one stone…get them out of the heat and into school. But not your just regular reading, writing, ‘rithmetic school. Nope, this summer, our young New Orleanians are invited to the 2012 Kids Summer Arts Camp with the 3 Ring Circus, a local non-profit “arts education organization serving all ages, based out of ‘The Big Top,’ a dynamic art gallery featuring new and emerging artists, a hip event space, and non-smoking alternative music, film, theatre and performance venue for all ages.”
The Kids Summer Arts Camp runs for six weeks from July 9 – August 17 from 9:00am-3:00pm. Laura Tennyson, president of the board of the 3 Ring Circus Arts and Education Center, said, “We’ve been doing summer camps since the organization started almost ten years ago. This year, the programs have been created by artists and taught by artists for young children. It’s a different sort of camp in that it gives kids a hands on opportunity to learn and express themselves and explore their artistic capabilities and interests. We’re really excited about this year and the array of art disciplines we are focusing on.”
This year, campers will be able to take classes in sculpture, puppetry, recycled arts, performance in music, and African drum and dance. “We’re focusing on keeping the kids captivated and interested,” explained Laura. "The first week will be the ‘Plastesine Clay Camp’ (July 9-13) taught by local artist Darrin Butler. At the camp, kids will be making three-dimensional art and they will learn how to manipulate and shape clay with their hands and create different forms of jewelry. At the end of the week, they will do an art presentation just as artists do.”
She continued, “In week two, we’ll have artist Ryan Ballard teaching ‘Dr. Razzamataz’s Phenomenal Puppetry Camp’ (July 16-20), where kids will learn how to create their own puppets, a set, and their own signs and props so they can develop an entire puppet show with their own storyline, script, and music. Then, at the end of the week, they will perform their puppet show for their parents and the other students.”
The following weeks consist of ‘Trashformations Recycled Art’ (July 23-27) taught by Heather Macfarlane, ‘Rock and Roll Space Camp’ (July 30 – August 3 and August 6-10) with Gwen DemonKnapp, and ‘African Drum and Dance’ (August 13-17) by Seguenon Kone, “a master musician, choreographer, and dancer from the Ivory Coast where kids will learn how to make handmade drums and also do a presentation at the end of the week.”
As you can see, these camps appeal to a wide range of interests. Each of the camps is $120 for 3 Ring Circus members and $150 for non-members. Fees include water, art supplies and instrument rental (campers will need to provide their own sack lunch). Thirty minutes of free before and after care is provided and including longer after care until 6:00pm for an additional cost.
Laura added, “The camps were made possible by grants that we received from the Marcela Brenner Revocable Trust, the Louisiana Division for the Arts, the Arts Council, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, and we definitely want to thank them for all of their support.”
So, parents of our young New Orleanians, what are you waiting on? Let’s get our youngsters into something cool and creative for the last few weeks of summer vacation!
For more information about the 3 Ring Circus and the 2012 Kids Summer Arts Camp, please visit their website and Facebook.

WHAT: 2012 Summer Arts Camp with the 3 Ring Circus

WHERE: The Big Top (1638 Clio St.)

WHEN: July 9 - August 17 (9:00am-3:00pm)

REGISTER: Contact Nicole at (504) 569-2700 / (949) 572-7871 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or stop by The Big Top any Thursday, Friday or Saturday between 2pm - 6pm.

Last modified on Tuesday, 10 July 2012
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