Summer Engagement: The Arts

[music]>>KEITH: Hi, my name is Keith Hovis, Deputy
Communications Director for the Minnesota Department of Education, and welcome back
to our Summer Engagement video series on summer engagement and keeping your youth involved.
Today we’re going to turn away from the sciences, and focus a little bit on the arts
and how you can keep your child challenged and engaged this summer.
So why should you engage your child in the arts this summer? Well, a well-rounded arts
education has been proven to help stimulate a child’s imagination and creative thinking
skills, as well as to help develop their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills—these are essential
in a child’s development. And, arts education has been proven to help reduce the achievement
gap. And hey, with school just around the corner, what’s not to like about that?
One amazing opportunity right here in the Twin Cities is the ArtsWork program run by
COMPAS, which connects youth artists with a professional artist, working
side-by-side and offering invaluable professional development for young artists.
The ArtsWork program pairs ten students with artist Sharra Frank. Their project is a large
mural which will eventually be hosted on the wall of the Lyngblomsten Care Center, and
accomplished through collaboration with the residents of that Saint Paul facility.>>FIONA: This has taken up most of my summer,
which I really like, because it has given me something to do. I really like art a lot,
it helps me express my creativity; art just lets me relieve the stress of all the other
subjects.>>SETH: I don’t know, it’s just a completely
different experience—it’s a lot different than working a normal summer job, where
you’re just doing mundane tasks that you wouldn’t really use in the future, to learning
a new craft, and learning how to do something that you love.>>SHARRA: The results I’ve seen are amazing.
The youth have created their own studio spaces in their homes and continue to make mosaics
on their own time. You know, if I would’ve had that kind of experience at that age, I
can just imagine how much that would have meant to me at that time. So, it’s really
exciting to share these skills with them at this point in their life.>>KEITH: While registration for the ArtsWork
program is closed for the summer, we are fortunate enough to live in a state that is brimming
with opportunities to engage your child and bring out their creative side. Here are just
a few of the amazing ways that you can engage your child in the arts this summer:
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts hosts a multitude of child-friendly activities, including
Target Family Day once a month. This includes everything from making art to seeing performances
of music, painting, dance, storytelling, and more! Similar activities can also be found
throughout the summer at the MIA’s Art in the Park series throughout the Twin Cities.
If you’re looking for ways to engage your child in performing arts this summer, check
out the Minnesota Children’s Theatre Company, or Stepping Stone, or Stages Theatre Company.
All of these have great programming just for youth, with numerous plays throughout the
year—and including the summer—and have summer camps that you can engage your child
with. And if you’re looking for some great, family-friendly
music and dance, look no further than the Minnesota History Center’s “Nine Nights
of Music.” It’s an amazing outdoor series that they offer throughout the summer, or
you can check out downtown Saint Paul’s “Music in Mears,” which boasts some
great talents from both right here in Minnesota, or around the nation.
So, whether your medium is a mosaic, the stage, or the sidewalk with some chalk, remember
that the summer is the perfect time to engage your child artistically—and trust me, they’ll
thank you for it.” [music]

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