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Castellani Art Museum photo
Castellani Art Museum photo

Castellani Art Museum's Kids 'n Arts Summer Camp celebrates 20 years of fostering creativity and wellness


Thu, Apr 18th 2024 12:05 pm

Niagara University Press Release

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Castellani Art Museum (CAM) Kids 'n Arts Summer Camp. For two decades, this distinctive camp has been a beacon of creativity and health education. As of last year, a new collaboration with the College of Nursing has further enriched this integration of artistic creativity with physical and mental health education, a partnership we are excited to continue.

Reflecting on the program’s recent developments, CAM Director Ellen Owens said, "Niagara University has consistently supported the creative growth of our youth and harnessed the transformative power of art. Our recent partnership with the School of Nursing has been pivotal in demonstrating how the arts contribute to education, and emotional and mental well-being, enhancing skills such as observation, fine hand skills, and communication."

The camp has traditionally empowered children aged 5-12 to delve into their self-identity and personal wellness through art. Each year, these young artists have expressed their emotions and experiences through their artworks. Following a cherished tradition, with consent from students and their parents, selected artworks are professionally framed and displayed in the lobby of Dunleavy, home to the School of Nursing. Each piece includes a descriptive label that provides insights into the project and the perspectives of our young artists about issues of personal identity, caring relationships, and our surrounding environment.

This semi-permanent exhibition not only showcases the importance of artistic expression in nurturing healthy, informed communities, but also aligns with the Nursing School's commitment to advancing awareness of health, happiness, and life choices among students.

"Our daughter, Eleanor, adored CAM's Kids 'n Art Summer Camp more than any other camp or activity she has ever attended,” said Laura Debacco of Youngstown, mother to Eleanor, aged 9. “She cherished her time with the camp counselors and eagerly anticipated each day, excited to reunite with friends and discover the day's enjoyable activities. This camp offers a truly enriching experience that nurtures the whole child. It provides diverse, hands-on opportunities in various artistic mediums, including performing arts, and fosters an appreciation of art history. Importantly, CAM summer camp nurtures aspects of childhood often neglected during the busy school year, such as their thirst for creativity and self-expression."

The College of Nursing and CAM continue to welcome the community to view this inspiring display at Dunleavy on the NU campus, available to the public on the first floor.

Looking forward, the Kids 'n Arts Camp is excited for its 2024 season, running from July 8 to Aug. 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Registration for CAM members began April 1, and registration for the general public is now open. We eagerly anticipate another summer filled with artistic exploration and personal development for children aged 5-12.

Camp Director Alex Filips said, “Kids ‘n Arts Camp provides a unique experience for campers combining theater and art integrated within phenomenal museum galleries. Campers are able to explore many creative disciplines and experience learning while having fun … this is truly a great experience for any kid who is looking to explore their creativity!” 

“CAM summer camp is amazing!” said Stephanie Bevacqua, mother of two campers, aged 7 and 9, who attended camp the past two years. “Making every picture and artwork a story, a memory that lasts a lifetime. As a parent, I love that my children unplug from the technology world, explore, and grow over the summer with the CAM! Don't miss out on this wonderful experience for your children.”

For more details about the camp or to register, visit our website at CastellaniArtMuseum.org. Join us as we celebrate 20 years of creative and wellness education at the Kids 'n Arts Summer Camp.

For more information on the CAM, visit www.castellaniartmuseum.org, and follow CAM’s Facebook page (@CastellaniArtMuseumOfNiagaraUniversity), X (@CAM_of_NU) and Instagram (@CastellaniArtMuseum). 

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