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  July 10, 2000

Creativity and Concentration
Characterize Summer Arts Program

They fiddle tunes, improvise jazz, glaze pots and develop film. They belt out Broadway hits, paint landscapes and learn to play guitar. They are the children and adults enrolled in summer programs at the Community School of the Arts - and they do just about everything.

Today, Suzuki violin students stretch their musical skills in a workshop

with master teacher Allen Lieb. Tomorrow they may share the spotlight with fellow musicians.

Sponsored by the College of Continuing Studies, the Community School of the Arts at the Depot campus is offering a variety of summer programs that include private and group music lessons, instrumental music camps, voice workshops, musical theater classes and arts camps. The instrumental music camps, new this year, include band and orchestra, a week of jazz, Suzuki violin, a workshop for parents in basic string repair, piano camp, and a guitar workshop.

This summer for the first time the school, in cooperation with the University's chemistry department, has designed afternoon arts camps for children enrolled in the Kids Are Scientists Too program. The students are at the main campus in the morning for science, and are then taken by UConn shuttle bus to the Depot campus for music or art.

"Many of our more motivated and academically gifted students were very interested in the sciences as well as the arts, and last year, many of our violinists had to make a choice between going to the science program or coming to one of our music camps," says Andrea Graffam, program director for the Community School of the Arts.

"So we decided to co-schedule this year, allowing them to spend the afternoon with us," she says. "We have a number of students who are taking advantage of that and it's exciting."

Graffam says the core of the school's offerings year-round is the music program, particularly the private lessons, which were started 20 years ago by the School of Fine Arts.

"The music camps grew out of the needs we saw with our private lessons,"she says.

The art camps offer varied arts experiences for different age groups, including painting, cartoon drawing, sculpture, printmaking and murals.

Activities for the youngest children include sponge paintings, personalized books, and other activities to stimulate their imaginations and natural creativity.

There are also classes in pottery and photography. Most half-day art camps may be taken in combination with music offerings to make a full day of arts.

New students are still being accepted to the program. For information, call (860) 486-1073.

Sherry Fisher