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The Daily Tar Heel

Summer camp Q&A with ArtsCenter’s Jesse Hollars

Every summer, Carrboro ArtsCenter does a series of camps for young artists. From film and beat-making classes to writing and design workshops, the ArtsCenter summer camps offer something for any kid looking to pursue an artistic dream.

Jamie Stuart, a staff writer for The Daily Tar Heel, talked to Jesse Hollars, the youth education coordinator, about the unique purpose the ArtsCamp programs serve.

The Daily Tar Heel: How long have the ArtsCenter summer camps been running?

Jesse Hollars: I’m not sure, actually. I’ve only been there three years, and it was definitely running for five before then. So it’s definitely been a while; I’m not exactly sure on the number of years.

DTH: What do you think is so important about what you guys do? What do you guys bring to the community?

JH: I think it’s a place for kids to get more art than they’re getting in schools. In a lot of public schools, kids get to go to art once a week — maybe they do some basic crafts in their classes. Our camps allow them to choose an art form like digital technology or painting techniques or modern dance, and then they get to spend a week working with a professional artist on that. I think it kind of lets them explore interests they might not get to explore in school.

DTH: What kind of kids does it draw in? Kids from any particular school or area?

JH: Most of the kids are definitely from Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, occasionally some from Durham, a few from Hillsborough and a few from private schools like Woods Charter and St. Thomas More and things like that. But mostly from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area.

DTH: Which age group would you say has the highest turnout?

JH: Our Little Campers camps are really popular; those are for rising kindergarten and first graders. And then ArtsFocus camps are for second through sixth graders, so I would say definitely elementary age.

DTH: What kind of arts do you offer? Is there a musical aspect or mostly visual art and photography?

JH: A lot of it is visual arts and digital arts. We have some dance — hip-hop dance is one of our most popular camps. We’re doing contemporary dance this year. We have a good amount of theater. Music is probably the thing we have the least of.

DTH: Are there any other fun facts or anything we didn’t get to talk about?

JH: I think it’s pretty cool that all of our teaching artists are actually working artists themselves and they’re all local. They all come from the Chapel Hill area.

DTH: Do you have an idea of how many kids you guys draw each summer?

JH: Last summer we had 840 individual kids. A lot of them come multiple weeks.

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