Art's impact at Camp Carnegie

At Camp Carnegie, children from around the region come together to brainstorm, write a script, perform a play and create their own scenery and costumes. Still, for Alissa Paasch, who serves as the camp's education director, the goal is not to make sure that every child becomes an artist.

Instead, she hopes that young people involved "become well-rounded human beings who know how to communicate, problem solve, who care about each other, and who are using the arts to spur their interest in the world.”  

Through this year’s theme, Opposite Land, participants use their imaginations to prompt one another’s creative instincts. Paasch says the children’s caring attitudes find ways to the forefront through the process. 

“It’s so much about cooperation and collaboration, and we’re always discussing and responding to things,” Paasch says. “We were doing an activity about imagination and how important it is for us to imagine things and use our theater tools to bring it to life, so then as we were talking, we’re saying why it’s important to keep using our imagination, keep it fresh—even as adults—and one little girl says, ‘In order to care about or work with others, you have to be able to imagine how they feel so you can actually make the right choices.’”

It’s these kinds of moments, Paasch says, that make her realize that even as a teacher who plans each lesson, she can learn from the young participants. 

The artistic process at Camp Carnegie enables children not only to learn and grow with one another, but to experience theater and all its elements in just two weeks, which culminates with their own original productions.

“We want to make sure they understand there’s a lot of hard work and perseverance that has to go into creating a piece of theater,” Paasch says. “We want them to feel proud of all the work they’ve done at the end.” 

Do Good:

• Purchase a ticket to Suits that Rock to support The Carnegie's educational programming. 

• Attend a performance to support the summer campers' work. Choose a session and attend on the final day of the workshop at 4:30 p.m.

Support The Carnegie by donating. 

By Brittany York

Brittany York is a professor of English composition at the University of Cincinnati and a teacher at the Regional Institute of Torah and Secular Studies. She also edits the For Good section of SoapboxMedia.
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