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Children venture into space for Laurier’s Arts Express camp
Jul 11/12| For Immediate Release
Debra Martz Melanson, Arts Express Administrator
WATERLOO – More than 40 children with special needs will create and perform original dance, dramatic and musical numbers for the 19th annual Arts Express recital, taking place Friday, July 13, at 1:30 p.m. in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Maureen Forrester Recital Hall.
Arts Express is an integrated arts camp designed for children aged six to 14 with a variety of special needs. In the week leading up to the recital, their siblings, friends and neighbours will join them for music, drama, dance, art and other sensory experiences at the KidsAbility Centre for Child Development.
“Experiencing the creative process, rather than creating the perfect artistic product is an important focus of the Arts Express program,” said academic and camp coordinator Elizabeth Mitchell, a part-time instructor for Laurier’s music therapy program. “As they engage in various arts-based experiences, our campers explore their creativity and discover new ways to express themselves and communicate. This has special relevance for children with diverse needs and abilities.”
The Arts Express camp counsellors are students from Laurier and the University of Waterloo who take Creative Arts for Children with Special Needs, a designated Community Service-Learning course at Laurier. Students learn to facilitate arts experiences for children with special needs and then put theory into action as counsellors.
“The students engage with the course material on an academic level and also personally, as they learn along with and from the children,” said Mitchell. “Many of them reflect after the experience, ‘I had never before thought of myself as a creative person!’”
Arts Express is co-sponsored by KidsAbility and Laurier’s Music Therapy program, as well as the Carousel Dance Centre, the Early Childhood Education program at Conestoga College, and the University of Waterloo.
The Arts Express recital takes place Friday, July 13 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Laurier’s Maureen Forrester Recital Hall: www.wlu.ca/maps/recital. The title of the recital is “The Great Space Adventure.”
The performance is open to the public and admission is free.
Parking is available in a number of visitor lots: www.wlu.ca/maps/visitor-parking.