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Paramount Summer Camp educates kids in arts

Creativity, self-expression and self-confidence are emphasized in the Paramount Arts Center Summer Camp for children.

For the past three weeks, children from kindergarten through 12th grades have been learning drama, dance and visual art.

More than 140 children participated in the camp this year.

“These kids are having a ball,” said Mike Hildebrandt, education director at Paramount. “This week they are doing original plays and original dance.”

Students from sixth through 12th grades were in the last week of the camp. They not only wrote the plays and the dance choreography, they also painted the scenery in visual art.

The younger students from kindergarten through fifth grades performed “Peter and the Wolf.”

Jonathan Joy, actor, director, writer, teacher and instructor at Marshall University, is Paramount resident drama artist and teacher for the students. He guided the students in writing, directing and producing their own plays.

Lindsay Shumate, 11, is in her second year at the camp. She said she really enjoyed the drama class.

“I like the fact that you get to meet new people and make new friends,” she said.

Traci Fisher, Paramount resident dance artist, introduced the students to basic dance with emphasis on moving confidently.

“I like the dance best,” said Pamela Chapman, 11, of Ashland. “The teacher is very funny.”

Nancy Adams, teacher in Boyd County and Paramount resident visual artist, taught the students several mediums and fundamentals such as line, form and texture.

“They create the short plays, about two minutes long and they pick the settings and the characters, and they’ve planned out all the dialogues,” Joy said. “I’ve been kind of guiding them in the direction of the plays, but I’ve tried to keep the focus on their material.”

At the end of the camp, on Friday at noon, the students performed their original plays for their families and friends.