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Henry Arts Alliance celebrates 21 years
by Nneka M. Okona
nokona@neighbornewspapers.com
June 19, 2012 03:32 PM | 1374 views | 0 0 comments | 31 31 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Joe Livingston <br>
From left, Coach Kendal Schwann, Choreographer Hayley Platt and Coach Caitlen Schmidt demonstrate a few moves that may be used in upcoming camps.
Staff / Joe Livingston
From left, Coach Kendal Schwann, Choreographer Hayley Platt and Coach Caitlen Schmidt demonstrate a few moves that may be used in upcoming camps.
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Henry Arts Alliance, established in Henry County in 1991, continues to make an impact on the arts and cultural scape of the community.

The organization was created to foster and encourage the arts, both performance in visual, in the county as well as to form connections with artists and other groups with similar missions.

Several programs are orchestrated by the organization, including Christmas with the Arts, a high school arts contest, fall festival of storytelling, tour of pumpkins and a summer arts camp.

Lynna Schmidt, artistic and theater director for the arts camp, has had her hand in the organization for the past 16 years.

“I came on initially for just the arts camp,” she said. “They needed a theater teacher and I have a lot of directing, acting and performance experience.”

Schmidt later became the president of the Henry Arts Alliance, a post she holds currently.

The experience Schmidt brought to the role proved to be beneficial as she revamped the Exploring the Arts summer camp.

Each arts camp experience only lasts a week but Schmidt tweaked the camp to make those few days count.

“I split the group up so we could pace the younger kids,” she said. “I also had the idea to do a full musical in one week.”

Children are split into two levels, separated by ages 6 to 10 and ages 11 to 14.

Through the week, attendees are exposed to theatre, art, music, dance and literary arts.

Depending on the age level, the exposure the children receive varies.

The older kids In Level 2, for example, more extensive instruction and participates n the camp for a full day, versus the half day for the younger children.

Schmidt works with the campers each day to make the musical at the end of the week possible.

Typically, she gets her inspiration from a book, creating songs and assigning each of the campers a role, from performing in the show to helping to design set props.

“I take a book like ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ and make it into a musical,” Schmidt said. “They learn the entire thing in four days. It is amazing what they can do in one week.”

This year, the Exploring Arts Camp will be held until Friday, with the musical performance at the Henry County Performing Arts Center that evening.

The performance is free of charge to the general public.
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