Art Talk Monday…on Tuesday

This week’s Art Talk is written by Laura Hunt Miller, NCLAC’s Executive Assistant

Summer break is underway and parents everywhere are looking for ways to keep their kids occupied. If you have young ones ages 1st through 6th grade who love the arts, NCLAC’s Summer Art Camps are a great way for your children to spend a week this summer!

This summer NCLAC has three Summer Arts Camps: Ruston Camp 1, June 23-27; Ruston Camp 2, July 14-18; and Jonesboro Camp, July 7-11. For $65 dollars per child, your children will be supplied a daily snack, and instructed in 2D, 3D, and drama classes from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday the week of their camp session.


Local full-time drama instructor Beckie Huckaby will teach campers how to “become theatrical characters” during their drama classes, while Ruston Camp 1 and Jonesboro campers will make “accordion books” out of the 2D art projects they create in recent LA Tech MFA graduate Matthew Knopps’ classes. Ruston Camp 2 Instructor Lauren Dixon will teach her students how to create their own beautiful Impressionist “Monet Gardens” with acrylics and watercolor paints. These are just a few of projects in store for SAC campers! On Friday parents, family, and friends are invited to see the projects the kids have completed during their camp week, along with a theatrical performance the children have prepared in their drama classes. This is always a great confidence booster for the campers, and a fun event for the whole family.

All campers must be pre-registered for their camp session to assure space and materials are available. To register your young ones call the NCLAC office at (318) 255-1450 during our office hours, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or go to our website “Applications & Forms” page at to download a registration form, and mail it to NCLAC, or drop it off at the Dixie Center for the Arts in Ruston, at 212 N. Vienna Street. We hope to see you and your campers this summer!

NCLAC would like to thank all of the Pick Your Picasso sponsors who donated a free week of camp this summer to kids who would have otherwise been unable to take advantage of this great creative summer learning experience. Thank you Ruston Kiwanis Club, John Emory Jr., Elizabeth English, Peter Jones, KLS Physics Group, T.L. James & Company, Hazel Hunter, Julie Roane, Shelly and Edwin Edgerton, Benjamin Denny, Yvette and John Broocks, Tom Boniol and Cathi Cox-Boniol, Jonathan Donehoo, Ruston Sunrise Kiwanis, Brittany Spencer, Carolyn Lewis, Julie Hardie Kaczvinsky, Diane and Dean Dablow, Nancy and John Wallace, Beth Holland, Quota International, and Dorene and Richard Kordal.



Art Talk Monday: It’s Summer Arts Camp Time!

This week’s Art Talk Monday is from Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director.

NCLAC is excited for the upcoming summer months, because summer equals art camps! For over twenty years we have been offering art camps in our region, with talented teachers and interesting projects. This year we have three camps scheduled: Ruston 1, June 23-27; Jonesboro, July 7-11; and Ruston 2, July 14-18. Our camps are for students who will be entering 2nd through 7th grades in the fall. Each camp runs Monday through Friday, 9am-noon, and the camp fee includes all supplies and a daily snack. $60 covers tuition if you pay and register by May 1st; $65 is the camp fee after May 1st.

Chatham Camp 2013

Chatham Camp 2013

We have wonderful teachers lined up this year, including some who teach in area schools. Lauren Dixon of Dubach School will be teaching at Ruston 2, and Adrian Gibson, from Talented Art in Ouachita Parish, will be teaching at Ruston 1. Artist Matthew Knopps will be back again, as will fiber artist Rachel Johnston. We are excited to welcome Beckie Huckaby of Cedar Creek School, who will be leading our Drama classes. Bethany Raybourn of Farmerville High School will be working as camp coordinator again this year, keeping everyone fed and on track. There are other teachers, assistants, and NCLAC interns who will be working diligently to ensure each camp’s success.

This great team will be leading campers in two-dimensional art, three-dimensional art, and drama. Each week when camp ends, we hold a “Final Friday” presentation, where campers display the week’s artwork and hold a short performance they’ve prepared in drama. Friends and family are invited, and it’s a perfect way to end a week full of creativity.

We are very appreciative of the support we receive from our local partners who provide space for our camps. First Baptist Church of Ruston is offering classrooms for the Ruston camps again this year, as is United Methodist in Jonesboro. We work hard to keep our camps affordable for children, and the donation of classroom space is a huge asset in this goal.

Jonesboro Camp 2013, teacher Peter Hay

Jonesboro Camp 2013, with teacher Peter Hay

One of my favorite things when organizing these camps is rounding up our volunteer assistants. Each year we have parents call and say, “My child has aged out of camp but has loved going for so many years. Can he/she assist?” For me, this is the mark of a successful program: parents trust us to care for and inspire their children, send them to us year after year, and then when they get older, the teens want to come back and volunteer to continue the art camp tradition. It’s a lovely cycle.

So, if your children or grandchildren attend NCLAC Summer Arts Camps each year, now is the time to register! And if your kids have never attended a NCLAC Summer Arts Camp, this is a great year to begin!

You may download a registration form here from our site,, or call our office at the Dixie Center for the Arts, (318)255-1450.

Art Talk Monday: Summer Camp Scholarships

This week’s Art Talk Monday is from the NCLAC office, located upstairs in the historic Dixie Center for the Arts.

It’s Time to Pick Your Picasso!

Each summer the North Central Louisiana Arts Council holds a series of art camps that offer two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and theatrical art classes. These classes expand children’s capacity for learning and self-expression as they explore their imaginations and boost their self-confidence through the creation of their own artworks and dramatic performances.

Although we make every effort to keep our camps affordable, there are still children in our area who are interested and talented in the arts but are unable to attend camp due to financial constraints. This is why five years ago we founded the Pick Your Picasso campaign, which raises funds for Summer Arts Camps scholarships.

We’ve sent over one hundred students to camp since the inception of this program, and our goal this year is twenty more.  A $60 donation sponsors one child for a week of camp, including art supplies, a daily snack, and a free Summer Arts Camp t-shirt. A donation of any amount helps provide supplies and art educators to teach the students. Any additional funds we raise through the campaign go to support our other arts education programming, such My Vision, My Voice, a six-week program that combines journalism with photography, in order to teach pre-teens and teens to tell their stories, utilizing their own voices and points of view. These programs are also free for participating students.

We honor our Pick Your Picasso donors in our Art Talk article, and publish donor names on our Summer Arts Camp webpage on our website. Donors who give before April 11th, 2014 are also listed on our 2014 Summer Arts Camp t-shirts. We are nearing time to send the scholarship award letters to prospective students, so please send your Picasso donation no later than April 18. We must ensure the number of scholarships before awarding them to students.

It is amazing to watch how much these one-week sessions affect the lives of the children who attend. We hope that you will consider giving a child the gift of creativity, self-confidence, and the new friendships they will gain at Summer Arts Camp this year! You may download a donor form from our website,, and donate via Paypal, or pick up a form at the Dixie Center for the Arts and donate by mail: NCLAC PYP, Po Box 911, Ruston, LA 71273

NCLAC’s Summer Arts Camps are held for five days, Monday through Friday, from 9am-noon. They are for students in first through


sixth grades, with three classes offered each day. Our schedule is set for this year, so check the dates on our site and download a registration form. Space is limited at each camp, so take care of your child’s paperwork soon.