Totally fun awesomeness at Art Center's summer camp

Jessica Klarp
Special to BMN

Each summer Lynn Brunner’s grandchildren Bailey and Shelby Simpson come to visit her from their home in Edneyville. It’s the highlight of her summer and the highlight of Bailey and Shelby’s summer as well. Because in addition to spending time with their grandmother, for the past three years the energetic 9- and 8-year-old kids get to go to summer camp at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts.

Ramona Wardwell expresses her creativity during the end of week performance at last year’s Safari-themed summer camp at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts.

Led by dance instructor Amy Maze, children in two age groups spend half the day in themed camps, dancing, singing and creating themed crafts to support the end of week performance.

“They learn more in a week than they do all year at dance where they live,” Brunner said. “And the girls just love Ms. Amy. She’s terrific.” Assisting Maze this year with the music element will be Kylie Brown a music educator who lives in Black Mountain and teaches at Sand Hill-Venable Elementary
School in Asheville during the school year.

This year’s camps take place June 27-July 1, July 11-15 and July 25-29. Each camp has a theme; for instance, week two is Royal Tea Party for children 3- to 5-years-old, and Broadway Bound for those 6- to 9-years-old. The cost for the half-day camp is $125.

Campers join together in the early morning and play "getting to know you" games before splitting into groups for music or dance. They take a short break to catch their breath and have a snack before switching disciplines. The session ends with simple crafts projects that the kids bring home at the end of the week along with a special camp photograph and a summer’s worth of memories.

“I designed these summer arts camps so that children would have an opportunity to experience music and dance in a very active environment,” Maze said. “For the preschool-age kids, it’s a wonderful chance to introduce them to a fun class-type environment. And for the older kids, it’s a great way to meet new friends and gain confidence. My favorite part is the children’s excitement and sense of accomplishment at their end-of-camp show for their family and friends."

Brunner raved about last year’s performance and the fringe benefits of sharing the summer camp with her family.

“My granddaughters just love it,” she said. “They’ve made good friends up here, thanks to their participation in summer camp.”

For more about Summer Arts Camp at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, call 669-0930 or visit the summer camp page at

June 27-July 1

3-5 year olds Under the Sea

6-9 year olds Surf’s Up

July 11-15

3-5 year olds Royal Tea Party

6-9 year olds Broadway Bound

July 25-29

3-5 year olds Superheroes

6-9 Just Dance