The importance of a STEM-focused education – science, technology, engineering and math – is widely acknowledged to be crucial in today’s economy. More recently, however, educators are increasingly expanding that formulation to included art and design, recognizing that “STEAM” is a better equation when aiming for creativity and innovation.
The Delaware Art Museum (DAM) has long sought to nurture and integrate these essential building blocks of learning with multiple offerings including a host of programs for students and families to ensure – even when school has ended for the year – that young minds continue to be stretched.
Rebecca Howell, manager of Studio Learning and Creative Engagement at the museum said teen camps were started because so many young artists had nowhere to continue their creative efforts when school ended. “For the students who still want an artistic outlet, many camps end at age 12, they are too young to volunteer for the Museum’s camps, and also too young for a job,” said Howell.
“Our Make Your Own Comic Book session sold out last year and inspired expanded offerings this year. We saw many campers that had aged out of our traditional offerings in addition to new faces.”
Howell explained that teen students in the DAM summer camp programs have already demonstrated a real interest in art but need continued support and camaraderie to continue on their artistic journeys. “Students are figuring out what they actually want to spend their time doing. By offering teen camps, we are still providing professional instruction and an element of structure to their summer but they have a chance to explore and experiment beyond what they would get in school.”
With sessions like The Great Outdoors, Pirates and Mermaids, and Junk to Gems, the Delaware Art Museum continues to offer several one-week and two-week camp options for kids between 6 and 12 years old.
Another important DAM initiative to cultivate creativity are the “Family 2nd Sundays” that run throughout the year, including all summer months.
Amelia Wiggins, manager of Gallery Learning and Interpretations says that museums are vital places for “intergenerational learning.”
DAM’s Family 2nd Sundays offer something for families with children of all ages. Babies can explore art through sensory play, toddlers and preschoolers explore the galleries with their grownups during Young Artist Storytime. And over lunchtime, a shared table in the café for families and invite them to color while they eat and take a break. The afternoon is for the big kids, who work with a professional teaching artist to create a work of art with their families in the Sunday Studio program.
Wiggins said fun performances are also often part of the Sunday fun. “We often feature family-friendly performance on select 2nd Sundays, too. We hope Family 2ndSunday will encourage kids to grow up with the museum and see it as a place where they can create and discover with their families.”
Details on the “Family 2nd Sunday” are below. For additional information about DAM summer camps contact: Rebecca Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-351-8551.
Family 2nd Sundays
Sunday | 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Drop in for a full day of family fun. Free; $10 suggested donation. Family 2nd Sundays are sponsored by the Museum Council.
9:00 a.m. Family Yoga, Sculpture Garden. Ages 4+.
10:00 a.m. Art Museum Babies. Ages 0–2.
10:30 a.m. Young Artist Storytime. Ages 2–6.
11:30 a.m. Lunch Bunch. Café. All families.
12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sunday Studio. Ages 6+.