Time to Reset Activities

by Marianne Lods, Executive Director

The 21st summer art camp, Art Creates Excellence, is underway and will continue until July 31. Over the last two decades, we have served more than 1,300 young artists. For many it has been a fun summer activity. For others, it has been a journey toward college art majors or minors. Several teens preparing for college have been mentored by area artists to prepare their art portfolios. Several of these ACE participants have gone on to careers in the arts.

What’s different in 2020? We are at 30 percent capacity in two classrooms/studios in the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts. We cannot have a ceramics component this year as our great Clay College at the downtown campus of Rowan College South Jersey is and has been closed since March.

The Arts District was fortunate to receive significant funding from the Ocean First Foundation, Rob Shannon’s Slo-Pitch Tournament, and a local family foundation that wishes to remain anonymous. Traditionally, we have awarded many scholarships to be able to serve all our area community. This year all participants are here for free. Each week the artists/instructors change so the youths have different experiences and learn new techniques.

Although we are full now, we hope that 2021 will be a healthier and safer year and we can welcome 60 or more young people into the program. If you have interest in next July’s ACE camp, contact me next March.

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Are you wondering where you might find some fun visits and activities nearby? There are venues open and they include Cohanzick (Bridgeton) Zoo, Millville Army Airfield Museum, 856-327-2347; New Jersey Motorsports Park, 856-327-8000 and Maurice River Cruises, 856-327-1530. Look around our county and you’ll find some restaurants offering outdoor dining and/or takeout.

Our local cultural icons, WheatonArts and Riverfront Renaissance Center, have virtual galleries or special exhibits. There are professional art classes offered at both of these. Check the websites—WheatonArts.org and rrcarts.com to discover the programs and shows being offered.

During the pandemic, many people have tried some new hobbies. Having enough time to explore new activities is often at a premium. Some have discovered planting vegetable/flower gardens, done DIY household renovations, baked bread, and experienced painting. If you have thoughts or ideas about programs you wish to be available in the arts, please let us know. You can contact me via e-mail: marianne@glasstownartsdistrict.com.

The Third Friday art night plan is to reopen for August 21. There will be new exhibits at the galleries. Social distancing and mask-wearing will be mandatory when that occurs. Hopefully by that time, more restrictions will be lifted so that we can welcome you back to the Glasstown Arts District to enjoy browsing, shopping, and dining.

There are plans in the works to bring some events back to downtown beginning in September. The Millville Chamber of Commerce is busy planning the 30th Downtown Car Show for September 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This and other events will depend on the governor’s orders for large gatherings.

“Like” us—Millville Glasstown Arts District—and other Millville organizations and businesses on Facebook to get important information on a regular basis regarding special events and openings.

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