2006-07-14 / Columnists

From The Artists Studio

Camp KidsmArt, Summer Moons And Kate Begin
Rockaway Artists Alliance by Susan Hartenstein

Get a head start on your summer weekends every Thursday through August 24. S ummer Moons, RAA's highly successful series of free Thursday evening summer concerts under the stars, is back by popular demand. The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Come to the Rockaway Moon Stage, located between sTudio 6 and sTudio 7 Galleries in the Rockaway Center for the Arts (RoCA) in Fort Tilden. If the weather is inclement the concert will move indoors to studio 7 Gallery.

Hudson's Hope inaugurated this year's performances on July 13. This terrific band's repertoire includes original songs written by band members. The musicians and singers are John Dilgen, Matt Gilleece, Apryl Green, Greg Myers, Danny Marston and Gordon Richardson. August 5 will be Family Night, geared for very young children and their families. A future concert will bring back the popular band Indaculture, which entertained thrilled audiences last summer on the Moon Stage. Concerts will feature a variety of talented singers, musicians, spoken word artists and more. Expect some imaginative surprises. All for free.

Starting its life as an indoor Broadway set, the outdoor Rockaway Moon Stage is a unique structure that now rises majestically into the sky. Its open grillwork construction is a perfect setting through which the cool Rockaway breezes flow freely. The next concert is Thursday, July 20, starting at 7:30 p.m. As of this writing, the entertainment schedule for this week is not yet definite. Be assured, it will be something good. You may call the RAA office at (718) 474-0861 for information. Bring your own blankets, coolers, chairs and children. Some chairs will be available. The benches in front of the stage go fast. Watch this column for future information.

Camp kidsmART, RAA's much-praised arts based summer camp, began on Monday, July 10. It operates in Fort Tilden, in and around buildings T-149, T-6 (sTudio 6) and T-1, the administration building. Adding to its successful and popular programming, this year features several new highlights. A state-of-the-art sound system has been installed. Also new this season is a computer room/library located in T-1 that, according to Director Marina Callaghan, "contains thousands of fantastic books and art magazines," many of which were donated to RAA by the public. Two new theater instructors have joined the staff. They come from the prestigious organization, TADA, which sends theater instructors into the schools.

In 2006, Camp KidsmART provides top-notch programming for 180 campers and employs 60 staff members that include senior counselors and teen assistants. The interns in the program have "grown up" in the camp and, therefore, are very familiar with its philosophy and goals. Camp KidsmART is so popular that each year the waiting list is long. Callaghan wishes for those on that list to understand that, though its directors would like to include more campers and staff, there is a certain regulated number that can be safely accommodated in the existing facilities. Right now, as this columnist can report, be assured that 180 children and 60 teens and adults will be having a great summer.

RTC's production of Kiss Me Kate has opened to sold out and very happy audiences. For tickets and information about this splendid Cole Porter musical, call the RTC Hotline at (718) 850-2450.


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