HCOA art and music camp opportunities coming up for Homer youth

Homer Council on the Arts is offering several more camp opportunities for Homer youth in July and August.

Art in the Park is an outdoor day camp for youth ages 5 to 12, with different sessions available depending on age. The sessions will take place at HCOA, Bishop’s Beach and Karen Hornaday Park depending on weather conditions each day of the camp. The next session will take place July 8-12, with a fee of $120 for youth ages 5-7 and $175 for youth ages 8-12. Possibly activities will include tie-dye T-shirts, papier-mache bowls, color leaf prints, mandalas, collage landscapes, cardboard animal faces, face painting and other games.

The Mary Epperson Folk Music Camp is more structured and will take place July 15-19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is open to youth ages 8 to 17. Students who are new to music or who have already been studying privately are welcome to join and make music together. According to the HCOA camp registration website, students will have the chance to explore the range of instruments available in the camp and are encouraged to take a lesson in a “new-to-you instrument.”

Instructors for the camp are musicians from the Kenai Peninsula, including Sue Biggs with fiddle, guitar and vocals; Pattie Hamre with ukulele; Martie Krohn with guitar, dulcimer and whistle; Josh Krohn with clawhammer banjo; Robyn Lanier with piano and songwriting; and Mary Schallert with fiddle, guitar, vocals and strings. There will be additional guest musicians providing assistance and student counselors. Camp will conclude with a final musical performance that the public will be invited to attend on the final day of the camp at 3 p.m.

Scott Bartlett, executive director of HCOA, said the emphasis for the music camp is really just to come together and have fun in a collaborative environment. This is the second year the camp has come back together about a hiatus and it’s the second year of experience for most of the instructors and enrollment is a little higher this year. “We’re excited to grow the camp back up again,” Bartlett said.

The Mary Epperson Camp is supported by the Homer Foundation YAC Fund and the Alaska Community Foundation’s Camp Initiative.

Mary Epperson was a music instructor in Homer in the 1980s and 1990s when she ran Etude Studio on the property behind where HCOA is now located. Etude Studio had three small rooms. One was Epperson’s main studio and instruction space with two pianos so she could play duets with her students, the second was offered to other music instructors and the third was “The Music Box,” a small store offering instruments, gifts and music books. HCOA also celebrates a “Mary Epperson Day” each year to honor her contributions to the community.

Prices for Art in the Park are dependent on the students age. The Mary Epperson Folk Music Camp is $300, with scholarships available. For more information and to register go the HCOA webpage at homerart.org or visit the office on Pioneer Avenue. Registration for the music camp is due by July 7.