SCHENECTADY – The Hamilton Hill Art Center’s summer camp is eager to return to in-person operations, after the height of last summer’s pandemic reduced it to online operations that resulted in “Zoom fatigue,” executive director Rachel Conn said.
The camp will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays from July 12 to Aug. 13 in the new sculpture park across the street from the Arts Center’s building at 409 Schenectady St.
The children will work under a pavilion that Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County will build, which is exciting, Conn said.
The outdoor location enables the center to continue to run summer programs while construction on the building continues.
Conn said the center, which focuses on the art and culture of the African diaspora, just put out a request for bids for building renovations which will be funded with a $70,000 grant the center received from the city.
That work will include bringing its kitchen up to code, adding a bathroom downstairs for classroom use, new flooring and an HVAC system.
The building should be ready when school resumes in the fall.
The summer camp will serve 40 children ages 5 to 12.
It asks for a membership of $35 per child or family, but the fee is considered a donation, Conn said.
The Schenectady County Job Training Agency will provide the camp with paid, teenage counselors.
Campers will be asked to enhance the sculpture park by making murals, mosaics, glass beading, sculptures, paint garbage receptacles and produce art from recycled materials.
Each week local artists will teach and highlight a particular art form.
Children will be served free lunch and snacks and the program will provide field trips, including visits to other sculpture parks in the area to inspire and teach the campers, Conn said.
Register to the camp at www.hamiltonhillartscenter.org or by calling Conn at 518-313-2556.
Speaking about last year, Conn said supply packages were sent to the campers’ homes, but participation dwindled as the summer progressed.
“People are really excited to be in person again,” she said.