Summer Arts Programs

by elizabeth | February 18th, 2010

Clowns at GIAofVT 2009

I was lucky to have teachers who cared about my artistic development in high school. Instrumental music, chorus, and drama were all stressed, and important parts of of my life. I also attended summer Arts enrichment programs – such as the Vermont Governor’s Institute on the Arts, where I discovered Salsa music with the help of Jacob Edgar, and learned to paint with acrylics under the guidance of Wosene Kosrof. I also studied at the 5-week program at Berklee College of Music, which helped me decide to go to college in a city (and Boston, specifically).

Some students have mentors who will push them to learn about themselves through art, but many do not.

Will you be that mentor?

You don’t have to be an artist or musician yourself to be that someone for a young person. Encourage them to take photography or composition classes. Subsidize their lessons if you’re financially able. Buy their finished artwork. And help them to find peers.

In Vermont, I’m now the Director of the Governor’s Institute on the Arts, that seminal place in my life. We offer an intensive 2-week program covering art forms as diverse as Drawing, Writing, Music, Puppetry, Stone Carving, and many more. If you know a motivated student entering grades 10-12 in Vermont, please send them to our website for more information:

Across the country, there are great arts programs. View a list from the National Conference of Governor’s Schools, and leave a comment here with links to other great programs.

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elizabeth! is a vocalist, trombonist, and songwriter working in NYC and Los Angeles. Originally from Vermont, she studied neuroscience at Harvard before moving to NYC to play, tour, and record with jazz musicians, indie rockers, pop stars and more. Her new album of original jazzy pop tunes was just released on Canopy Jazz!

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