Parkland Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY BATHSHEBA MONK Shannon Slattery Fugate, above, Executive Director of The Baum School of Art, poses with PRESS PHOTO BY BATHSHEBA MONK Shannon Slattery Fugate, above, Executive Director of The Baum School of Art, poses with "the girls," dress forms which will be part of The Fashion Academy this summer during City Arts: Camp for Kids.

City Arts: Camp for Kids adds fashion, nature, science, math

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 by BATHSHEBA MONK Special to The Press in Focus

If you think of mosquitoes and poison ivy when you think "summer camp" think again. The Baum School of Art in Allentown is hosting Partnership Camps for children this summer which focus on beauty without the bugs.

City Arts: Camp for Kids is for children 7-11 and runs from June 24 - 28. City Arts is a collaboration of six major art and cultural institutions in the Lehigh Valley: The Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, The Baum School of Art, Civic Theatre of Allentown, Community Music School, Miller Symphony Hall, and Repertory Dance Theatre.

This year, The Baum School of Art is adding new camps to its line up: The Fashion Academy and pARTnership Camps with other local organizations, including Nature and the Arts Camp and The Dexter Baker Picking up STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) Camp.

Students in City Arts will learn about art, music, theater and dance from local masters. The camp culminates in an event to showcase the students' newfound mastery.

For children ages 12-17, each weekly and bi-weekly session of The Fashion Academy focuses on a city renowned for fashion: New York, Tokyo, Paris, London and Milan. Students will discover all the things that go into making a stylish piece of clothing: design, illustration, styling, sewing, draping and patternmaking, as well experience the off-shoots of clothing design such as modeling, photography, textile design and accessorizing.

Shannon Slattery Fugate, Executive Director of The Baum School of Art, says the school is lucky to be the beneficiary of the clothing collection of Jane Stieg, wife of James Stieg, one of the head engineers at Mack Trucks, Inc.

All of her clothes were meticulously styled and sewn by a private couture who designed them just for her in the 1950s and '60s. Students can examine the clothing and see first-hand the craftsmanship that goes into a high-end piece of clothing: bound seams, shoulder darts, matching patterns, and chain weights to hold down plackets. Students in any week of the Fashion Academy will have the opportunity to participate in a runway fashion show and exhibit at the end of the summer.

Did I say no bugs? There might be a couple, but mostly friendly bugs, at Nature and the Arts Camp, a partnership between The Wildlands Conservancy and the Baum School of Art, July 22 - 26.

In the morning, students will observe nature firsthand at the Poole Wildlife Sanctuary, Lower Macungie Township, then travel by bus to The Baum School for activities focusing on nature and wildlife.

The link between creativity and scientific discovery will be highlighted at The Dexter Baker Picking Up STEAM Camp, a collaboration between the Da Vinci Science Center and the Baum School of Art. There are two sessions of camp. The first one takes place Aug. 12 - 16 and the second one Aug. 19 - 23, both for children 10-13.

It's hard to challenge the idea that the arts are a crucial part of a well-rounded education and The Partnership Camps fill a real need when arts programs and education are being cut from school budgets.

Financial assistance for the Partnership Camps is available. For information on that and The Partnership Camps in general, go to: baumschool.org, or call 610-433-0032