This past summer, thanks to support from Creative Pinellas and the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, 52 campers a week at Great Explorations Summer Camp were able to participate in a daily art experience, explore the Dali Museum, and design a personal mola to decorate their very own rainsticks in a fantastic class with professional artist Cara Weaver. These experiences broadened horizons and deepened friendships as the children worked together to learn new things and express themselves in art projects that corresponded to each week's unique theme.
When surveyed, 100% of the campers, when asked what activity from camp they still play with at home, indicated an art project they created in our Art-a-Day program. Some loved painting piggy banks and other loved sculpting their own boats, but whatever the activity, it's clear it made a lasting impression and is now an enduring part of the campers' lives.
The Creative Pinellas grant funded our field trip to the Dali, which not only allowed our campers to immerse themselves into Dali's iconic surreal paintings, but it also helped make them aware of St. Petersburg's world-class art offerings.
Finally, the opportunity to work with a professional artist really enriched the other activities we did during our Passport: South America theme. Many campers indicated that they feel they learned the most during that week, and we know that learning about rainsticks with professional artist Cara Weaver was a big part of that learning experience.
Upon final reflection, the Creative Pinellas grant truly enhanced the hands-on, educational experiences that Great Ex campers had this summer, forming lasting memories and sparking curiosity and inspiring them to be lifelong learners.