Sparking Creativity this Summer

from Julia Bush, Director of Warren Art Spot:

It’s here!  Warren Art Spot has finalized our schedule of classes, workshops and camps for the summer.   We are offering 5 weeks of programming from June 18th through July 20th.  There is sure to be something to tickle your child’s fancy.  Some of your favorite teachers are returning and we’re excited to introduce you to some new ones, too.

They’ve developed an appealing variety of offerings for children as young as 5 years old and up through the teen years; just look at this list:

    • Handmade Paper Making Workshop
    • Book Making Workshop
    • Gyotaku (Japanese nature printing)
    • Collage Portrait Paintings
    • Fashion Passion (a t-shirt class)
    • Radial Design Mandala
    • All in the Family (a caricature workshop)
    • Painting Big!
    • Master Artists – Animal Safari
    • Create a Colorful Coiled Basket

and capping it all off is their 2-week Summer Camp session, where children will participate in a variety of art projects in drawing, painting, collage and ceramics.  Adding to the experience, camp kids will split their time between Warren Art Spot and Mudstone Studios, where they can work on their ceramics onsite!  Learn more about their summer workshops, their instructors, and how to register by visiting the Warren Art Spot website.

The Magic of Fairies and Imagination

“When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.  And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy.  So there ought to be one fairy for every boy or girl.”  ~James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan

I love tales of fairies and fantastical creatures, from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan to Black & DiTerlizzi’s Spiderwick Chronicles, and everything in between and beyond!  A good fantasy story reminds us of the magic of childhood and nurtures a child’s belief in the magic of imagination like nothing else.  This weekend we can bring these stories to life for the children in our lives and celebrate the magic of fairies and imagination at Blithewold’s 3rd Annual Fairy Festival on Sunday, April 29th from 11am ’til 3pm.

Described as “a springtime play-day for all ages”, there will be picnicking (BYO), fairy crafts, dancing around the Maypole, an ongoing plant sale (grow your own fairy garden!), and more (see below).  Fairy costumes are encouraged🙂 .  As of this posting, there’s no rain in the forecast for Sunday, though it might be a bit chilly on the great lawn at Blithewold, so little fairies may need a jacket.  Take a peek at the scheduled events:

●Fairy House Building from 11am ’til 1pm

●Fairy Story Times at 11:30am & 2pm

●Interactive Musical Performance by Mary King from 12:30pm ’til 1:30pm, and again from 2pm ’til 3pm

●Fairy Detectives Tour at 2:30pm

This event is FREE with regular admission to Blithewold; visit their website to view the various admission prices (note – children 5 and under are admitted free of charge to Blithewold).

stone bridge over the water garden @ Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum, spring 2012

Roving Eye Film Festival, 2012

FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) and Roger Williams University (RWU) are proud to present the 7th annual Roving Eye International Film Festival™. The popular and acclaimed event, celebrating global cinema and artists, will take place Sunday, April 22nd thru Thursday, April 26th, where more than 30 international films will be showcased, many United States premieres. All screenings are free of charge and open to the public. Screenings will take place on the campus of Roger Williams University at the Global Heritage Hall in Bristol, R.I.

The 7th annual Roving Eye International Film Festival will cover themes ripped from the headlines: returning veterans from the War on Terror; facing PTSD and mental stress; global human rights, international relations and issues addressing sustainability and ecology. This year’s Festival will also include Latin-American, Asian and an international film showcase.

Click here to learn more and to access the full schedule of events.

The 2012 Roving Eye International Film Festival is sponsored by The Providence Journal, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (RICH) an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Roger Williams University Office of the Provost; the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences; the RWU Department of Communications, and the RWU Department of Psychology.

Things in Threes

Do good things always happen in threes?  Or wait – is it only bad things?  Or, have we simply been culturally programmed over thousands of years to notice when things happen in threes?  While you ponder that, mark your calendars for the first weekend in May

THING #1 –

The Mt. Hope Masqueraders proudly present their 2012 spring musical, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”.  Opening night is Thursday, May 3rd at 7pm, with shows running through Sunday, May 6th.  Troupers have been generating buzz for weeks, hanging posters around town and even appearing in costume at the Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the Bristol Dept. of Parks & Recreation.  You’ll have another chance to catch a sneak preview on Sunday, April 22nd at 1pm, when Blithewold hosts a “Be Our Guest” Children’s Tea!  Guests will get the chance to meet the costumed cast of the upcoming show while enjoying tea and treats at Blithewold Mansion, served by some of the actors themselves!  Can you imagine the delight on your little one’s face when Mrs. Potts pours out?  Or when Cogsworth hands out cookies?  Seating is limited and advance registration is required; visit Blithewold’s website for more information about this fun event.  As for the show itself, tickets for “Beauty and the Beast” can be reserved by calling 254-5980 ext. 3163 or by visiting the MHHS Box Office on select days; click on the poster to learn more.

In conjunction with the Masqueraders’ spring musical, Mt. Hope High School’s Arts Department presents their Community Arts Celebration, May 3rd through May 6th. The exhibit’s Opening Reception is on Thursday, May 3rd from 5:30pm ’til 7:30pm in the high school gymnasium.  The show is primarily comprised of high school art work, but this year, there will be a selection of elementary student work on display as well.  On Thursday night (May 3rd) there will be wheel throwing demonstrations, visiting artists, musical performances, a kids craft table,  sidewalk chalk drawing, a bake sale, a ceramics sale (benefitting the Women’s Resource Center), and a raffle.  Theatre students will also be on hand to impersonate famous artists.  The exhibit will be open through the weekend every evening before the curtain opens on “Beauty and the Beast”, so arrive early and take a look!

THING #2 –

The same weekend, the Guiteras Performing Arts Committee proudly presents its debut production, “Seussical, Jr.”, for three shows only on Friday through Sunday, May 4th – May 6th.  And talk about buzz … Sunday’s show is already sold out!  As of this posting, there are a few tickets left for Friday’s and Saturday’s shows, available at Hair, Heart & Soul on Hope Street in Bristol.  The Guiteras Performing Arts Committee (GPAC) is a newly formed group of Guiteras School parents dedicated to creating and supporting more arts opportunities in school for their children.  In what sounds like a “stars-aligned” kind of moment, a handful of parents with children about the same ages, in the same elementary school, realized they shared the motivation and the expertise (in dance, music, and theatre) to make something happen, so they got to work.  And they’ve been working hard, holding auditions and rehearsals with the Guiteras schoolchildren, building out the stage at Reynolds School, making costumes, seeking grants, and getting excited for opening night!  We can’t wait to see the show, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for this promising new local arts group!

THING #3 –

Auditions will round out the first weekend in May … Bristol Theatre Company has announced their 2012 summer musical, “Children of Eden”, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by John Caird.  Auditions for BTC’s summer musical will be held on Sunday, May 6th from 4pm ’til 8pm, and on Monday, May 7th from 6:30pm ’til 8pm, at The Children’s Workshop* on Child Street in Warren.  Adults and children (ages 8-15 yrs old) are welcome to audition.   The show is tentatively scheduled to run the first two weeks in August.  For more information, visit BTC’s Facebook page (*please do NOT call The Children’s Workshop for information).

Plan ahead – it’s going to be a whirlwind of a weekend!

Inspired by Nature

'Star Magnolia', spring 2012

What a beautiful first-day-of-Spring-Vacation for those of us staying in town this week!  The kids are off from school, and if you’re lucky enough to have the week off to spend with them, get outside today and make some art inspired by nature!  Here are some ideas to get you started…

  1. Make Nature Faces, as seen on Kidoinfo
  2. Build a Spring Theater, as seen on Imagine Childhood
  3. Take a Day Trip to the DeCordova Sculpture Park, as seen on Kids in the Studio
  4. Go on a Macro-Photography outing to Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
  5. Bring some humor to the neighborhood and Chalk the Block, as seen on Klutz

Happy Spring Vacation, everyone!