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Sisters Folk Festival offers music, creativity summer camps

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SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) — Sisters Folk Festival will offer two outdoor summer camps for middle school-aged students this summer: August 10-14 and August 17-21. These week-long day camps will explore creativity, musical discovery, art and creative writing, taught by professional artists and educators.

The all-day camps will be held outside on the lawn at Sisters Art Works, 204 W Adams Ave., and will be the first of what SFF staff sees as new educational initiatives at their Sisters Art Works property.

The first camp will take place August 10-14 and is called “The Nature of Expression: Exploring Art, Music, Creative Writing and Nature.” This week=long session will be taught by musician, songwriter and poet Beth Wood and teaching artist Judy Fuentes.

Wood is an acclaimed singer-songwriter and Oregon Book of Poetry award-winner, and will teach music and creative writing. Fuentes is a veteran teaching artist of two decades who currently teaches at Sisters Middle School, and will explore fun and creative themes through visual arts and illustration. This camp has a limit of 20 students (two groups of 10 students each) and all instruments and materials will be provided.

Students will explore storytelling and self-expression through art, creative writing, and music. Topics to explore include relationships with sound, imagery, emotions and the expression of those relationships through art, music, and storytelling. Campers will be able to create stories, melodies, songs and poems, and will use colors, forms and words to create art expressions and musical instruments. Each day includes opportunities to immerse into visual arts, music, creative writing, and reflection, as well as fun with the many forms of creative expression through awareness, discovery, and play!

The second week-long camp, “Five Days of Music Imagination,” will be held August 17-21 and will explore approaches to music, rhythm, lyric writing, self-expression, and having fun through music and words. Led by teaching musicians Natalie Akers and Jenner Fox, the camp will be a week-long music and songwriting intensive.

Fox says, “Five creative days of making music together: writing, jamming, and listening on our journey to ignite the inner musician in all of us and becoming a listening musician, and ideally perform original music. This is a collaborative and inclusive environment, and we believe listening and playing music together are powerful tools for battling isolation, gaining strength in our imaginations, and building a sense of self.” 

This camp has a limit of 10 students and all instruments and materials will be provided. All levels of experience are welcome.

Jenner Fox and Natalie Akers recently moved to Sisters to pursue music and educational opportunities. Fox is a singer-songwriter, international river guide and the co-founder of the Cassiopeia Academy for Music Performance and   Songwriting in Washington, DC. Akers​is a piano/keyboard player and educator. She has worked with camps since 2016 to bring interdisciplinary and music programs to life for middle and high school students throughout the US and Japan, and has a B.A in American Studies from Yale University.

Sisters Folk Festival has carefully designed these camps to adhere with COVID-19 public health guidance and other industry best practices, including physical distancing, hand-washing and sanitizing stations, and mask wearing as necessary in a socially-distanced outdoor environment.

Under the current Phase 2 reopening guidelines in Oregon, the entire camp gathering is limited to 20 participants, with two instructors each teaching to a group of 10 students. The second camp will have a 10 student limit. Lunch will be provided as part of registration unless the camper opts out.

Registration is open to students ages 10-14 starting Wednesday, July 15. Financial assistance is available. Information & registration can be found at www.sistersfolkfestival.org. All levels of music and art experience are welcome.

The staff at Sisters Folk Festival is thrilled to be able to offer these camps this summer and — if all goes well – is looking to offer similar programs for multiple populations as the year progresses.

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