Offering a Virtual Arts Camp during a Pandemic
Presented by Jacki Vadney, Athens State University; Chris Vrenna and Kim Parker Calhoun College; Jessica Spowart, Athens State
In 2020, when the pandemic shut down the world, the faculty of The Project (a Summer Arts Pathway Program for high school students interested in the Arts in Northern Alabama, offered by faculty from Athens State University and Calhoun Community College, in conjunction with the Alabama Center for the Arts) had to shift the format of our program. Social distancing, safety protocols, and the uncertainty of our world necessitated creative problem solving in order to create an engaging, creative, instructional arts camp experience for students. We plan to share our experience of turning a hands on education program in the arts to a fully online format: challenges, partnerships, successes, failures, and the creative solutions we developed that allowed us to still engage with and inspire young artists to create new works in the middle of a pandemic.
Attendees will learn how we restructured the camp: using technology and reformating management practices related to organizing and running our program. We will share the challenges of shifting the arts (which fundmentally are hands on, creative processes) to being instructional and engaging online. We’ll share the strengths and challenges of utilizing and relying on Zoom and how we created an engaging, interactive experience for students to explore and create original works. Our workshop will utilize Zoom in coordination with a PowerPoint presenation, to give background information on the history of The Project, a timeline of creating the camp, as well as looking at how and when we shifted to a virtual platform. We plan to use breakout rooms and scenarios we come up with to have attendees work in small groups to problem solve solutions to scenarios of how to create engaging, educational programming in a pandemic society where social distancing measures must be practiced. This workshop would be beneficial for faculty, student activities leaders, club advisors, and anyone who works with creating programming for community events through a university or university organization. We would be comfortable having up to 40 participants.