Give Your Kids A Creative Outlet This Summer At The Smithsonian

I want to invite the Flex community to participate in Summer Art Camps at the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler Galleries of Asian art. Each art camp includes interactive gallery activities, drama and team-building exercises, exposure to a variety of art materials, and projects related to Asian art. Camps are available for young learners between the ages of 8 -14. After-camp options are available as well. For more information, check out our Summer Art Camp event page.

As a former Flex Academy after-school instructor, I understand and believe in the importance of extracurricular programs for young learners, especially those that provide creative and artistic opportunities. There is an increasing need for creative thinkers in today’s global workforce. Creativity is being touted by business leaders like the folks at IBMeducational reformists, and economists like Dan Pink as the number one things that we need for student success, economic growth, and general happiness. Yet, since the 1990s, creativity scores in the United States are on the decline according Torrance Tests for Creativity, especially between the ages of 6-12.

Arts education has long been understood as a means to develop and cultivate these critical thinking skills. The Wallace Foundation and Harvard Project Zero identified in a recent study that what quality art education does best is to develop the ”capacity to think creatively and capacity to create connections.” Our 2015 sessions of Summer Art Camp (listed below) provide such opportunities for student to begin to think like artists and entrepreneurs who are curious, see questions, develop ideas and work through challenges. Join us in our classroom this summer where ideas are king and curiosity reigns.

2015 Sessions

Adventures in Anime and Manga

Monday–Friday, July 27–31

9 am–3 pm daily

Trace the origins of manga drawing and anime films through the Freer and Sackler collections of Japanese art. Learn to draw and develop your own characters. Discover the tricks to creating the illusion of three-dimensionality and apply them to your own art. Register now!

Fold, Roll, Stitch: Exploring Bookmaking

Monday–Friday, August 3–7

9 am–3 pm daily

Make your own book as you learn about different writing styles and book formats across Asia. Experiment with Arabic calligraphy and Chinese pictographs, work with papyrus and vellum, and create scrolls and special book covers. Register now!

If you have any questions about either of these summer camps, please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail at lasnoskimj@si.edu or phone at 202-633-0465.

We hope to see you soon this summer!

Matthew Lasnoski

Educator, Youth & Family Programs

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art and Freer Gallery of Art

Smithsonian Institution


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