Wayne Center for the Arts

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News & Events


WCA and YMCA Present Summer Program

Students creating artwork

This summer, Wayne Center for the Arts' Community Outreach Program and YMCA of Wayne County collaborated to provide arts programming for their summer camp students.  Thanks to the GIVE 365 Grant from the Wayne County Community Foundation, WCA was able to send an instructor to 4 of the YMCA summer camp locations to advise a weekly art project. This resulted in 235 Wayne County children between the ages of 6 and 12 being exposed to arts on a regular basis throughout the summer. 

The program was a great chance to reduce barriers to art and help campers increase self-confidence, reduce stress and relax, make friends and socialize in a safe space, and express themselves creatively.

WCA instructors are privileged to witness the profound impact of art through the Community Outreach Program. Here's an instance: an 8-year-old boy engaged in an art project, crafting a bookmark. During the process, the instructor approached him, keen on observing and inquiring about his creation.

What unfolded was poignant. The boy had split the bookmark into two sections, and he opened up about his parents' impending divorce and the upcoming changes in his living situation. In the upper section, he depicted his mom and her home, passionately sharing the positive facets of being with her. The lower section mirrored this with his dad.

What caught the instructor's attention was how the boy, as he worked on his project, seemed to be navigating the impending life-altering transformation. He vocalized his thoughts, creating a visual representation of his emotions and journey. This safe and nurturing environment, fostered by the Community Outreach Program, allowed him to process his emotions through artistic expression and interaction with the instructor.

As weeks went by, the program's continuity led to a blossoming trust between the boy and the instructor. This newfound rapport enabled the boy to open up progressively. The WCA instructor firmly believes that this experience played a pivotal role in helping the boy navigate his emotional journey in the face of significant life changes.

The Community Outreach Program works with many organizations throughout Wayne County including the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of Wooster, Orrville Area Boys and Girls Club, One-Eighty, the Village Network, Community Action's Head Start, and NAMI of Wayne and Holmes Counties.  These projects are supported by collaboration and generous gifts from initiatives like GIVE 365.