NACC’s ‘Stages’ offers city kids yoga, gardening, music, field trips and more | Local News

Nearly 70 city children learned to write songs, play drums, do yoga, sculpt, dance and more this summer while taking part in a summer camp program called “Stages” at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center. 

The program, which will conclude with a talent showcase at 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon, also gave participants the chance to see a little more of the region, with field trips to Canalside in Buffalo, Murphy’s Orchard in Appleton and the Niagara Power Vista. The idea of the camp is to expose area children to new experiences, organizers said.

“This is the third year for ‘Stages,’ which is the new version of the arts camp the NACC has been offering for over 10 years,” said Rachel Olszewski, program director. “It’s really important for us to instill an interest in arts and culture with the students while providing a super fun summer experience.”

This year’s camp was successful in many ways, Olszewski noted. 

“It was an awesome year,” Olszewski added. “I got to see so much growth. The kids were really super engaged, especially the NACC news class with teacher Dave Riffle.”

The news class was new this year, and students were taught about responsible journalism and reporting, through a sponsorship by WGRZ Channel 2 and the Tegna Foundation. A news video the campers prepared about their their summer experiences will be part of the showcase on Thursday. 

The “Stages” camp costs $100 per child for six weeks. It is $50 for each additional siblings, and it runs four days a week. 

Plans for next year have already begun, Olszewski said. “We want to open it up to more kids so more kids have an opportunities to come. We will probably bring in more staff and offer more scholarships.”

This year, music teacher Lisa Surace of Bravo Studio, was among teachers and artists who worked with the children at the camp. Surace, also an adjunct…

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