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Center for Creative Youth

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Lisa Foss
Program Coordinator
lfoss@crec.org
(860) 757-6391

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Areas of Study and Classes

CCY students "major" in one of several offered art forms, which they study each weekday for three hours in the morning. In the afternoons, students take two different elective classes, encouraging them to try something new and learn more deeply about an art form they may have never explored.

Evening activities are scheduled carefully, and at least twice weekly students are exposed to professional, established, working artists across many genres. Open studio time, held twice weekly, gives students the opportunity to work on their artistic projects, research topics in Wesleyan's libraries and get individual guidance from the teaching assistants. Students are also charged with completing an Arts Advocacy project post-program, and will receive training and guidance for this while at CCY.

Field trips, College Day, Open Class/Family Day, and Community Share Day are a few of the additional activities in which students engage.

Be sure to check out our Faculty Page as well!

Majors

Students choose only one major when applying to the program. There are a variety of majors to choose from: Cartooning, Character and Concept Designs; Music; Musical Theater; Theater and Visual Arts. Monday – Friday from 9:30am – 12:30pm students will have class in these departments. Every department is different and has a specific plan to engage students in hands-on, intense exploration of their art form. Guest artists may be invited in to work with students during these times, or specific field trips will be taken as part of a lesson plan. Students will work both independently and in peer groups on a variety of assignments.

Additionally, students choose from a series of elective classes that encourage them to explore art forms outside of their major, or deepen the study of their chosen art form. These are called the Elective Intensives. These classes offer a wonderful opportunity for students to broaden their artistic experience and portfolio. They are specific in nature, with an emphasis on multicultural art forms, or topics within an art form not covered in the morning curricula. The Elective Intensives are attended each weekday from 2:00pm – 4:00pm and run for two weeks, giving each student the opportunity to try two different classes during the four weeks of the program. CCY offers 10-12 different class options each session. (NOTE: Elective Intensive class selections are distributed after acceptance into the program.) As these fill quickly, student requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. In most cases, students receive their first or second choice, but are encouraged to partake in classes outside of their “comfort zone!”

NEW College Credit Option for 2018

Wesleyan University Summer Session – College Credit Option (July 2 – August 1)

Wesleyan University offers an intensive Summer Session in which students can complete semester-long courses in just one month. Wesleyan Summer Session is open to rising high school juniors and seniors with the academic qualifications and commitment to complete intellectually challenging courses in a compressed schedule. CCY has selected certain Wesleyan Summer Session courses that can serve as “alternative majors” for the CCY program. CCY students may apply to enroll in these courses as part of their CCY experience. Options include Intensives in Digital Art, Screenwriting, Techniques of Fiction and The Art of the Personal Essay. If admitted, they will be in classes alongside Wesleyan undergraduates and other selected high school students. All Wesleyan courses have limited enrollment, preserving the small seminar experience, and opportunity for close relationships with faculty and fellow students that are the hallmarks of a Wesleyan education. These courses are taken for college credit; no auditors. To learn more about Wesleyan’s Summer Session, offering college credit courses for high school students, please visit wesleyan.edu/summer.

Additional charges apply ($3,260 per credit in addition to the CCY program fees. Financial aid is not available for this additional college credit option.)

Elective Intensives

Students choose from a series of elective classes that encourage them to explore art forms outside of their major, or deepen the study of their chosen art form. These are called the Elective Intensives. These classes offer a wonderful opportunity for students to broaden their artistic experience and portfolio. They are specific in nature, with an emphasis on multicultural art forms, or topics within an art form not covered in the morning curricula. The Elective Intensives are attended each weekday from 2:00pm – 4:00pm and run for two weeks, giving each student the opportunity to try two different classes during the four weeks of the program.

CCY offers 6-8 different class options each session. (NOTE: Elective Intensive class selections are distributed after acceptance into the program.) As these fill quickly, student requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. In most cases, students receive their first or second choice, but are encouraged to partake in classes outside of their “comfort zone!”

Major Art Forms (Morning)

Cartooning, Character and Concept Designs

Various styles of cartooning are welcome in this exciting course. Emphasis will be placed on the development of original characters and the universes they inhabit. The fundamentals of general art techniques, character development, and storytelling with emphasis on narrative art techniques, penciling, inking, lettering, and coloring (both traditionally and digitally), are the foundations of this class.

Music

CCY offers four weeks of training that music students are unlikely to find elsewhere. Wesleyan has one of the oldest ethnomusicology departments in the country and is home to a wide range of both world music traditions and compositional practices, which CCY students will have the opportunity to study in depth. Students are encouraged to bring their instruments and apply their existing skills in familiar and unfamiliar ways, participating in ensembles and workshops that will touch on jazz, rock, music from Africa, Asia and Latin America and various experimental approaches. There will also be offerings in music theory, history, and composition. Students will attend master classes with prestigious guest artists and will perform several times throughout the program.

Musical Theater

Students majoring in musical theater integrate concentrated actor training with daily voice work and dance classes. Students work on solo and ensemble performance skills using selections from the American Musical Theater Lexicon, which covers a wide range of styles from traditional to contemporary. Audition preparation and Master Classes are also key components of the training, which includes a focus on the History of Musical Theater and multiple performance opportunities.

Theater

Theater majors begin with a five-day intensive program in movement for actors, based primarily on the Laban and the Viewpoint techniques. This is designed for the actor and does not require any dance experience. Students start each day with Suzuki method intensive exercises in ensemble building, physical core strength, focus and concentration, voice and diction, and improvisation. Theater students then focus on monologues, scene work and audition preparation. We culminate in a devised-work intensive. Summer Artists-in-Residence or area professionals offer Master Classes. A field trip to a local professional production supports their studies.

Visual Arts

Visual Arts coursework includes traditional drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed media. Students will experiment with a variety of media in each discipline, with emphasis on foundation building, problem solving, and conceptual exploration. Students will exhibit their work twice during the program. Students will also learn from guest artists, draw from life, and take field trips to museums. Students will document their work, develop portfolios, and receive coaching in the college application process.

Elective Intensives (Afternoon)

Cartooning for Non-Majors

This exciting and fun class is designed for those who may have an interest in cartooning, but are not majoring in it. Various styles of cartooning are welcome, and while emphasis will be placed on the development of original characters and the universes they inhabit, the course is designed for a beginner's skill level. The fundamentals of general art techniques, character development, penciling, inking, coloring (both traditionally and digitally), are covered.

Musical Theater For Non-majors

Students will be introduced to basic principles of acting, vocal work, music, movement, and interpretation. We will apply these principles while studying various genres of this most American invention, Musical Theater from the early 1940’s through today. This course is for non-majors.

Photography for Non-majors

This course is an introduction to the art of photography for beginners. Learn to shoot on manual mode from now on to unleash your camera's potential and your artistic control! This action-packed class covers W/B, ISO, Aperture (f-stop), and Shutter Speed, and how they work together under YOUR control to get the artful shots that YOU want. This class is ideal for novice photographers looking to understand how a camera works, what the settings mean, and how to shoot artfully on manual mode.

Song Writing

Song Writing is intended for students who write songs or who have musical ideas they would like to turn into completed songs. We will stress creativity over formula, establishing a supportive environment where songwriters can work on their craft, collaborate with peers, and receive constructive feedback. Students will work together on daily assignments given by the teacher and then workshop the results with the whole class. There will also be opportunities for students to receive feedback on individual compositions. Each class session will also feature music analysis and discussion of musical terms. This class is founded on the idea that any creative person can be a songwriter. Basic instrumental or vocal skills are encouraged, but highly motivated non-musicians are also welcome.

Spoken Word Poetry

Instructor Alexa Patrick’s favorite definition of Spoken Word is the one that speaks to, “telling truth loudly.” This demands and validates the expression of every voice. Spoken Word includes the audience as part of the work, building a bridge. This workshop will be designed to maximize exposure to performance and writing styles as well as to maximize artistic growth from each student. Each class will consist of a free write to open the mind, a lesson, an example, a prompt, and sharing/feedback. This format will allow the students to accustom themselves to sharing their truth, understanding their writing style, and manipulating their writing style to make sure that their truth is understood or felt by the audience.

Stage Combat

Introduction to Stage Combat (ISC): Stage Combat is the illusion of violence for stage or screen. Understanding the techniques of safe and effective performance combat is the primary goal. The student will build a solid foundation of footwork, attacks, and defenses, and explore movement and partnering techniques for stage combat.

West African Drumming and Dance

This course is a non-stop, energetic exploration of the dynamic music, dance, song, and culture of West Africa. All students experience firsthand a non-Western way of musical expression in preparation for outdoor concerts. Appropriate for serious music, dance, and vocal students, as well as beginners from all arts areas!

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