June 16 - S.U. College Corner - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

June 16 - S.U. College Corner

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GOOD MORNING DELMARVA - Can storytelling be taught? Is it important for American children to learn about Arabic dance? Shakespeare's Hamlet obviously has artistic merit … but do modern books and movies like The Hunger Games?

The answers, of course, are yes, yes and yes! That's what makes the Maryland Summer Center for the Arts (MSCA) such a vital institution.

Held by Salisbury University nearly every year since 1988, the center serves as a creative outlet for middle and high school students, ensuring they grow up with the cultural knowledge they need to complement the three R's.

Celebrating its 27th season this year, the center provides classes for some 120 students in music/orchestra, musical theatre, digital filmmaking, creative writing, visual arts and acting during a two-week residential program July 6-19. Students from across Maryland audition to participate. The result: an immersive atmosphere of arts and culture, including workshops led by professional artists, and a chance for students to demonstrate their skills during a culminating performance and art show.

Popular statewide, the center throughout the years has attracted students from all 23 Maryland counties plus Baltimore City. More than 50 percent of our students return for two or more seasons, and an average of 500 friends, family and community members attend student performances and exhibits each summer.

The Summer Center shares and supports SU's commitment to the community and has forged strong partnerships with area organizations and businesses. Students appear in public venues during their residency. Each year Salisbury's Barnes & Noble Booksellers sponsors orchestra and musical theatre students from the center at in-store performances.

Acting students also visit the bookstore, offering storytelling. Summer Center students also have performed at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Inner Harbor, the Maryland Institute Science Center and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

On Saturday, July 19, center studies culminate in an exhibition and performance by students from 9 a.m.–noon in Holloway Hall Auditorium. The exhibit and recital are free, and the public is invited.

These public performance experiences, coupled with the hands-on training Summer Center students receive, have earned high praise from the Maryland State Department of Education.

"Students who attend are challenged each and every day, have the opportunity to work with the highest caliber professionals in their chosen artistic field and are exposed to top notch performances, across disciplines, on a nightly basis," said Stephanie Zenker, MSDE gifted and talented education specialist. The center has "undoubtedly touched and changed the lives of thousands of young people," she added.

We invite the public to view this year's exhibits and performances, and find out exactly what the Summer Center is all about. For more information, call 410-548-4777 or email msca@salisbury.edu.

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