All together now: and a one, two, three and four, five, six, seven and eight! Youth at the Wesley House Community Center prepped their dancing shoes as dance teacher extraordinaire Marcellus Love turned up the music and started counting out steps for a class full of wiggling, giggling kids. The Kentucky Center's ArtsReach program is at it again, enriching our community by bringing hands-on arts experiences to its network site near Preston Highway's neighborhoods.
The Wesley House provides a summer of field trips, outdoor recreation, college visits, music and dance- all aiming to, "help people help themselves" with programs dedicated to meeting the needs of the community. Helping to keep this mission alive is President/CEO Dr. Renée Campbell who is also president of the Board of the Phoenix Global Humanitarian Foundation and board member of the Mary Byron Project and the Metropolitan Housing Coalition. Dr. Campbell earned an undergraduate degree from Kentucky State University and later a Master’s Degree from the University of Louisville, along with a Doctorate degree in Education from Spalding University. Other administrative keys to success include Vanisha Jones who leads the camp staff and Keith McGill who shares drama-influenced actvities with the children.
As one o'clock hit, the center's playroom transformed into a dance studio as kids got together to rehearse the dance moves, only after a warm up of a few thrilling rounds of musical chairs was completed. The kids, ages ranging between six to eleven and all from different backgrounds, began with stretches and jumping jacks to get the blood flowing. As Marcellus Love called, "Game Time!" and received a, "you know!" from the kids the focus was there and the dancing began. The upbeat moves were a quick run, leap, jump and hop away as each kid happily stepped out of their shell and into a comfortable space of freedom and un-judged expression. Dancing isn't the only goodie that brings rhythm to their day, other activities include a music lesson which polishes the kids drumming skills from ten in the morning until noon with Joan Brannon.
The center welcomes each individual that, as their vision states, wishes to experience life more abundantly. To learn more about how the ArtsReach program and the Wesley House Community Center are working together to create a space of arts learning and creativity visit the ArtsReach page here or the Wesley House programs and services page.
Photo credits, images above: Julia Youngblood
Photo Sourced from WesleyHouseKy.org
Interested in Community Arts and Education stories like these? Create your Kentucky Center eClub profile and select “Education” as one of your preferences in order to receive our monthly e-newsletter.