Arts Summer Camps are Back

April 15, 2021 | By Carlene Cobb

Young artists have fun with friends
and create art in safe settings

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A proud artist at Dunedin Fine Art Center

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As the 2020-2021 school year winds down, many Pinellas County students and parents are gearing up for Arts Summer Camps. Last summer, camps were offered online or cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. This summer, some online classes will continue and live, in-person art camps are back.

Registration for most camps began March 1. Students and parents are excited about participating, and classes are filling. Full camps offer waiting lists.

Students will learn about art and how to create their own works of art — painting, pottery, photography, upcycled mixed media, musical theatre performances, creative writing and more.

Arts Summer Camp providers are listed on the left. Click on each link to view camp descriptions and registration information, to help your budding artists choose the camp(s) that best fit their interests and talents. Many offer scholarships – as do Creative Pinellas and the St. Pete Arts Alliance (see details below).

You can read and watch videos and find details on dates, times and the CDC guidelines required for enjoying a safe, healthy camp experience — wearing masks, washing hands, practicing social distance and all CDC recommendations.

Now is the time for young artists to get registered to have fun with friends, create art, hone skills and build confidence at Arts Summer Camps in Pinellas County.

To share some insights with you about the exciting arts camps happening this summer
throughout Pinellas County, we spoke with a few art camp providers.

Todd Still, Director of Youth Education, Dunedin Fine Art Center

“We offer a fun, safe, artful environment for children entering kindergarten in the fall through 14-year-old students,” says Still. He has been with Dunedin Fine Art Center (DFAC) for 24 years. “We start June 14 and go for eight weeks. We have low-tech to high-tech offerings. We provide everything—computers, iPads, pottery wheels and all the supplies needed.”

A guided tour of Dunedin Fine Arts Center’s summer camps

Some DFAC camps are more singularly focused, and some offer a combination of genres. “Older students’ clay experience includes learning to throw pottery on the wheel,” adds Still. “They are also going to a class where they learn about digital photography and Photoshop… There’s no way to social distance in the dark room, so that’s on hold now.”

Dunedin Fine Arts Center’s Mural Madness program

Mural Madness

Students learn the steps in creating large drawings and paintings. They collaborate as a team, using the theme of the week to work up sketches and scaled drawings. Then they transfer and enlarge their artwork onto huge sections of paper for a finished mural that will be displayed at DFAC, Dunedin Public Library and other buildings as space allows.


How does a youth education director keep Arts Summer Camps fresh year after year? Still recommends, “Looking around and seeing what’s going on in the world and what’s been popular with the kids. You take something that’s been popular and make it new and fresh by combining it with something else — what some people might call a ‘mashup.’

“Dinosaurs are popular, space is popular, cats and dogs are popular. So, you add something different each year to a popular theme and make each camp unique. We have many repeat students, and we have students that sign up for the whole summer.”

. . .

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Kim Dohrman, CEO Creative Clay,
St. Petersburg
2021 World Tour Summer Camp

“Embracing diversity and fulfilling that value of inclusion we have at Creative Clay is so important,” says Creative Clay CEO Kim Dohrman.

Serving the Tampa Bay community since 1995, Creative Clay offers a variety of programming focused on arts access for people with neuro-differences. In 2009, with start-up funding from Queen of Hearts and Pinellas Community Foundation, Creative Clay began holding inclusive summer programs for children of all abilities, ages    6 – 12.

Children explore different cultures through music, dance, theater, drawing, painting, fiber arts, ceramics, mixed media sculpture and more. Each classroom welcomes up to 12 children, and the small class size proves beneficial.

“The theme is always Art Around the World,” says Dohrman. “We study a different country each week and talk about cultural differences, which opens the door to the conversation about how we are all different in some ways and alike in others.

“The goal is to teach acceptance and respect for all. Each week the kids do a painting that travels to the St. Petersburg Museum of History, a longtime partner with Creative Clay, to be on exhibit for a week. The kids love seeing their artwork displayed in a real museum.

“Cool thing,” adds Dohrman, “Last year, we awarded 29 of our 53 children with scholarships — thanks to funding from the community.”

Creative Pinellas, the White Family Foundation, The Rotary Club of St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance and Publix Charities all provided funding for scholarships. This year applications are available through the Creative Pinellas and Creative Clay websites. 

“We often see a magical transformation with the kids who come back year after year. I really do believe in the benefits of multi-age and multi-ability. I love the energy.”

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. . .
Denisse De Leon, School & Community Education Manager, The Dalí Museum
Junior Docent Art Camp

The Hallucinogenic Toreador is one of the most popular works among junior docents. ©2021 – Salvador Dalí Museum, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL

“Learning about art and how to talk about art really distinguishes us from other art camps,” says The Dalí Museum’s School & Community Education Manager Denisse De Leon. “The campers come away feeling empowered with a sense of ownership.

“It’s really fascinating to see them evolve and to see the confidence they have standing in front of the artwork, presenting.”

USF College of Medicine conducted a three-year study and published results demonstrating that the Junior Docent program offered at The Dalí prompts significant gains in self-esteem and self-confidence.

Young docents exploring the creative work of Salvador Dalí and speaking knowledgeably about his paintings

Face-to-Face Junior Docent Art Camp
June 14-18 and July 12-16

During the  face-to-face Junior Docent Art Camp at The Dalí Museum, everyone will abide by all Museum health & safety guidelines to help create a safe and clean environment for learning and creativity. Students are required to wear masks. Students will be spaced 6 feet apart and have their own assigned workspace and individual materials.

Junior Docent Art Camp Online
June 28-July 2 and July 26-30

Junior Docent Art Camp Online will provide face-to-face learning through live instruction via Zoom, using the professional level of Zoom that provides added security to ensure a safe learning environment. Zoom can be accessed from any smart device — a phone, tablet or computer. Login and learn from 9:30 am to 3 pm on camp days.

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Plus. . .  Creative Voices Summer Program at The Factory St Pete,
a joint project of
Keep St Pete Lit and American Stage

Keep St Pete Lit shares creative writing classes both in-person and online

July 19 – 23, 9 am – 3:30 pm (pre-care at 8 am, and after class until 5:30 pm)
For rising grades 6th-12th

“Be bold. Be curious. Be inspired.” Young artists come together to heighten and shape their creative voices with guidance from professional artists and teachers from Keep St Pete Lit and American Stage.

Participants will explore a variety of storytelling styles as writers and even performers, and craft an original piece to be shared on the final day of the program.

More Details coming May 5 at Email and ask to be notified when the application is available.

Pinellas Arts Camps

Exploring clay at Beach Art Center

American Stage
Theater, Movement, Storytelling, Hip-Hop
and Puppetry.

Beach Art Center
Painting, Pottery, Surrealist Art, Folk Art and Chagall Streetscapes.

City of Largo
Visual Arts, Clay, Theater, Dance, Hip Hop, Singing,
Arts and Science.

Creative Clay
Exploring global cultures
with friends of all abilities. 

The Dalí Museum
In-person and online training for Junior Docents, public speaking and in-depth exploration of Dalí’s work.

The creative work of DFAC’s Mural Arts camp

Dunedin Fine Art Center
Visual and Performing Arts, and Mural Painting.

Dunedin Music Society
Play your instrument over the summer and prepare for a concert.

James Museum
of Western and Wildlife Art

Visual Art, Upcycled Art, Mixed Media and S.T.E.A.M.

Keep St. Pete Lit
Self-paced online writing classes for a variety of ages (you’ll find options for kids amid the grownup classes). Plus in-person camp coming up with KSPL and American Stage – find the details at the end of this article. 

Marcia P. Hoffman
School of the Arts

Musical Theater, Drama and Visual Arts

The Morean Arts Center

Morean Arts Center
Visual Arts and Clay – and for teens Glass, Jewelry, Photography and more

Museum of Fine Arts,
St. Petersburg

Art and Archaeology, Art and Nature, Art & Empowerment for ages 6-9 who identify as female

Safety Harbor Art and Music Center’s summer arts camps cover a wide range of arts – and Spanish language instruction

. . .
Safety Harbor
Art & Music Center

Crafts, Creative Writing and Spanish Language Immersion

St. Petersburg City Theatre
Summer youth productions are full, but internships in all aspects of musical theatre are available for middle and high school students.

and Grants for
Arts Summer Camps

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Many Arts Summer Camp providers offer a limited number of scholarships. Detailed information can be found on their websites.

Creative Pinellas also offers Arts Summer Camps grants to Pinellas County residents ages 5 – 18. Find step-by-step instructions on eligibility and how to apply online. It’s easy!

Find the Details Here

The Funding Futures program of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance is accepting applications. This is a grant program for student artists with financial challenges.

Funding Futures is designed to identify and encourage talented low-income emerging artists ages 10-17 in Pinellas County, who are seeking St. Petersburg programs in dance, music, jazz, voice, theater, digital arts, writing, photography, cinematic arts, visual arts, or literary arts. 

Find the Details Here


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