By JAIME STUDD
Recorder News Staff
With city schools closed this week in observance of winter vacation, thousands of area students, and nearly just as many parents, are left scrambling in search of healthy, productive and educational ways in which to spend those long, carefree hours.
Enter the volunteers and staff at the city's new Creative Connections Arts Center and the inaugural "Winter Break Showcase."
According to Janet Tanguay, owner of Art N Soul and member of the Creative Connections Board of Trustees, the concept for the week-long series was conceived in an effort to provide area families with a variety of artistic activities to wile away the long winter hours.
"It was also so that the community can see how much is available here," Tanguay said.
Tanguay said the event is the result of center staff having put a call out to area artists for volunteers to participate in the series and host various instructions.
"There were so many offerings," said Tanguay.
"There's really great support from the teachers," she added.
The schedule for the week was devised based on the applications returned by the volunteer instructors, from which center staff were also able to coordinate a daily theme.
Monday's theme -- "From Fashion to Film" -- included classes in how to make costumes, special effects make-up and a film industry discussion hosted by director Roger Wyatt. Monday's events also included an art reception.
Today, Creative Connections will present: "We Hope You Dance." That day's offerings will include instruction in ballet, hip-hop, jazz, tap, Gangnam Style and the Cha-Cha Slide presented various teachers.
Wednesday's theme, "Music to Your Ears", includes a class presented by Stephanie Boice, a drumming workshop presented by Chris Duffy, a class on "How to Record and Market Your Songs in Today's Digital Age," hosted by Ken Briggs, and a class on learning how to play bass guitar, also hosted by Briggs.
On Thursday, "Start With Art" day features a line-up that includes instruction in crafts, graffiti art, blow painting, watercolor painting, Polymer clay, cartooning, superhero drawings and "Painting Like Pollack."
Friday's theme, "The Write Stuff" will feature an interactive writing workshop.
"Hopefully we can get people here throughout the week," Tanguay said, noting that she believed Thursday's "Start With Art" events will likely be the most well attended.
Costs for the series are $5 per person per day or $10 per day for families. Tours of the center will also be held each day at 2 p.m.
For more information about Creative Connections or a more detailed schedule of Winter Break Showcase events, please visit the web site at www.creativeconnectionsarts.org or call Mayor Ann M. Thane at 841-4311.