Great Big Art Mash “GBAM” Art Camp
For Children with Special Needs
Summer camps are a huge event most parents and kids anxiously anticipate. However, in rural areas, there are few opportunities for children with special needs to successfully attend these camps. The large group settings, high energy pace, and limited adult support make attendance and success challenging.
The Mudd Nick Foundation is committed to providing life changing opportunities for all children. In summer 2013, two Art Day Camps were developed, funded and implemented as a result of a donation from the Mudd Nick Foundation. Twenty-two children, ages six to 16, participated in awesome art experiences that were planned for their enjoyment and success. The older children, grades four through10, attended GBAM at the Bay City Arts Center where this staff of committed, knowledgeable folks who love the arts did a fabulous job sharing their enthusiasm with these kids.
The younger group, grades Kindergarten through three, attended GBAM Jr., which was held at the Neahkahnie Pre-School facility in Rockaway Beach. Their high energy, hands-on art experience was full of laughter and joy. All the students had wonderful opportunities to create art, make music, play with old and new friends, and have lots of fun in a safe and supported environment. In addition, the parents received some much needed respite from the challenges of raising a child with special needs, as the summer months can be long.
The Mudd Nick Foundation donation paid for transportation to and from the five-day camps, a high trained adult staff to student ratio, food, supplies, and a community dinner/art show to celebrate the artists.
Subsequent to 2103, the Mudd Nick Foundation has offered one GBAM program in partnership with Bay City Arts Center for children with special needs of all ages. Usually, over 20 children attend. The week-long camp is capped off with a dinner and musical and art presentation by the children for their families and Mudd Nick Foundation board members. The joy, exuberance and pride of the children brings tears to the eyes of every adult in attendance.