Summer Session of BCAT’s Youth Arts Program Begins Soon

Looking for activities to keep your teens occupied while they’re out of school this summer? The Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology is rolling out another Summer Youth Arts session from July 8 – August 15. If your teens are currently high school students or 8th graders that will be entering high school this fall, they have the opportunity to participate in the activities BCAT is offering at no cost to families. 

Youth attending the summer session can choose to participate in one of three classes during the six-weeks,  including Art, Dance, or Media Design (Videography). 

Da’Von McCune Youth Arts Program Manager has been with the organization since it’s inception in 2013. He says this summer session will be even better since we will integrate a life skills component.  

“We will have a critical consciousness and civic engagement class called ‘Community and Me’. We have an entrepreneurship-focused class called ‘Boss Up’. And, we also have a Healthy Eating and Healthy Living class planned,” McCune explained. 

“We will be emphasizing life skills to help the kids learn elements of being a well-rounded person,” he continued.

McCune assures that youth who participate in the Summer Arts Program can expect what he calls “the 3 F’s”: fun, food and friends. He says participants will learn a lot this summer, create a project together with fellow students and, above all, have a great time. 

BCAT’s 2019 Summer Youth Arts Session will offer the first-ever summer session taught by dance instructor BlackStar. He’s been with the organization since November and says he’s most looking forward to seeing the students express themselves creatively. 

“My biggest goal is for the youth to put together a dance video with all of them doing different choreography but the whole thing looking synchronized,” he declared. 

BlackStar says he’s been teaching dance for six years and sees it as something that serves to have a positive influence on Buffalo’s youth. “I want to give kids something they can use as a tool to make themselves and others happy,” he explained. In addition to being fun, there are other benefits as well. 

According to an article on PBS.org, titled “The Importance of Art in Child Development,” participation in arts education programs has positive effects on children even as early as age four. The article explains that children’s motor skills, language development, decision making, visual learning, cultural awareness, and academic performance are all positively impacted and evolve when they are exposed to and participate in arts education. 

Da’Von McCune agrees with these findings. “A student’s participation in arts and music programs is shown to facilitate their willingness to get higher grades in school,” he said.

When asked why BCAT and the work it does is important, McCune replied confidently.

“Art colors the world around us. It gives meaning to everyday life and allows us to communicate in ways that go beyond just words. Through the arts programs offered at BCAT, youth can create relationships with their peers and through those relationships, make changes to be better people and change their communities.”

Those curious to find out more about upcoming activities at BCAT can call the center directly at (716)-259-1680. You may stop by the Center, located at 1221 Main Street in Buffalo, to fill out an application for your teen to enroll in the art program this summer. Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling basis.