Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawrenceville’s Performing Arts Camp (LPAC) has been cancelled this summer. But that’s not stopping Lawrentians from giving arts lessons to local, underserved kids! Kate Dillard ’22 tells us how she and her fellow Lawrenceville artists are already connecting with local children.
One of my favorite parts of Lawrenceville is being involved in the many arts groups on campus. Private music lessons and rehearsals are things that I look forward to when I’ve had a long day of classes and homework. A huge part of what makes music so fun and relaxing is the social aspect, so when it was announced that Lawrenceville’s campus was going to be closed for the spring term due to COVID-19, I was heartbroken.
I play the piano, viola, and I sing, all of which can be practiced individually. However, I think most artists will agree with me when I say that playing in an orchestra or singing with a choir gives you a feeling of togetherness and synergy that you can’t get by yourself. By the second week of quarantine, I was desperate for a new way to make music in collaboration with other artists.
So, when Samika Hariharan ‘20 texted me about her new community service project that connects the artists of Lawrenceville with younger students from Lawrence Township via Zoom calls, I was ecstatic. The project is very similar to the Lawrenceville Performing Arts Camp (LPAC), where I volunteered as a counselor last summer and met Samika. Right now, we are offering all sorts of arts classes stretching from classical piano lessons to Latin dance to DIY arts and crafts. The classes, which will be held on Zoom, will take place once or twice a week starting as soon as possible and running into the summer.
The best part about this program is that you don’t have to be an expert to help teach. I am involved mostly in choral and instrumental arts, but I also signed up to teach painting and crafts. The main goal of this initiative is for the kids to have fun socializing while learning about the arts, as well as to help provide structure for the kids while they are out of school. Anyone who loves the arts or is just passionate about community service can help. In addition, keeping kids entertained while they are trapped in the house is a challenge, especially for parents who are essential workers. Giving busy parents some time to breath is so important during these stressful and uncertain times. Although the situation is not ideal, I am so excited and thankful for the opportunity to connect with these kids through the arts.
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.