This summer the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored an Arts and Crafts series with local Artist/Educator Sue Allen Pico.

The chamber was awarded a grant from the Arkansas Art Council for the 10-week program. This arts opportunity was available in free classes throughout June, July and into August for youngsters and adults. First Baptist Church of Clinton donated use of their Youth Building for the program and the Radio Shack donated several supply items.

The 18 projects offered during the program varied and piqued the interest of students and adults alike. Projects involved science - using glow in the dark technology,"bleeding" ink, and star patterns; math - with weaving dream catcher and measuring clay ingredients; theater - with mask making’ and just plain fun - with shirt printing, scratch art, cartooning, etc.

Faith Sowell was a student who attended every session and was a big help in sharing the arts experience with the younger students. She and other older students acted as teacher-assistants taking part in decision making regarding set up, process, and selection of projects. They also had special projects just for them. This was a great chance for these ‘tween and teenagers to step up, have ownership in the program, and gain some valuable experiences in helping younger students with art projects.

Participation varied from intimate groups to over 20 with more than 100 children involved over the summer. This is the first time the chamber has offered this type of activity and it was met with great success.