Middle School painting studio during Explorations @Al McCleese

Middle School painting studio during Explorations @Al McCleese

Guest blogger Martha Worthley is the Program Manager for The Young Artists Project at Centrum Foundation, which is located in historic Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington. In addition to presenting conferences and festivals in the arts, Centrum has both a residency program and a very active education program. Applications are open for the 2012 program and scholarships are available (scholarship application deadline is January 16th).

At Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend Washington, Centrum offers programs in the arts for youth from 5th through 12th grade. The programs have a long history of support from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Washington State Arts commission. Students come from all over Washington State, and King County students are encouraged to cross the water!

During week-long full immersion experiences, young people stay on the Fort Worden campus, housed in dormitories and attending workshops in the historic Fort buildings. At Centrum an old hospital wing with a beautiful wooden floor becomes a dance studio, the USO is the taiko studio and theater is taught in an actual theater! Old school rooms become art studios and the beach becomes a classroom for young marine scientists. It’s a great setting, with 440 acres of park, forest and coastline to explore.


Rex Kinney teaching a Centrum hip hop class, Photo @Al McCleese

Centrum has a long history of bringing working artists to teach young people. The passion and vibrancy of artists deeply engaged with their work translates to students in a way that is transformational. The list of faculty alumnae stretches far into the cultural scene of King County. From early days with Buster Simpson, David Mahler and Mary Ann Peters to more recent times with artists like Zoe/Juniper, Sierra Nelson and Mandy Greer, Centrum has sought artists from King County and beyond to come and teach what they know, as well as inspire young artists to become the next generation of creative thinkers.

For 2012, the youth programming begins in March with Explorations, a multi-genre, multi cultural arts experience for students from grades 7-9. Each day is divided into four workshop sessions. Choose from drawing, writing, dance, theater, taiko, singing & songwriting, marimba or jewelry making as your core subject, and learn about other art forms in your other three classes.

Taking time for writing reflection during Water World @Martha Worthley

In April, Water World combines art with marine science in a hands-on integrated week of learning for 5th & 6th graders. For Explorations and Water World, students sign up (register) in groups of 4 to 6 with an adult chaperone. Tuition, room, and board is FREE for chaperones, but each chaperone needs to be registered.

This summer we’re excited to present two new programs for High School students. Young writers can now attend the Advanced Writers’ Studio at the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference in July, or visual artists can study painting in the Advanced Visual Art Studio.

In August, high school dancers of all levels get a rigorous education in multiple dance styles and choreography at the DANCE This! Camp at Centrum.

Ballet class at Dance This Camp, photo by High School photography student

Registration and scholarship application.

Young Artists Project
March 4-9, 2012, Grades 7-9

Water World;
April 22-27, 2012,  Grades 5-6

High School Writers’ Studio;
July 8-15, 2012, Grades 9-12

High School Visual Art Art Studio; July 8-15, 2012, Grades 9-12

Aug. 5-11, 2012, Grades 9-12

For more information, contact Martha Worthley  or call 360.385.3102, ext. 120.