Summer heating up for KingsportARTS

Jessica Fischer • Jul 29, 2011 at 4:09 AM

Summer may be winding down, but things are just beginning to heat up for KingsportARTS, which will kick off its 2011-2012 season of youth art education programming with a Kids Crawl from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 30 at Memorial Park. Children and their parents can visit booths set up by various community organizations, each featuring a different art or craft activity. Admission is free. “What we do is we invite local organizations that parents may not know about that have activities for kids — Kingsport Theatre Guild, the ballet, the symphony, all of those organizations of course are our partner organizations, but then we also invite Rascals, the Fire Escape, Big Brother Big Sister, those types of organizations to come out,” said Tina Radtke, who was recently promoted from KingsportARTS’ part-time program director to its full-time arts education director. “The organizations don’t have to pay anything to participate but they do have to provide an art activity of some kind, whether it’s learning how to do a dance with the ballet or creating masks with the theater guild.” The new position is a perfect fit for Radtke, who holds a master’s of education degree from Milligan College and is licensed to teach Fine Arts: Theatre K-12. Radtke has created two new programs — “ART We Talented,” for ages 18 months to 5 years, and “K.E.Y.P.A.D.,” serving ages 13-18 — to complement KingsportARTS’ longstanding Arts4Kids program, which offers introductory art workshops to children ages 6-12 from 1 to 3 p.m., the fourth Saturday of each month, usually at the Kingsport Renaissance C e n t e r. This year’s Arts4Kids season gets under way in August and will continue throughout the school year. “This year we are doing ‘The Year of the Artist,’ so each month we’re going to focus not necessarily on an art form but an artist — Langston Hughes, da Vinci, Shakespeare, Anna Pavlova, Beethoven, Picasso, Michael Jackson for Black History Month, Uta Hagen and Georgia O’Keeffe,” Radtke said.” ART We Talented, an hour-long workshop offered at 10 a.m. the second Thursday of each month, will touch on the abovementioned artists in a simpler, more pared-down format. “We’re going to be teaching colors and shapes and ABCs and 123s, how to hold and cut with scissors, how to cut paper with scissors and not your friend’s hair sitting beside you, how to listen and follow directions, how to put your materials up when you’re done with them, so all of those basic skills that they need for kindergarten as well as the art forms and about the artists on their level,” Radtke said. Radtke created KingsportARTS Empowering Youth by Participation in Arts Discovery, or K.E.Y.P.A.D., as an outlet for teens interested in taking their interest in the arts to the next level. The four-hour workshop will be held beginning at noon, the fourth Saturday of each month, also at the Renaissance Cent e r. “With K.E.Y.P.A.D., what we’re going to do is more real-world situations,” Radtke said. “You like to draw cartoon characters? well, we’re going to have a cartoonist come in and

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