Interest in art is ‘booming’ causing Southington arts center to add courses

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SOUTHINGTON — The Southington Community Cultural Arts Center (SoCCA) has prepared a lineup of new and returning classes for its upcoming Youth Summer Arts Adventures program. 

Six different classes will be held over the summer from July 10-Aug. 18, for children ages 7-12. Each session will be held from 9 a.m-1 p.m. Each weekly session will cost $235 for non-members of SoCCA. The member price is $220.

Classes being offered include sculpting with polymer clay to make miniatures, a painting class that teaches kids about the techniques of some of history’s most famous artists, and more. A new activity for the summer is an upcycling class that teaches kids to make different forms of 2D and 3D art from a variety of materials from wood, glass, metal, and paper. 

Children are encouraged to bring their own snacks and lunch when they attend the course, which they can enjoy while learning from the various instructors who volunteer at SoCCA. 

The full itinerary of their upcoming courses, as well as registration forms, are available on SoCCA’s website. 

“I feel like any kid will enjoy one or more of the things that we have out there, and will be able to express themselves in a totally different variety of art,” said Diann Thomson, executive director of SoCCA.

Having taken up the role last year, Thomson noted how their last summer session proved to be successful, with every class filled. She anticipates the same momentum to carry over this year for their new and returning programs.

“It was packed last year. All the sessions had kids. Some kids did all of the sessions, all six weeks. And some did one, some did every other week. It was just really fun,” said Thomson, adding that the same enthusiasm has carried over into their adult programming as well. “Our art classes have been — from our kids' classes to our pottery, to our painting and adult classes, our veterans — have been booming this year …There's energy here. On Wednesday and Thursday nights when I leave, the parking lot is packed. It's exciting. It's awesome.”

This season, SoCCA has expanded its programming to include more pottery classes, which have proven to be especially popular this year, with people having to be placed on a waiting list to attend. This year they’ve also refurbished one of their upstairs rooms, formally a classroom, transforming it into a ‘kids art party’ room for birthdays, parties, and other events, to free up space elsewhere in the building. 

They’re hosting other events this season ahead of their summer programming block, including a popular Ukrainian doll workshop being held Saturday from 10 a.m to 1 p.m, where attendees can make Baba-Yaga dolls. A new jewelry crafting workshop will be held on May 4. 

The gift shop will feature local artists, showcasing their work for purchase.  

Other members of SoCCA are excited about the continual growth of their programs and support from the community. They are looking forward to what they fully expect to be another busy season for all their classes. 

“We are definitely excited to see new students returning and having some new kiddos join us for summer workshops,” Operations Coordinator Jhenea Gooden said. “Our ‘All Access’ program and our veteran's program are continuing to run, so we're still welcoming new participants there, which is very exciting. It's always good to see that type of program growth. Otherwise, we are just doing what we can to get everything ready and are always excited to meet new faces.”

Updates on SoCCA’s seasonal programming and availability can be found online on the arts center’s website and on Facebook.


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