Opening up life through the arts
It’s hard to believe, but this is the 22nd year of Arts Camp for Kids in Talladega, still led by its founder, Tommy Moorehead. Working through the Alabama State Arts Council, he came to Talladega on a temporary basis to teach arts enrichment classes in the city’s schools. He made such an impact on the community, Talladega couldn’t let him go. He became artist-in-residence, and later director of Heritage Hall Museum.

By now the number of Arts Camp alumni must exceed 4,000. Hands-on involvement in dance, painting, sculpture, pottery, music, drama and more have helped them develop a new dimension in their thinking, a new way to appreciate and experience the world around them.

It’s been such a hit, other communities — including Clay County, Alexander City, Dothan and Selma — have sought guidance on how to establish an arts camp in their communities.

Moorehead calls on a community of artists and alumni to help put on the camp, and a number of kids this year were able to attend thanks to a scholarship set up in memory of Callie Wright, a camp alumnus who also worked at the camp. The camp was a special experience in her too-brief life, and one her family and friends want other children to have. It’s a bittersweet part of the Arts Camp story, and one that emphasizes the importance of the arts in the lives of children.

We’re thrilled to see it being carried on, and we hope it will remain part of summertime in Talladega for a long time to come.
© 2012