Camp Combines Art, Music and Faith

St. Columba art camp
St. Columba Cathedral in downtown Youngstown is hosting a children's art camp all week. On Tuesday, the children were doing chalk on the walk in front of the church.

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St.  Columba Cathedral in downtown Youngstown is hosting a children’s art camp this week.

The Downtown Mission’s Children’s Art Camp is sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Black and Indian Missions through a grant. It is hosted by the Missions Office of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown.

Two dozen children ages 6 to 11 from St. Columba, St. Patrick Church in Youngstown, St. Angela Merici in Y0ungstown and St. Joseph the Provider Church in Youngstown are taking part in the camp, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the St. Columba parish hall. The children will take a tour of Fellows Riverside Gardens on Wednesday and they will visit the Butler Art Museum on Thursday, where they will participate in a scavenger hunt.

On Tuesday afternoon, the children were doing chalk on the walk in front of the church. During the morning art session, members of the the Mahoning County Green Team, led by St. Columba parishioner Peg Flynn, helped the children with two art projects. One was a construction paper initial of their name and the other was a picture frame using old plastic CD cases and recycled tissue paper.

Each student was given their own sketch pad, which they use to draw when no formal art lesson is taking place. The students also have a daily music lesson led by St. Columba music director Dr. Daniel Laginya and cantor Barbara Zorn.

Camp director Michele Gearheart observed a children’s art camp in New Orleans several years ago while on a mission trip with St. Columba vice rector Fr. Edward Brienz, who thought the camp would be a good fit for the Youngstown Diocese. This is the second year for the St. Columba art camp, and organizers are hoping it will continue and expand.

The camp will wrap up on Friday with an art show at noon at Bliss Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University, where the students’ projects from the entire week will be displayed. They also will give a concert for parents and friends at 1 p.m., where they will perform songs they have learned throughout the week.

On Friday, there will be an art show at noon at Bliss Hall on YSU campus, where all the kids’ art projects from the week will be on display. They also will give a concert for parents at 1 p.m. with songs they have learned throughout the week.

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