Published: 2:52 pm, Sun. Jun. 4th, 2017Updated: 2:50 pm
Parents already hearing boredom protests from their recently-released students and adults looking to broaden their horizons alike will want to keep an eye on the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center’s new summer calendar.
Whereas the local arts center has typically slowed its between-season offerings in past summer months, executive director Laurie Schotz and her gang have ramped up their program offerings from 2017 to ensure there won’t be a dull moment in June, July and August.
The fun will kick off Thursday when the Artesia Arts Council hosts a Family Fun Day from 6-8 p.m. in Heritage Walkway.
The free event will feature a wide variety of activities for all ages and will precede the AAC’s first Summer Movie Series showing of the year.
“If you’ve never been through the doors and you want to experience (the OPAC), this summer would be a good time to do it, especially on the 8th,” said Schotz. “We’re going to do a lot of arts and crafts outside, we’re going to do theatre games, we’re going to have a photo booth, we’re going to do boat races in the little river out there.”
Then, just after 8 p.m., participants will want to stick around for an outdoor screening of the original “Ghostbusters.” Popcorn will be provided free, and moviegoers need only bring a chair and drink.
Children interested in exploring the world of theatre have the chance to participate in two major productions this summer.
The first, the Sixth Annual Rising Stars Summer Musical Theatre Camp, is open to kids ages 7 and up. The camp runs from 1-4 p.m. June 12-24 and will conclude with performances of “The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever” at 2 and 6 p.m. June 24.
Advance registration fee – which includes a t-shirt, two meals, and one “Love Note” (additional Love Notes are available for $2 each) – is $65; after June 9, the fee will increase to $75.
Then in July, Missoula Children’s Theatre will once again return to Artesia for a production of “Aladdin.”
Children 5 and up may register, with rehearsals set for 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. July 31 – Aug. 5 and performances for 2 and 6 p.m. Aug. 5.
Cost is $65 and includes a t-shirt, one Love Note, and lunch on Friday and Saturday of that week.
“We’d like to get some older kids in ‘Epic Birthday Party,’” said Schotz. “We have a lot of younger ones right now. And we’re already filling spaces for Missoula – we can only take 60, and we’re at 30 already, so people will want to sign their kids up soon for that.”
The OPAC is also still accepting registrations for its summer music lessons in guitar, drums, violin, piano and voice.
For those interested in the full 10-week session, registration should be completed early this week by calling the OPAC at 746-4212. But lessons are also being offered in five-week increments, with students allowed to choose which five weeks of the summer they wish to participate.
In addition, the OPAC will be offering drop-in children’s fine arts classes for $10 each at 11 a.m. June 27, July 11 and 25, and Aug. 8; a fairy tale reading at 10 a.m. June 13 at the Artesia Public Library; a free performance by the National Dance Institute at 4 p.m. Friday, July 21; and a Christmas in July event July 25, which includes a visit from Santa Claus in his “summer gear” and a showing of the film “The Polar Express.”
But the options certainly aren’t limited to the little ones.
Adults may enjoy “Canvas and…” paint-along events the first Friday of each month and watercolor workshops the first Sunday.
A digital photography class will be offered from 1-5 p.m. June 10, an aromatherapy class from 1-3 p.m. June 11, and gentle yoga with oils from 9-11 a.m. Aug. 12.
At 6 p.m. July 18, adults can “Relax and Re-wine” with yoga and wine at Cottonwood Wine and Brewing, and at 4 p.m. July 15, the AAC will participate in a Main Street Fashion Show downtown.
“Anyone who’s interested in being in the fashion show, we’re still looking for all shapes and size,” said Schotz. “And we’re asking that people bring personal hygiene items that we’ll donate to Grammy’s House.”
The OPAC will host an Artesia’s Got Talent fundraiser at 7 p.m. July 29, which will be open to all ages with two competitive categories: youth and adult.
“It can be a band, it can be a comedian… it can be anything,” Schotz said. “The winners will perform at our membership dinner and will also open one other show, so they’ll get a chance to be onstage.”
Schotz says the OPAC and Bennie’s Western Wear will also be looking to expand their National Day of the Cowboy offerings Saturday, July 22.
“We’re going to have a horse in First American Bank’s parking lot,” said Schotz. “We have a gal coming to show people how to rope a steer, and she has some giveaways. We have 10 vendors from Art in the Park with their crafts coming, we have a Dale Evans impersonator coming to the library at 4 p.m., and we’re showing a movie inside about wild mustangs.”
The OPAC will also present cowboy musician, speaker and poet WC Jameson at 7 p.m. that day.
And for those still feeling patriotic post-Fourth of July, the USO-themed show “All Hands on Deck” will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 6, at the OPAC, with veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars receiving free admission.
In addition, the Artesia Community Theatre will move its annual Brown Bag Theatre offerings indoors this year, with performances set for June 14, 21 and 28 in the OPAC lobby.
“You know how you always hear from a community, ‘There’s nothing here for us to do in the summer,’” said Schotz. “If they look at what we have to offer and what the library’s offering and the Chamber… there is tons of stuff this summer for all ages to do.
“And we don’t just cater to the kids – we do have things for the adults. And if any adult wanted something that we’re not offering, now is the time to come and see if we can implement it for the fall season.”
For more information on any of the above-mentioned events, call the OPAC at 746-4212 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.