The Neighborhood Creative Arts Center (NCAC), in support of its mission to enrich minds through art in the community, is sponsoring their first Annual Giving Fair on Saturday, December 12, 10 AM – 1 PM. Truly, it is better to give than to receive! We are encouraging children, ages 4-12, to create gifts for their family, friends, teachers, and neighbors this year for the holidays. Volunteers from our Rotary Interact Club have assembled over 1000 kits of varying levels of difficulty for gifts for fathers, mothers, siblings, and everyone. Families are welcome to sign up for an entry time, allowing for social distancing, so their children can visit our many craft tables to choose their kits. It is like shopping for free! This event will be held in the parking lot of Christ Episcopal Church in La Plata.
NCAC is also offering “Here to Help” free virtual tutoring for students of all grade levels. Families are welcome to sign up for a tutor on the NCAC website. We have tutors from CCPS, adults, and university students ready to lend a hand during these virtual schooling days.
Visit incredible venues around the world with NCAC’s free Virtual Field Trips. Since COVID started, NCAC has offered live interactive experiences at a wide diversity of venues: Wolf Parks, zoos, museums, national parks, STEM centers, and art museums, to name only a few.
For parents looking for a few tips on managing school at home, NCAC offers free monthly Parent Symposiums with guest speakers ready to lead discussions and answer questions.
On October 31, NCAC completed its first community mural in its Art Smiles series at the Dorchester Community Center in La Plata. NCAC’s mural artist, Kayla Hare, a lifelong resident of Charles County, welcomes community families to join in the final painting of her beautiful designs focused on nature, joy, love, and healing during these uncertain days.
For those older children aged 12-18 looking for a service-oriented experience, the NCAC is sponsoring a virtual Rotary Interact Club. This free club meets weekly and empowers youth to develop leadership skills through the organization and execution of community projects as well as international service projects that promote international awareness and understanding. Our Charles County Interact is currently developing a relationship with the Interact Club in Maluba, Zambia.
NCAC also offers a multitude of in-depth educational opportunities. These virtual, tuition-based programs include the following:
- The Thinking Kid (TTK), a live on-line program providing an educational curriculum (with the exception of math) for students aged 7-15. Each class meets weekly for one hour of live interactive instruction taught by dedicated teachers. TTK also offers after-class clubs for those wanting to explore a variety of extra-curricular topics, including, but not limited to, travel, royalty, architecture, art, and entrepreneurship.
- Music Instruction for all ages and instruments are offered in a 34-week session with the option of either 30 or 45-minute lessons. Our accomplished instructors effectively transitioned to on-line teaching in March 2020 and have found lessons over Zoom to be focused and productive.
NCAC is grateful to the following organizations for their support: Charles County Arts Alliance, Charles County Health Department, La Plata Rotary Club, and Maryland Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Though the migration to a virtual arts center was a pivot we had not anticipated after opening our center in late 2019, we have successfully adapted and found effective ways to spread the joy of art and learning remotely. Art provides a thoughtful way to explore, express ourselves, and make connections with others and the world around us. That seems especially important in the separated environment of the COVID-19 pandemic.