More than 100 children danced, sang, painted, created models, and cooked recently as EverGreen Ministries in Hudsonville, Mich., held its summer arts camp.
The four-day camp, now in its seventh year, has become a popular event in the Hudsonville community. It provides an outlet for kids who might not otherwise be exposed to the arts, organizer Jodi Cole Meyer said.
“We thought that the community could use some solid arts programming,” Cole Meyer said. “We, as a church, believe art is a great way to understand God, connect with him, and speak about him. We are created by a creative God, to be creative.”
Among those participating in this year’s camp were kids who came in from homeless shelters around western Michigan, including Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids and the Holland Rescue Mission.
“We’ve been working with these organizations to connect with kids who can really benefit from this,” Cole Meyer said. “We want them to know that God loves them and the church loves them, and they are invited, and we want them to be part of our community,”
A highlight of this year’s camp was the opportunity for children to assist in the creation of an art piece—a giant mosaic watch that will be included in ArtPrize, an international arts competition held in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“The kids helped paint the mosaic tiles, and I cut them apart and put them in,” said Mary Steenwyk, the artist behind the project and EverGreen member. “It’s a way for expressing their faith, their joy.”
Church members and local artists, including some outside the faith community, donate their time for the camp. All supplies are donated as well, both from within church as well as the Hudsonville business community.
That allows the church to offer the camp for free, Cole Meyer said.