The studios of Craft Alliance are hives of artistic activity. “Craft Alliance defines the summer for my boys,” says Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff, whose three sons have attended camp there since they were little. Her oldest, Benjamin, says it helps him expand his artistic experience outside school. “I always pick metal and glass, things that are hard to do outside of a place like Craft Alliance,” the 15-year-old says. He makes beads and rings, mosaics and other sculptural pieces.
“In the summer, we give the place up to kids,” says Luanne Rimel, senior director and director of education, explaining that campers get to use all the equipment usually reserved for professional artists. Morning and afternoon sessions take place at both the Loop and Grand Center locations and offer youngsters many different ways to create. “Throw a pot, work with metals and hot glass, paint and draw,” Rimel says, adding that all 10 studios are utilized.
This summer, now that Benjamin is 15, he plans to serve as a teen intern, bringing what he has learned over the years to help out with camps for the younger children. In exchange, he can attend the Teen Camp for 14- to 18-year-olds that takes place each afternoon. “It’s perfect,” Rimel says. “Spend the day lolling about the pool, then come here and do something constructive!”
Each half-day session is a week long, and scholarships—made possible by the Staenberg Family Foundation—are available for needy families.