ARTS AT LAGUNA
An interview with Camp Creator & Director Sarah Jacobs
So what is Arts At Laguna? How would you describe it to someone who knew nothing about it?
Arts at Laguna is a power-packed summer program designed to provide campers with an engaging and affirming experience in the visual and performing arts. There are four one-week sessions and each session is organized around a different theme. Campers may attend just one week or all four. Regardless, our goal is for campers to have the time of their life as they build their sense of artistic-self, as well as their self-esteem in general. We describe ourselves as the Arts at Laguna Family as we consciously teach, model, and practice how to coexist in a respectful, safe, loving, and supportive community. We have counselors and faculty members in their 20s that joined the Arts at Laguna Family as campers at age 5 and haven’t missed a summer since!
Must you have experience in performing or visual arts to participate?
Arts at Laguna welcomes children that have all levels of experience and comfort with the visual and performing arts. Many campers attend dance and other arts programs during the school year, while others come to us with very limited experience.
How do you get the kids to focus and learn so much in such a short period of time?
Good question! The kids are incredibly focused and learn an amazing amount in five days; it feels like magic. Discounting magic, I think it is because the camp is all about the kids and making sure they have a great experience. Everyone that works at Arts at Laguna—from the director to the faculty to the counselors and counselors-in-training—loves children and has a passion for the arts. Our instructors and counselors are experts—they know what kids like and what their capabilities are at different developmental stages—and they know how to differentiate the curriculum to meet the needs of individuals.
A lot of campers participate from ages 5-12, the full eight years they’re allowed to participate. With competing camps in the area, why do you think they come back each year? What makes Arts At Laguna so special?
People keep on coming back to Arts at Laguna because we are a family that likes to create, laugh, and play together. It’s a happy place where, whether you are 5 or 12 or 35, your voice and ability is valued and celebrated. Everyone has a sense of belonging.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about the camp?
Next to Disneyland, Arts at Laguna the happiest place on earth…for me anyway.
When not dancing and singing at Arts At Laguna, Sarah Jacobs is the Coordinator of the UCSB Elementary Teacher Education Program, and Co-Coordinator of the UCSB Teacher Education International Exchange Program.