A couple of girls paint a T-shirt on the sidewalk at the Baker Arts Center during one of the Center’s summer programs for kids. They will have two classes for youth in June: Semi-Photo Fun and Storybook Theater. To sign your child up, go to the Center or call them at 624-2810. Courtesy photos
By VICTORIA CALDERON
• Leader & Times
Summer is a time when agencies and businesses across Liberal keep kids entertained through a variety of programs, and the Baker Arts Center is no exception.
The month of June will be filled with family fun for members and nonmembers alike.
The first program is for grades K-6, called Semi-Photo Fun. The class meets from 10:30 a.m. to noon on June 10 through 12.
“Nowadays, our photography is digital and everything is new, but Diane [Marsh] takes them back to old school,” Administrative Arts Assistant Toni Smith said. “We have a darkroom downstairs that was Mrs. Baker’s actual photography darkroom.”
Among the skills the class will learn are how to make images with a pinhole camera, and develop film in a darkroom and by sun exposure.
The next program designed for youth is the Storybook Theater for preschool students, ages 3 to 5. Their class will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon on June 16 through 18.
Although this class has been offered before, it’s never been taught to such a young age group.
“They’re going to pick their favorite nursery rhyme, create a play from it, paint a backdrop, make their own costumes and props, and perform it Wednesday (June 18) at Picnic at the Park,” Smith said. “I’m really excited to see this because these are preschoolers... I’m anxious to see what their props and costumes are going to look like.”
Both classes cost $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. To enroll, stop by the Baker Arts Center or call them at 624-2810. There are currently only 7 spots open for the photography class and 5 for storybook theater.
However, the center’s main event won’t happen until June 28. The big Ta Do at the Zoo is a big family party for the whole community. From 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., families can go to the El Rancho Exotica Zoo to enjoy a hot dog/hamburger feed, zoo tours, a zipline, bounce houses, face painting, and much, much more. Admittance to the event is $12 per person.
Members benefit from this party, too. From 7 p.m. to midnight that evening, adult members are welcome to a special members appreciation event.
For those who become a member of the Baker Arts Center from now until June 15, their name will be entered into a drawing for a trip to Dallas. The trip includes round-trip airline tickets for two from Garden City, lodging in Dallas and vouchers for some places and activities there. They will also receive 50 percent off the fee to attend the zoo event.
If they become a member from June 16 until the 28th, their name will be entered into a different drawing, for which the prize will be a free table at the Night of Lights member event in November; this is a $325 value. They will also get a 25 percent discount for the zoo event.
“There are perks to being a member, but anyone is welcome to come to the family event,” Smith said.
Other perks members enjoy include:
• Free visual art exhibits
• Group tours for clubs, schools, etc.
• Subscription to the quarterly newsletter
• Meeting space for events
• Private invitations to the center’s social events
• Discounts for workshops and special events
• 10 percent discount in Artist Sales Gallery
• Children and adult workshops
• And outreach programs.
The cost of becoming a member is $45 for a single membership, $75 for a family, $100 for a small business and $200 for a large business. Donations are also accepted.
To acquire membership, stop by the Baker Arts Center at 624 N. Pershing Ave. to pay the fee, fill out the paperwork and receive a membership card. People can also sign up by phone, mail or on the website, www.bakerartscenter.org.
There will also be more events for families and children later this summer, so keep an eye out for more information on new programs.
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