Interlochen Center for the Arts Launches Interlochen Online to Continue its 93rd Camp Season

To nurture young artists during this unprecedented era of social distancing, while sustaining a cherished tradition, the 93rd season of the renowned multidisciplinary summer arts program will take place exclusively online, with distinguished guest artists and arts leaders including jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, violinist Nicola Benedetti, the School of American Ballet’s Craig Hall, television writer and producer Janet Leahy, and many others.

For the first time in 93 years, young artists from around the world will be able to take part in Interlochen Arts Camp virtually. The 2020 Interlochen Arts Camp will transition to virtual instruction as part of the newly launched Interlochen Online, announced Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey today.

“After careful evaluation of the projected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to pivot this summer’s Arts Camp to a virtual model,” Devey said. “No words can fully capture our profound sadness and disappointment in the loss of convening on campus, but we are guided by our first priority: ensuring the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, volunteers, guests, and the entire Interlochen community.”

“Interlochen Online enables us to continue to nurture young artists, expand their creative capacities, and provide them with critically needed inspiration and community during this unprecedented time.”

Interlochen Online will commence its camp programs with a virtual gathering of students and the Interlochen community the evening of June 28, with classes taking place from June 29 to July 17, 2020 and virtual multidisciplinary performances on July 18 and 19. Programs will be offered in acting, musical theatre, theatre design and production, creative writing, visual arts, dance, filmmaking, classical music performance and composition, music production and engineering, songwriting, jazz performance and improvisation, and general arts for students in grades 2-12.

Like Interlochen’s traditional Arts Camp, the online camp will feature one-of-a-kind seminars and coaching led by world-class artists and arts leaders including violinist Nicola Benedetti, the School of American Ballet’s Craig Hall, television writer and producer Janet Leahy, jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, and many others; private arts instruction as well as collaboration with peers; virtual performances, exhibitions, screenings, and readings by students and faculty; daily “virtual cabin” social activities; synchronous Camp-wide convenings such as “First Gathering,” “Collage,” and “Les Preludes;” and “camp in a box,” materials and supplies which will be sent to students’ homes prior to camp.

Interlochen Online’s camp programming will build on Interlochen’s success transitioning Interlochen Arts Academy to virtual learning this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Academy’s academic and artistic faculty have been creating innovative virtual curricula using Canvas, the online learning management platform Interlochen adopted in the fall, and Zoom conferencing. Distinguished Interlochen alumni and friends have taken part in the Academy’s virtual community as guest lecturers and seminar leaders, and have given original performances to enhance the curriculum. Interlochen Online will utilize both Canvas and Zoom to offer detailed course materials and live sessions as part of camp this summer.

While the idea of a virtual arts camp may seem at odds with Interlochen’s celebrated immersive Arts Camp experience and cherished physical setting, it is consistent with the institution’s history of adapting to changing times. During the Great Depression, for example, Interlochen Arts Camp founder Joseph Maddy pursued creative new outreach with ingenuity and resolve, including broadcasting the Sunday concerts of the orchestra across the country over the CBS and NBC radio networks. Maddy also pioneered the idea of using radio as a medium for musical instruction.

Interlochen’s expansion of creative capacities continued with the launch of the nation’s first independent boarding school in the arts, Interlochen Arts Academy, in 1962, and a public radio station, Interlochen Public Radio, in 1963.

Today, the Camp is the longest continuously running arts camp in the world, attracting thousands of students, faculty, and distinguished guest artists from across the globe for immersive training in dance, theatre, creative writing, visual arts, music, and film. Founded in 1928 as the National High School Orchestra Camp, the world-renowned program has since expanded to multiple disciplines, and more recently to include contemporary programs such as film and new media, singer-songwriting, rock/pop, music production and engineering, jazz improvisation, design and production and more.

“By providing a piece of the Interlochen Arts Camp experience virtually, Interlochen Online will stretch and expand our own creative capacities as well as those of our young artists,” said Devey. “We envision this as an exciting step toward providing greater access to high-caliber Interlochen arts training to even more students.”

To learn more about and apply to Interlochen Online’s camp programs, visit interlochen.org/online.

About Interlochen Center for the Arts

A global destination for artists and arts enthusiasts, Interlochen Center for the Arts comprises Interlochen Arts Camp, a world-class multidisciplinary summer arts program; Interlochen Arts Academy, the nation’s premier fine arts boarding high school; Interlochen Presents, a producer of more than 600 annual performances by celebrated guest artists, Interlochen students, and faculty; Interlochen Public Radio, two listener-supported, 24-hour public radio stations (classical music and news); and Interlochen College of Creative Arts, a convener for lifelong arts education. Since 1928, Interlochen has served a mission to ignite and propel a lifelong passion for the arts.

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