LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Etiquette, discipline and music continue to be the three focal points of the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy’s Summer Music Camp. But this year the camp has taken its teachings a step further.
The camp kicked off its 25th year on Monday at Artspace on West Broadway. The mixed-use development serves as the primary rehearsal area for the kids to curate their music skills throughout the year.
On Thursday, the day camp format will turn into a residence camp as the students venture to the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown. That’s where they’ll receive etiquette training, followed by a formal dinner at the hotel’s Spire restaurant ahead of their Closing Ceremony.
The purpose of the training goes beyond being able to identify which fork to use during a meal.
“I think the ultimate goal is to get polished products, kids who can become a part of a productive community that builds - not just takes away,” McDaniel Bluitt, Executive Director of WLPAA, said.
Bluitt said in the future the kids may be asked to perform at refined places where there are expectations for behavior. He stressed the importance of exposing them to different walks of life and areas of the city in preparation for those moments.
Despite cuts to a number of programs amid the metro’s $32 million budget shortfall, camp operations have continued close to normal thanks to a host of grants and supportive families, according to Bluitt.
“I mean, they’re preparing to go out to Kentucky Kingdom, State Fair, and help to build up and make up for the bridge for the loss of finance that we were getting and won’t be getting this next year,” Bluitt said.
Though WLPAA did take a hit, their hope is to keep pushing forward.
“We didn’t start the program to see how many dollars we could gleam from the city of Louisville,” Bluitt explained. “We started off in a church doing what we were doing and the city got our attention and we’ve become good friends over the years.”
More information on WLPAA can be found here.
The students have been working on vocal techniques, choir decorum and group rehearsals. They plan to show off their new music during their college tour to Campbellsville University in September and the Annual Hope Awards Christmas Dinner Concert.
Camp concludes on Saturday.