The Helena-West Helena Delta Cultural Center (DCC) will kick off its new arts and heritage summer youth camp Monday, July 16, 2018. Registration is still open to youth who are entering grades 5 through 12 in the upcoming school year.  


The program is specifically recruiting those students who attend school within the Helena-West Helena Public School District, as well as those at KIPP Delta Preparatory School and the Desoto Academy.  Those interested are required to register prior to the start of the camp.  Registration is limited to 20 youth.


The program is theater-based with the rich cultural heritage of the delta and its blues music as the central theme.  Participants will conduct research on two of Helena’s historical cemeteries—Magnolia and Dixon. The youngsters will research and perform living histories about some of the notable people who are buried in each cemetery.  These dramatic presentations will be open to the public.  The Confederate Cemetery will be included among the historical sites as a part of the winter/spring program.  In its entirety, the project is a 12-month program.  The summer session is a preview of what students can expect as the project continues throughout the year.


With an ongoing youth preservation component woven into the project, a group of students will be selected from among the 20 participants to assist in maintaining the grounds of the selected cemeteries.  This, along with the research that will be conducted, and the living history performances, are designed to provide a greater appreciation for community service and historical preservation.  This unique educational experience will also expose students to the fundamentals of filmmaking and screenwriting while they develop important oratory and acting skills.  


There is no cost for students to participate in the two-week camp which runs from July 16 through July 27.  The group will meet at the DCC Depot Museum’s Eagle Room, at 8 a.m. each day starting with breakfast.  It will end at 12:00 noon with lunch each day.   The Depot is located at 95 Missouri Street in historic downtown Helena.


In addition to the DCC’s partnership with KIPP-Delta Preparatory School, the Helena-West Helena School District and the Desoto Academy, the Great Rivers Co-op and Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas will also provide program resources.  
To obtain registration information, or for more details, interested individuals should contact Dr. Kyle Miller, director of the DCC at 870.338.4350, or kyle.miller@arkansas.gov.  Information can also be found on the DCC’s Facebook page, or at www.deltaculturalcenter.com.


The Delta Cultural Center shares the vision of all eight agencies within the  Department of Arkansas Heritage—to preserve and promote Arkansas Heritage as a source of pride and satisfaction.  The other agencies are the department are the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Arkansas Arts Council, the Natural Heritage Commission and the Arkansas State Archives.