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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI Summer Camp to offer events for general public, children, teachers

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KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 20, 2004 -- Bring your fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmonica, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, sitar, or drums for hands-on instructions. Practice your singing, songwriting, dancing, cloth-making, and visual arts. Discuss cultural issues in the classroom with K-12 colleagues.

The University of Rhode Island's Multicultural Center is offering participants of all ages an opportunity to do all that and more at its second World Voices, World Visions folk music and dance camp. The camp will be held on URI's Kingston campus from Sunday, July 18 through Friday, July 23, 2004.

The camp is designed to build understanding and respect for people and cultures around the world through participation in and exposure to the folk arts, public dialogue, and study and reflection.

"The mission of World Voices, World Visions is to help participants understand what it means to be a global citizen and to develop a sense of responsibility for each other beyond the limits of family and nation," said Melvin Wade, director of the Multicultural Center. "The folk arts allow us to understand our own identities. And as we become more secure in our own identities we can become influenced by others and build bridges."

The "world arts" component of the camp brings together an assemblage of several of the leading folk instructors in folk music, dance and other creative arts. Headlining the camp will be fiddler Seamus Connolly of Groton, Mass., banjo-fiddler Ken Perlman of Leominster, Mass., guitarist Robin Bullock of Paris, France, and Steve Baughman of San Francisco, Calif.; singer-songwriter Kim and Reggie Harris of Philadelphia, Pa., Sally Rogers of Pomfret, Conn. and Calvin Hicks of Boston, Mass., and dancer Somaly Hay of Waterford, Conn.

Joining them will be a stellar contingent of Rhode Islanders, including harmonicist Chris Turner and fiddler Rachel Maloney of Providence, singer-songwriter Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly of Foster, storyteller Valerie Tutson of Providence; dancer Michelle Bach-Coulibaly of Riverside, fiddler Sandol Astrausky of Wakefield, cloth-makers Osunkemi and Sangoyemi of Hopkinton; drummer Jason Roseman of Cranston, dancer Chris Ariel of Jamestown; visual artist Allison Newsome of Warren; along with singer-instrumentalists the Cognitive Dissidents, sitarist Koyel Ghosal, musician Dustin Vinson, and dancers Augusto Dougal and Silas Pinto from URI.

While a pronounced Celtic influence is featured in this year’s music and dance schedule, the camp will also offer an array of workshops addressing diverse tradition of music, dance, and the creative arts in Appalachia, Afro-America, Cambodia, Mali, New England, Nigeria, Trinidad, India, Cape Verde, and Guatemala, along with a capstone public dialogue intended to knit together the themes of the camp. Jam sessions, dances and choir rehearsals will conclude the evening schedule.

In line with the family orientation of the camp, children between the ages of 5 and12 can attend "World Village," a program of activities through which young people can build community through music, dance, crafts, storytelling, and games. "World Village" will be coordinated by educator Clarissa Uttley of Lincoln, and storyteller Valerie Tutson of Providence with special assistance from Remo Drums of Valencia, Calif.

The camp will also offer "World Learning," a series of professional workshops for elementary and secondary teachers who wish to more effectively understand and incorporate the needs of diverse learning into their classroom practice.

Fran F. Collignon, managing equity specialist, and other staff of the New England Equity Assistance Center will coordinate the workshop series. Through the University of Rhode Island School of Education, the workshop series can be taken for graduate course credit.

Rates for "World Village" range from $150 for a commuter attending one class to $475 for a resident including lodging, board and admission to all classes and events; for "World Village," $125 for a commuter to $300 for a resident; and for "World Learning," an introductory rate of $100 per commuter.

For more details or register, please go to www.uri.edu/mcc or call Mailee Kue at 401-874-2851.