Explorations (Grades 7-9)

March 5-10, 2017
Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, Washington

EXPLORATIONS affirms the gifts that every student offers. Through this immersive, week-long program, students are introduced to the world of arts and ideas, creative risk-taking, and personal development. It’s a total learning environment that challenges the mind and body in equal measure.

Each day features four workshop sessions where students pursue their main interest then explore different genres in their other three classes. During breaks, participants connect with nature and explore the trails, beaches and historic monuments at Fort Worden State Park. Each evening, our faculty artists showcase their skills, followed by snacks and group activities in the dorm. The week concludes with a student showcase for friends and family to celebrate and witness the results of the week!

For this program, students sign up in groups of 4 to 6 with an adult chaperone. Limited scholarships are available. Tuition, room and board are FREE for chaperones, but each chaperone needs to be registered. Scholarship Deadline: January 25,2016;  Notifications the week of February 1.

I so appreciate the spirit and culture which the staff and dorm counselors share…such high quality people setting up good group dynamics. I also appreciate the freedom, trust and independence the students receive and watching what they do with that. It’s a very formative experience.” Chaperone Kelleigh McMillan


Sculpture Inventions: Turning the Mundane to Marvelous with Margie McDonald
Making sculpture with Margie is an exploration of materials and processes. Sometimes it doesn’t, at first, look like art! Keep at it and you will be surprised. With invention as the guide, Margie will show you a hundred ways to work with tools and techniques. Use plastic or wire… or something you find in the studio… to create new worlds in sculpture.

Creative Rhythms with Eduardo Mendonça
Students will create their own rhythms in an intuitive and spontaneous way. Brazilian instruments will be available as well as buckets, plastic oil pans and anything that can make sound. Learn to play traditional and contemporary Brazilian grooves like Samba, Baião and Samba-Reggae. And enjoy playing as an ensemble with an instructor who has performed for celebrities such as Nelson Mandela, Pope John II, and the 14th Dalai Lama!

“Actor’s Bootcamp” – Theater with Nicco Annan
Every Oscar & Emmy Award winning actor started somewhere…. Let your time at Centrum be the beginning of your acting career. Have you ever wondered how to get the role you want in your school’s next production? Learn what it takes to be part of today’s feature films or your favorite TV shows and Broadway plays. See how those other kids got those jobs on your favorite commercials and break out of your shell!  This full energy class is focused on truly becoming the BEST ACTOR you can be!!! And will work with any actor from beginning to advanced.

Intuitive Printmaking with Romson Bustillo
Learn about printmaking using inventive techniques in a traditional printmaking studio. Students will explore a variety of techniques that allow artists to develop contemporary prints. Using monotype, relief printing, mixed media and collage Romson will assist students to work intuitively. The focus is on technique, materials, process, and composition.

Afro Brazilian Dance with Dora Oliveira
Learn traditional and contemporary dances from Brazil with Dora’s high energy and fun approach to dance. This class is the perfect workout – it is physical with tons of cardio, based on modern technique. You can have fun while you practice body conditioning and coordination! Explore the dance worlds of samba, samba reggae, maculele, and capoeira.

Experiments and Writing In the Field with Vis-à-Vis Society (Sierra Nelson & Rachel Kessler)
Inspired by science – its methods, poetry, and lines of inquiry—The Vis-à-Vis Society introduces the idea of collaboration with games and improv theater in order to generate new poems and performance pieces. Working as a group and as individual writers, this class will explore the landscape of Fort Worden and how that might lead back to some unusual literary surprises. Sierra and Rachel have been collaborating as writers and performers for over 15 years and are excited to share some of their playful and unusual techniques that bring writing to another level!


Nicco Annan

Nicco Annan

Nicco Annan has acted on Broadway and in Hollywood. He is an award winning director and choreographer whose work spans the worlds of theater, dance, and music. Nicco has been involved with New York City’s Hip Hop Theatre Festival, Rita Dove’s ‘Thomas & Beulah’ with the Poetry Society of America, as well as big productions including 5 Guys Named Moe, and the Respect Project (with Tony Award winner George Faison).

Nicco currently lives in Los Angeles where he has been working in the TV and film industry.

Romson Bustillo

Romson Bustillo (l)

Romson Bustillo is a printmaker, mixed media and site-specific artist. He was born in in Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao Island in the Philippines and came to Seattle in 1978. His art reflects his exploration of place and context and how we process information to create moments of understanding.

Romson has been a teaching artist at Pratt Fine Arts Center, Tacoma Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, the James and Janie Washington Foundation, the Wing Luke Asian Museum and the Brooklyn Public Library.

Eduardo Mendonca

Eduardo Mendonca

Eduardo Mendonça — multi-talented musician, producer and composer — is a native of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Mendonça received his degree in arts education from the Music Institute of the Catholic University of Salvador and is a founding member of Arts Corps. He is Artistic Director for international performance ensemble Show Brazil!

Margie McDonald

Margie McDonald

Margie McDonald grew up in rural Newfoundland in a large family that was, she says, “economically challenged.” And so she was involved with reuse from a very early age.  She learned to knit mittens and socks, crochet, and make quilts and clothing using mostly recycled materials



Sierra Nelson and Rachel Kessler have been writing, performing, and creating installations together for over 15 years as co-founders of the literary performance groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-a-Vis Society. They have performed across North America, including: Wave Books’ Poetry Bus Tour, Seattle Poetry Festival, Seattle Art Museum, Bowery Poetry Club, Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival, and NYC’s Galapagos Art Space. Their interactive installations have appeared at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, and numerous galleries. Their collaborative books include “Desire & Flotation Devices”(2004) and “Who Are We?” with 7-inch record (2007).

Dora Oliveira

Dora Oliveira

Auxiliadora “Dora Oliveira” Newman has performed and taught Afro-Brazilian dance for 30 years. She graduated with a dance degree from Federal University of Brazil, and her professional career as a dancer began in 1976 with the folkloric dance troupe Exaltaçao A Bahia. Dora has learned a repertoire that ranges from Afro-Brazilian dance forms through jazz, ballet and modern dance. She now lives in Seattle where she teaches and performs in numerous dance troupes.


This program is generously funded by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Additional sponsors include the Washington State Arts Commission, Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, The Baker Foundation, ecotrust, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, The Forest Foundation, Rayonier Foundation, Jubilation Foundation, McEachern Foundation, JCCF Fund for Women and Girls, the Congdon Hanson Family, and nearly a thousand individual donors whose generosity celebrates the power of creativity to change lives.