Explorations (Grades 7-9)

March 4-9, 2018
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 23, 2018;  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

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Cut it out!  Cut and Sculpt Paper with Celeste Cooning (Visual Art)
Delve into the endless potential of paper in two and three dimensions. Visual Artist Celeste Cooning invites you to create your own utopia using scissors as drawing and sculpture tools. She will show you traditional paper cut images and how cut paper is used as an art form today, for example, creating site-specific installations.  Your observations of patterns found in nature, architecture and textiles will help you create dynamic images in cut paper.

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

Inside-Out and Outside-In: Living Stories with Gillian Jorgenson (Theater)
In this acting workshop, we will explore pathways, movement, the natural world, personal stories, and found objects: every little thing we encounter to create a shared experience as we devise a new story filled with characters inhabited and honed by each individual actor. Practical acting skills will be woven together with imagined and real worlds to bring our stories to shared life.

Music & Roots with Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons (Music)
Learn to hear and play instruments and songs that laid the foundation for American music as we know it! This class will give you experience playing music with others on an instrument of your choice–guitar, banjo, fiddle and mandolin, singing and percussion are all options for students, beginners are welcome. Explore the amazing stories and heartfelt lyrics of some of the greatest music America has ever produced, all while having good fun with Ben and Joe!

Spoken Word with Daemond Arrindell (Poetry)
“Who are you?” is sometimes a difficult question to answer. Society often wrongly assigns labels that show only one small part of the complex, amazing human creatures we are. In this class with Daemond, you will address the ways that others see you and you will decide for yourselves who you really are and how you want to be seen. Spoken Word is a style of poetry that is meant to be performed. You will be bringing to life dynamic voices and stories through writing prompts, imagery, metaphor, and individual as well as group poems.

Breakdance! with Robert Eyerman
Using music as an inspiration, learn the foundation of breakdancing, or “breaking.” The four fundamental components, toprock, footwork, freezes, and power moves will be demonstrated and taught. With Robert teaching some new-found knowledge and skills, learn to create dance routines. Students will have the opportunity to battle against and perform with one another by exploring the arts of cyphering, battling, and performing. Perfect for those with little to no dance experience who are dedicated, enthusiastic, and open-hearted about learning.




Daemond Arrindell

Daemond Arrindell is a poet, performer, and teaching artist and an adjunct faculty member at Seattle University, Cornish College for the Arts and Tacoma’s School of the Arts. He has performed in venues across the country and has been repeatedly commissioned by both Seattle and Bellevue Art Museums. In 2013, he was chosen for “13 for ‘13,” a joint project between the Seattle Times and KUOW, profiling 13 influential people in Seattle’s art scene.


Romson Bustillo

Romson Bustillo

Romson Bustillo is a an interdisciplinary artist working in printmaking, mixed media, and space coding.  Born in the Philippines, Romson Regarde Bustillo immigrated to Seattle with his family in 1978.  He has spent extended periods of time working on his art in Spain, Mexico, and the Philippines; as well as research work in S.E. Asia and Central America. He maintains an art studio in the Central District of Seattle. His work is represented in the collections of the City of Seattle, the City of Tacoma, Washington State Art Commission, ArtColl Trust, ACRS, and the Wing Luke Asian Museum.



Celeste Cooning

Celeste Cooning is a visual artist who lives and works in Seattle. She is best known for creating large-scale, hand-cut installations to adorn city parks, storefronts, grand celebrations and the stage. The year 2013 marked the transformation of Cooning’s signature cut paper aesthetic into a permanent outdoor sculpture. Other permanent installations also reside at Harborview Medical Center, Bridges @11th, Theo Chocolate and Starbucks Headquarters.


Robert Eyerman, aka Bboy Bobby Drake, started breaking in 2005 at the age of 13. Three years later he co-founded the Dog Pound Crew. His group works frequently alongside the Seattle Theater Group, dancing in productions such as DANCE This, Global Party, and Sasquatch Music Festival. Robert highly values education, graduating from the University of Washington with two degrees – chemistry and biochemistry. His passions include dance, music, medicine, education, and philanthropy.

Whenever he is not conducting clinical research in the hepatology clinic at a local Seattle hospital, he provides in-home tutoring to youth, writes music, trains for competitions, and brainstorms how to further impact the world through art and science. Robert enjoys jamming on his guitar, playing with lasers, and traveling the world with his girlfriend.


Joe Seamons and Ben Hunter

Joe Seamons and Ben Hunter

Joe Seamons and Ben Hunter are songster revivalists, performing a variety of field hollers, fiddle & banjo breakdowns, early jazz and hokum that has delighted audiences in concerts and workshops nationwide for the past three years. Their tours serve as an extension of their work as teachers and community organizers in their home of Seattle Washington. With their unique integration of performance, education and modern-day folklore, the duo is redefining the role of a songster for the 21st century.

In January of 2016, they released their second album and earned 1st place in the International Blues Challenge’s solo/duo category.


Gillian Jorgensen

Gillian Jorgensen

Gillian Jorgensen is a Seattle-based teaching artist and playwright with 20 years experience specializing in devised work and creative drama. Her original works include The Nut-Brown Girl and Tigery, and Heavens-to-Betsey Get Lost in the Salad Bar (Seattle Public Theater), No Way Out (Live Girls Theater), My Pet and My Dead Pet (14/48 Projects) She also created and developed Youth Theatre Northwest’s Haunted Forest series and Annex Theatre’s Ghosty series.

She is a faculty member of Seattle Children’s Theatre Drama School and has served as an artist-in-residence with Book-it All Over!, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Queen Anne Elementary. Gillian holds a BS in Theatre from Northwestern University, but that hasn’t stopped her from skating as “Madeleine Str’angle” with PFM Roller Derby.

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.