Centrum, in partnership with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), gathers young artists, scientists, and teachers together for week-long, residential, full-immersion experiences in the arts. We find the most interesting artists working in the fields of visual arts, writing, theater, movement, and music. We bring in scientists through a partnership with the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. Through their expertise, young artists learn new ways of thinking, seeing, and being.
Elementary and middle school students come in groups of 4-6 with a chaperone – either their classroom teacher or a parent. If you have a single student with no group – be sure to contact us so we can arrange for them to be included. High school students come on their own.
Centrum’s week-long, residential, full-immersion programs take place at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend, WA. The park is a beautiful campus of 100-year-old buildings on a 440 acre site that includes miles of beaches and forest trails.
Explorations (Grades 7-9)
March 6 – 11, 2022
Join 7th-9th grade students from around Washington State for Explorations! Through this immersive five-day program students are introduced to the world of arts and ideas, creative risk-taking, and personal development. It’s a total learning environment that takes music, visual arts, writing, and many other art mediums out of the studio and into your home! Students will receive instructions via email to choose their classes and will be mailed a personalized package with all of the necessary materials and supplies (to keep!) before the program begins.
Each day features three workshop sessions where students pursue their main interest then explore different genres in their other two classes. During lunch, participants can connect with other students from around the state with games and faculty presentations. The week concludes with a student gallery and showcase to celebrate the accomplishments of every student!
Water World (Grades 5-6)
May 1 – 6, 2022
Water World Online, a dynamic collaboration between Centrum and the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, is filled with activities and projects that expand and enhance elementary students’ experience of the marine world through the lenses of both science and art.
In collaboration with artists, scientists, and peers from across the state, students integrate scientific investigations with creative writing and visual art. The result is a multi-faceted, full immersion online learning experience.
Students work in small groups that rotate through a variety of interactive classes and labs. Each day offers a mix of both scientific and artistic workshops. The group size is small to allow for maximum personal attention and engagement.
Classes will be grounded in scientific studies and current issues about the Puget Sound and Salish Sea. These place-based lessons will be used to connect students to their local ecosystems state-wide through readily applied concepts such as water quality, watershed conservation, and developing awareness of the importance of wild, undamaged habitats and how to live in better harmony with nature.
Through a combination of online classes, at-home labs and experiments, and optional local field trips, students learn to work as scientists—exploring nature outside in their own neighborhood; studying plankton and invertebrate through online lessons; and drawing and writing to keenly observe and explore fish, birds, wildlife, invertebrates, waves, wind, and other natural features.
Blue Heron Tales, Texts & Theater
May 29 – June 3, 2022
During Tales, Texts & Theater, the entire sixth grade student body of Port Townsend’s Blue Heron Middle School will work with vital, contemporary artists in a variety of disciplines—creative writing, theatrical movement, music, and visual art—for a weeklong immersion in creativity.
Beginning each day with a core subject, students get an in depth concentration on a genre of their choice. Then they explore by learning about other art forms in their other three classes, seeing how the different arts interconnect. Each afternoon, the core artist faculty show and talk about the work they do. At the end of the week, students share their creative experiments with the community in a student showcase performance.
Voices from the Fields Arts Academy
June 19-24, 2022
The goal of Voices from the Field Arts Academy is to provide outstanding arts experiences for middle school students in Washington State’s Migrant Education programs. Many of these students have not had a lot of opportunity to experience the arts in their regular school day. Some struggle academically trying to keep up to grade level in the face of moving from school to school while their families move for their work. OSPI believes that their experiences in meaningful arts classes will both inspire them to find their own strengths and creativity and be an avenue through which increased literacy and academic development takes place.
With 60 students, their chaperones and a cohort of teachers from their schools, the week at Centrum is a complete arts immersion. Theater, Visual Art, Poetry, Dance and Music take center stage for one week, guided by an outstanding artist faculty and the idea that the arts reveal essential insights and ways of learning that can resonate meaningfully in the lives of young people.
2020 High School Writers’ Conference
July 11 – 15, 2022
Since 1974, Centrum’s high-school writing workshops have been at the center of creative-writing education in the Pacific Northwest. Nearly all working writers in the Puget Sound area and beyond point to early inspiration and craft instruction at Centrum as foundational experiences to their writing lives. Centrum’s High-School Writers’ Conference brings ardent student writers together with acclaimed faculty for a week of immersion, inspiration, and instruction in creative writing.
Core morning workshops, afternoon workshops in special topics, guided freewrites, open-mike sessions, a vibrant readings and lectures series, and guided outdoor time and space designed for rest and relaxation helps to round out this essential experience for high-school writers.
DANCE This Camp at Centrum (Grades 9-12)
August 14 – 21, 2022
Immerse yourself in dance! Presented by Seattle Theatre Group and Centrum, The DANCE This Camp at Centrum provides an opportunity for high school students to study a wide range of dance styles and techniques in a supportive, yet challenging atmosphere. Each day includes technique classes and repertory sessions, with time for meals and exploring the Fort Worden campus. At the end of the week, students share their work at a Saturday showcase for friends and family.