2021/2022 Annual Report: Arts Education

2021/2022 saw a return to full classrooms, workshops, and camps.

The Umbrella’s Arts Education Department offered:

Over 170 classes and workshops

February and April school vacation week programs

A 6-week summer camp 


Every seasonal semester and vacation week program averaged 90% capacity -- with some of our most popular offerings 100% full -- raising the bar and expectations for Arts Education at The Umbrella. 

Youth programs at The Umbrella continue to empower and inspire youth to find themselves and provide a creative outlet for expression. Education Programs Manager, Rebecca Campbell, led youth programs to new heights with enrollment exceeding 800 children and youth. Rebecca’s work focused on  expanding the variety of our arts curriculum and added exciting new teachers and offerings designed specifically by age group. 

New Opportunities for Youth and Teens!

Assistant TeachersIn addition, Rebecca brought change to our teen programs, expanding beyond a traditional CIT (Counselor in Training) format to a two level, progressive offering. 

The Umbrella’s new Teen Program is specifically geared to grades 7 & 8 and helps to prepare teens for future jobs or internships while also providing arts education. Participants spend half of their day gaining leadership experience working with younger students and the other half of the day taking two different one-hour art classes. 

Our re-named Classroom Volunteers (CV’s) program is geared to high school aged students, ages 15-18, who are looking to gain leadership experience while earning volunteer hours.The skill sets they learn working alongside our lead teachers provide them with real-world, resume worthy experience and help to prepare them for pursuing their first employment opportunities.

These modifications support a greater range of ages with more targeted involvement. And they provide a pathway to greater learning and experience for those students particularly interested in pursuing arts education.



The Ceramics Studio, under the direction of the Studio Manager Zac Mickelson, continues to be one of The Umbrella’s most popular and sought-after programs. 

New developments this year included:

  • the launch of a ceramics speaker and workshop series, a first successful session with Ben Eberle -- a series that continues to be a regular feature in the Ceramics Studio

  • a new part-time Ceramics Studio staffperson Sean Lutz and new teacher Carli Kusiolek have brought their knowledge and skills to our expanding community of artists and students

The ongoing and increasing energy around Ceramics has resulted in the creation of spectacular ceramics pottery and sculpture, with the work from our soda kiln being particularly notable. 



Soda ash kiln by Sage HollowaySoda-firing is the process in which sodium oxide (soda) is introduced into a hot kiln where it vaporizes and interacts with the hot surfaces of the work to create flashes of color and glaze. This year, The Umbrella has been making great use of our new soda ash kiln, one of only a handful in the Commonwealth!



Arts Education continually seeks to engage with our broader community through outreach and partnerships. Of particular note is our continued work with Lowell Public Schools creating a yearlong afterschool arts program with two elementary and two middle schools. We are also proud to partner with our regional schools to provide volunteer opportunities and with Concord’s Recreation Department on summer camp offerings. Our April Vacation Week team was thrilled to partner with Concord Kids Care, a local affiliate of the Bezos Family Foundation's global Students Rebuild project, to create a stunning "quilt" of 200 artworks on a Clean Oceans theme.


Photos by Sage Holloway and Camp Staff