The Fine Arts Day Camp was founded in 1996 by Dr. Steven C. Erickson. The camp was born out of an idea from Dr. Erickson’s Creative Drama Class. The first year was an experiment that proved so successful, Dr. Erickson had no choice than to make it an annual event. The camp was geared to children in grades 4 through 8.
The structure of the camp has changed little since its inception back in 1996. Classes have been expanded and new and exciting electives have been offered each year since.
In 1997, Dr. Erickson invited current camp director Ric Roberts to teach a musical theatre class. Dr. Erickson and Ric became a formidable team and set about moving the camps into a new phase. With the help of Kelly J. Helmreich, the 1999 Fine Arts Day Camp hit record numbers.
With the Fine Arts Day Camp on solid ground, 1998 also saw the formation of the Summer Theatre Institute. This camp is geared specifically to our high school students who had expressed interest. The STI, is a truly intensive camp. Students study everything from solo acting to musical theatre to work on film. The STI was a natural progression that offered our Fine Arts Day Camp graduates further experience in theatre.
2002 celebrated our 6th Anniversary for the Fine Arts Day Camp and the 4th anniversary for the Summer Theatre Institute. Our camp program has an 80% retention rate from year to year and many students move easily up to the second camp. SVSU Summer Camps have had the pleasure of working with several students for five consecutive summers!
The camps continue to evolve into a self sufficient, well-oiled leg of the award winning SVSU Theatre Department. Camp staff consists of SVSU faculty, students, area artists and guest artists.