The Missoula Children's Theatre in 2019 performed "Peter & Wendy". The production is done within one week. The kids try out, practice and perform.

The Missoula Children’s Theater is back at the Bonifas this June and is seeking children looking for adventure and magic to audition for their summer production of Peter and Wendy, a play based on Peter Pan.

Auditions will be held June 17 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Bonifas Theater.

The auditions are open for grades K- 12 with rehearsals daily from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., and again from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Participation is free. 

On June 22 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., the public is invited to attend the performance of Peter and Wendy. Come join Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook, and the other beloved characters on their magical flight to Neverland and back.

Tickets cost $8 with children under 5 attending for free. Learn more about the performances online or call the Bonifas at (906) 786-3833.

Fairy houses are a popular and fun way to observe the joy and mythology of summer. Celebrate the Summer Solstice this year by creating your very own fairy house at the Bonifas!

Instructor Kate Oman will walk you through all the steps you need to create your very own fairy house, including furnishings, for the fairies who might be hiding in your yard or home.

The class will be held outside (weather permitting) and supplies are included in the price.

Have a special trinket or item you think the Little Folk might enjoy in their new house? Bring it with you, and Kate will help you work it into your design.

Fairy Houses with Kate Oman takes place on Friday, June 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $23 for members and $28 for non-members.

This class is open to ages 6 and up, but an adult must accompany children under 12. Register online or call the Bonifas at (906) 786-3833.

April South-Olson is a mother, artist, and instructor at the Bonifas Arts Center. The many hats she wears gives her the unique ability to see the positive effects that art can have on children.

    “I think it’s important to expose children to as much art as you can to help build strong connections and foster education,” April explained, “Creating uses the right side of your brain and builds on imagination to help children learn to solve problems in new or different ways.”

    She’s not alone in her thinking: dozens of studies in the last couple of years, including one by the National Endowment of the Arts and another by the American Psychological Association, have shown that children who engage regularly in the arts have better motor skills, language development, decision making, visual learning, cultural awareness, and emotional development than those who do not. They also tend to have improved academic performance and score higher on tests. 

    It’s not all about scoring, though. Art allows kids to have fun and play freely, something that April will focus on in her upcoming summer classes. Participants will be exploring art concepts through classic projects that are playful and engaging. The projects are easy to grasp and age appropriate. Children not only learn new art mediums and elements but get to meet new friends in a relaxed atmosphere. There is no pressure to make something “perfect” but to learn from mistakes to create something wholly unique. 

“The kids in my classes get excited about the different mediums the Bonifas offers. Often, they don’t have access to printmaking or paints at home,” said April about her classes, “I love teaching kids because they show me unexpected ways to approach tools. They don’t get hung up on judgments. They just make art!”

This summer, April’s classes will focus on exploring art concepts and materials that kids will love: On June 27 the class will center on still life painting using line drawings. Cardboard collage painting will teach kids how to stack shapes to make a three-dimensional work of art on July 11. July 18 finds students printmaking. On July 25 they will be pulling out the pastels and watercolor to paint a beautiful landscape out in the garden, and on August 1 they will use yarn as an unusual way to paint.  

When asked what advice she would give to parents considering her classes, April encourages parents to sign their children up.

“Art is fun, especially for kids, but it can be really messy,” April said, “Taking classes at the Bonifas allows for all of the fun and socialization with none of the clean-up for you. What’s better than that?”

Classes run from 11 to 12 p.m. Price per session is $8 for members or $10 for non-members. Price for the entire 5-week session is $30 for members and $40 for non-members. This series is created for children ages 8 and up. Contact the Bonifas Arts Center online at bonifasarts.org or by calling (906)786-3833 to register for Kids Drawing and Painting.

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