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100-plus students are part of MSA camp

Jaelon Love likes seeing students new to the Mississippi School of the Arts summer camp get lost in their creative process this week.

Love, a 2017 graduate of MSA, is the camp coordinator this year. Studying theater at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Love is home in Jackson for the summer and wanted to assist at the MSA camp to give back to the program.

“For me, MSA really helped change my life and what I wanted to do,” the 20-year-old said. “Any opportunity that I could let a student who is interested in MSA get just a glimpse of what it’s like and how life-changing MSA can be, that’s what I wanted to do.”

The camp is hosted by the MSA Foundation and is home for dozens of students in eighth through 10th grade who are here this week from across Mississippi.

Students can select two arts disciplines of the six offered — dance, literary arts, filmmaking, theatre, visual art and vocal music — to study for the week where they will learn basic techniques and study with the MSA arts faculty.

Student performances are Friday at 1 p.m. in Lampton Auditorium.

The camp offers a glimpse of a day in the life of an MSA student, Love said.

After studying from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. each day, students participate in nightly residence life activities that include a luau, dance, mystery dinner theatre, carnival and movie night.

“The MSA Foundation is so happy to once again host our summer camp,” said MSA Executive Director Suzanne Hirsch. “We have nearly 100 campers from all over the state visiting Brookhaven this week.”

MSA alumni, like Love, are working the camp as interns to help students maneuver through the campus and their experiences.

“We have 12 alumni of MSA working as interns for the camp alongside our teachers and staff members,” Hirsch said. “We thank the Mississippi Arts Commission for their continued support as well by supporting 15 full scholarships this year. The energy is infectious and we are having a blast with these students. It is our hope to provide arts exposure to as many students as possible.”

Campers can stay overnight in the dorm or come each day as a commuter student. The camp is held the first full week of June each year but registration begins in March. Scholarships are available by application.

For more information, contact Hirsch at 601-823-1300 or shirsch@mdek12.org.