Cab Summer School of the Arts provides students with a fun alternative to traditional summer camps

"In today's world where art is shrinking and schools aren't backing it as much, Cab Summer School of the Arts provides an opportunity to open the world of art to kids who may not have it presented to them," Cab Summer Executive Director Nan Ciuffetelli said.

Cab Summer, which was started four years ago by Carlos Alejandro and is sponsored by Cab Calloway School of the Arts, is a seven week program that offers students the opportunity to participate in several camps, including animation, advanced fashion, advanced strings, commercial dance, and culinary arts.

Although the program usually takes place at Cab Calloway, this year's program is taking place at Thomas McKean High School, due to the renovations currently being done at Cab Calloway.

The camp, which hosts about 70 students per cycle, has a new theme every week. At the end of each week, the students present the projects they were working on to their families and fellow campers.

Alejandro, a commercial photographer by trade, said he decided to start Cab Summer because he saw a need for it and there was no other program like it.

"I saw that my kids were doing things their friends didn't know how to do, such as editing video, taking digital pictures, and writing and recording songs," he said. "I realized that it wasn't because they didn't know how to do it. It was because nobody else was showing them. Cab Summer gives them a chance to learn things their parents assumed they were too young for. Over time I saw that once you open the door, kids would figure it out for themselves."

Cab Summer is open to students entering third grade through 12th grade.

Second year camper Rachel Champion,14, said there is a lot to love about the program.

"I like the individual attention we are given," said Champion, who attends the commercial dance camp. "Also, it's not just all work. It is fun too. Our dance instructor gets us to work and have fun at the same time. I attend a dance studio in the fall and winter and I don't want to lose that training during the summer, attending camp at Cab Summer pushes me and makes me a better dancer."

Ciuffetelli said Cab Summer allows students to take part in things that Cab Calloway is not usually known for.

Robert Hite, 12, is using his time at Cab Summer to explore his interest in animation.

"I am learning how to animate, which I have been wanting to do for a long time,"Hite said. "I think it's really cool. I see animated shows on tv and thought I would like to try that."

Both Ciuffetelli and Alejandro believe that Cab Summer is a good resource for students to tap into their interests and possibility figure out what they want to do in the future.

"It is not just about Cab," Ciuffetelli said. "It is about getting kids interested and involved in whatever field they like." There is no innovation without art."