DES MOINES, Iowa - Most of these kids have never touched an instrument before, but in Rock and Roll Camp, offered by Des Moines Parks and Recreation and the Des Moines Music Coalition, they're becoming rockstars in a matter of weeks.
"It's a true collaboration," said Jen Fletcher of Des Moines Parks and Recreation. "We wanted to get away from the stereotype that we only have sports programming. We wanted to offer something in the avenue of the arts, for kids, too."
In its first year, Rock and Roll Camp has about eight kids learning different instruments and practicing group performances at Lincoln RAILS Academy. A two-week camp, the kids are a day away from achieving their rockstar status. Next month, the department is offering a Hip-Hop Camp, and the two groups will come together for a big performance at an ensemble concert at Simon Estes Ampitheater in late July.
Fletcher says the idea is to build upon these programs and see a larger turnout next year. With brand-new instruments and equipment donated by Guitar Center, the partnership says its goal is to foster the arts among the youth this summer in the midst of all the other types of recreational programming available.