Joy, Learning and Adventure at Summer Camp

Kieren Davis has been attending Melodic Connections summer camps for 6 years, but he’s especially excited about the new teen camp – Arts Enterprise. It’s been revamped to be an immersive arts experience. Participants will deep dive into their selected discipline and choose from music, visual art, theatre or dance.

We met up with Kieren and his mom, Valerie, at the Newport Library where they were selecting pieces for his portfolio, which is part of registration for Arts Enterprise.

When first learning about this newly-designed teen camp, Valerie was admittedly hesitant because participants will meet at off-site locations like Ensemble Theater and Cincinnati Ballet, and move to various locations around downtown Cincinnati – using the cityscape to enhance imagination and creativity.

However, Kieren’s infectious enthusiasm eased her concerns. “I have seen so much joy in my child from attending camp. Every day he walks out giddy and excited to tell me about what happened. It’s that joy carries me through any worries.” She added, “He views it as an adventure and says ‘Let’s go!'”

Because of Kieren’s passion for art, he selected the visual arts discipline for Arts Enterprise. He began developing an interest in art by drawing cartoon characters from the show Veggie Tales. “There’s a segment at the end of the show where they teach you how to draw the characters,” Valerie said.

As his skills have grown, he has created more sophisticated pieces like an interpretation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. He attends Simon Kenton High School and chose art as an elective. “His art teacher has sparked something in him,” Valerie explains. “His art has evolved into work that is abstract and stunning.”

Other recent works include a cityscape and painting of a WWI German clock for a family heirloom project. He was  also recognized with an Honorable Mention for a Kenton County calendar contest.

Kieren became involved with Melodic Connections after an ArtsWave event at the Newport Library. “Within three minutes, Betsey was showing him how to play the guitar,” said Valerie.

Since then, he’s been attending summer camp each year and loves both music and art.

During Arts Enterprise, Kieren and other participants will engage with leading arts partners while honing their craft. Discipline groups will be small and escorted by trained Melodic Connections’ staff and college-age volunteers. Part of the registration process includes submitting a sample that expresses interest in the preferred discipline.

Two of Kieren’s favorite things-Veggie Tales & sushi









Kieren’s Interpretation of Starry Night




WWI Clock









Kieren receives an Honorable Mention


Kieren’s first Melodic Connections camp