Shake Rag Alley Presents New Creative Opportunities For Youth Artists This Month

A new season of youth programming kicks off at Shake Rag Alley this month with the launch of the 2022 make-at-home art kits ahead of the start of on-campus workshops in June.

Creative fun for kids of all ages has been a focus of Shake Rag Alley programming since its founding as a nonprofit arts organization in 2004. Children’s classes began that year as an after-school arts and crafts program and, thanks to support in part from grants from the Mineral Point Community Chest and United Fund of Iowa County, continue to expose participants to new skills and creative engagement every June-August. 

More than a dozen Youth Program arts and crafts kits will be available May 1 in the Youth Program Marketplace. Each kit comes with written instructions and can be picked up at Shake Rag Alley or mailed anywhere in the country. Prices for most of the kits range from $10-$12 plus shipping if applicable. 

This year’s summer Youth Program of on-campus workshops begins June 4 with two sessions of the fairy jars workshop returning to the Tour of Fairy Homes. Additional June workshops include Painted Clothespins, Christensen Soap Carving, Handmade Paper Flowers, Fairy Houses, Fancy Schmancy Candles and Candleholders, Diwali “Lamp,” Fun With Photography, Egg Carton Bugs and Rainbow Collage.

The return of Paper Mache Art Camp in July will have the young day campers walking in the Mineral Point 4th of July Parade with their creations, which hasn’t happened since 2019. Additional July workshops include Cementimals, Gelatin Plate Printing, Mermaid Crowns, Steampunk Owls, Felt Flowers, Crazy Circle Tree, Elgin Twig Mosaic, Cute Paper Cactus and Basket Making.

August will feature Soda Can Rascals, Mug Rugs, Beaded Necklace and Bracelet, Heart Mosaic, Leather Bracelets Trio, Laura Ingalls Wilder Day, Be in a Play Camp and Leather Stash Bag.

This year’s workshop and kit instructors include Kanndie Basting, Theresa Breuning, Nancy Huffman, Youth Program Director Elizabeth Johanna, Megan Kulick, Lesley Macaulay, Carole Spelić, Kathy Warpinski and Marie Whisenant.

This year’s Free Arts Camp — four days of programming for 40 youth spread out in morning and afternoon sessions — will be delivered entirely in person for the first time since 2019. Thanks to the United Fund of Iowa County, these creative days are entirely free for youth in Grades 1-5 and one session for 20 campers is already sold out. 

To register for workshops, purchase kits, and learn more information, see ShakeRagAlley.org/youth-program, contact Youth Program Director Elizabeth Johanna at ejohanna@shakeragalley.org, or call our office at (608) 987-3292. To donate in support of the Youth Program, see ShakeRagAlley.org/support.

Kids aren’t the only ones getting in on the creativity this month. Several adult workshops in May are sold out, but the following are still open for registration with rapidly approaching deadlines at www.ShakeRagAlley.org:

     •     May 2 | (Virtual) The Business of Art: Facilitating Workshops with Paul Pendola

     •     May 9 | (Virtual) The Business of Art: Pricing Your Products with Paul Pendola

     •     May 12 | Altered Grid Journaling with Helen Shafer Garcia

     •     May 13 | Painted Paper Quilts with Helen Shafer Garcia

     •     May 14 | Poured Painted Surfaces with Helen Shafer Garcia

     •     May 15 | Transparent Stitched Color Pencil Book with Helen Shafer Garcia

     •     May 16 | (Virtual) The Business of Art: Managing The “Business” End with Paul Pendola

     •     May 20-22 | Mining The Story: Writing Retreat with Patricia Ann McNair, Sheree L. Greer and  Christine Maul Rice

     •     May 26 | Cake Decorating with Royal Icing with Nicole Bujewski

     •     May 28 | Monthly Prose Writers Group (free; donations welcome)

The upcoming calendar also includes these free or low-cost programs and events (register at www.ShakeRagAlley.org):

Driftless Poets Workshop | May 14 | 2-4 p.m. on campus and via Zoom

The Driftless Poets invite you to join them in person or via Zoom for their free monthly workshop to discuss and share poetry. New poets are always welcome, but only those who have submitted work prior to the workshop will receive feedback and critique. Poets take turns leading the workshops by sharing a poem that demonstrates a form or craft technique and monitoring time. Free (donations welcome); registration required for Zoom link. 

Makers & Shakers Art Party | 6:30-8:30 p.m. May 18 | Lind Pavilion, 411 Commerce St.

Get ready to greet the summer season with a fresh 12” x 18” fabric banner! No need to have sewing skills — we’ll use the miracle of fusible webbing and old-fashioned ironing to join your upbeat floral motifs to a prepared panel. You’ll leave with a cheerful decoration to hang indoors or out! Fabric, tools, and stencils provided. Project fee $5 | Materials fee $7; registration required. Project fee waived for middle and high school students. Call the office to register!

Antiracism Book Club | May 19 | 6-7:30 p.m. via Zoom

Join the conversation about James Baldwin’s “I Am Not Your Negro,” the book selection for May’s free Antiracism Book Club. Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism — and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Free (donations welcome); registration required.

6th Annual Writing Retreat Faculty Reading and Open Mic | 7-9 p.m. May 21 | Cafe 43, 411 Commerce St.

Join us for a night of lively literary readings by Writing Retreat faculty Patricia Ann McNair, Christine Maul Rice and Sheree L. Greer at Mineral Point’s Cafe 43. Enjoy a free beverage courtesy of the Wisconsin Writers Association, and consider sharing your own voice during the Open Mic. Free; open to the public.