Puppet camps join lineup at YAC this summer

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council is excited to kick off our new summer camps. Each summer, children from the Lafayette County community spend their days learning about arts and crafts, theatre, and so much more.

Starting June 6, Nancy Opalko, former Oxford Librarian, is joining the Arts Council to host a variety of Puppet Camps. Fairytale puppet camp is scheduled for June 6th- 10th. Introduction to Shadow Puppetry will be the week of July 18 – 22 from 8 a.m. – noon. The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council encourages students to explore their creativity in more ways than one outside of the traditional brush and canvas. 

Nancy Opalko starts each camp by introducing a new story to the children participating. As they indulge in the story, the kids are asked to pay attention to characters they want to portray as puppets. All materials are provided for making the puppets, stage, back ground, and props.

Email newsletter signup

The children have the option to make stick or paper bag puppets. Practice for the show begins promptly after the creation of the puppets. The show is performed for the parents at the end of the camp at pickup. Nancy was the librarian for the public library for over 25 years. During her time as a librarian, she involved puppetry and arts in craft into the curriculum.

Nancy expressed, “While I was teaching, the Art’s Council was wonderful about providing a grant that we could apply for that allowed for us to host a summer reading workshop for students as well as an art program where students could partake in quilting and pottery. The transition from being a librarian to an instructor in the sense of helping me get scheduling down for the best time for parents and students. I believe that YAC offers something for everyone and that is why I wanted to host my first solo puppet classes at their venue.” 

The Arts Council hosts events in a variety of spaces from the Powerhouse Community Arts Center, the classrooms located at the Lafayette County Multi-Purpose Arena and at the Old Armory Pavilion. Ranging from science classes, acting, and visual art classes these community spaces  will be filled with sounds of summer camps.

Visit www.oxfordarts.com to register for classes under “2022 Creative Arts Summer Camps”. Listed below are all of the possibilities for you and your loved ones to explore this summer. 


“We are able to offer so many different classes” shared Caitlin Hopper, Operations Director for the Arts Council “due to varied interest of LOU residents.”   The Arts Council assists those seeking to share their skills, knowledge or organize a group with a shared interest by providing spaces and support.  “Local chefs have offered cooking classes, seamstresses sewing classes, cocktail classes from local bartenders.  YAC has supported writing and poetry groups.  If you have an interest in offering a class YAC provides the tools and spaces.”


Early Bird Camp, May 23rd – 27th

8 am-12 pm or 8 am-5 pm


Sounds Delicious-Food in Art Camp, May 31st – June 3rd

(closed Memorial Day, May 30th)

8 am-12 pm or 8 am-5 pm


Fairy tale pup camp, June 6th – 10th 


Science and Art Camp, June 6th – 10th

8 am-12 pm or 8 am-5 pm


Animalia! Animals in Art, June 13th – 17th

8 am-12 pm or 8 am-5 pm


Art-titecture-Buildings in Art Camp, June 20th – 24th


Portraits in Art Camp, June 27th – July 1st

8 am-12 pm or 8 am-5 pm


Sketch, Doodle, and Draw Camp, July 5th – 8th

(closed July 4th)

8 am-12 pm or 8 am-5 pm


Mix it Up-Mixed Media Art Camp

July 11th-15th

8 am-12 pm or 8 am-5 pm


Paint Party Art Camp

July 18th-22th

8 am-12 pm or 8 am-5 pm


Intro to shadow puppetry, July 18th – 22nd,

8 am – 12 pm 


Last Call-Adventures in Art Camp, July 25th-29th

8-12 pm or 8-5 pm


Fairytale Puppetry Workshop, June 6-10th

Times: 8-12pm

Ages: 4-12


Intro to Shadow Puppetry, July 18th-22nd

Times: 8 am-12pm

Ages: 4-12


Adult Classes 

Dates: June 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

Times: 6:30-8:30 pm

Location: The Lafayette County Arena Multipurpose Rooms

Instructor: Joe Stinchcomb