Sweet Briar College’s third annual Blue Ridge Summer Institute for Young Artists, known as BLUR, will be held June 16 through July 7 on its campus. This year, the camp has added music and technical theater to its repertoire of theater, creative writing and visual arts.
BLUR founder and director David Griffith, who teaches creative writing at Sweet Briar, is expecting the largest and most geographically diverse group yet — between 35 and 40 students from 16 states.
“We have students coming from every corner of the country,” he said. “That’s our goal at BLUR: bring as many distinct voices and visions to the artistic conversation as possible so that our sense of what is possible is enlarged.”
Launched in 2011, BLUR is a collaborative, three-week residential camp for high school students interested in the arts. It’s built on the founding principle of blurring the boundaries between art forms to imagine new ways of seeing, thinking and creating. While participants concentrate in one area, spending two-thirds of their day deeply immersed in their disciplines, the rest of the time they work collaboratively on projects in other mediums.
BLUR partners with Sweet Briar’s theater troupe-in-residence, Endstation Theatre Company, and the adjacent Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). In addition to having the opportunity to learn from the crew and cast, BLUR students will attend performances of all three plays in Endstation’s Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival, including Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Cymbeline” and the musical “Violet.” They will also visit the VCCA to meet with artists from around the world.