Age Range: Classes: 2 years-Adult. Summer Camp: 5-11 years
Dates: Classes: year-round. Summer Camp: July 15th-August 9th. Children sign up on a week-by-week basis.
Cost: Morning Toddler Art: $125. Summer Camp: $500 per session ($50 discount available). Classes: Price varies; contact for details
Address: 343 Grand Street
Bird River Studios is new to Williamsburg, but is already becoming known for its eclectic classes. This arts & crafts studio/gallery is owned by husband and wife team Sigrid and Trevis Orr, who hail from Tennessee.
The Orrs provide classes that aren’t found in the normal school curriculum (such as photography) or are too messy or complicated to do at home (such as pottery). “We want to engage kids in something they’d never be able to try normally,” Sigrid explained.
The owners also create classes based on family interest, rather than following their own agenda. Parents told Sigrid that their children were interested in learning chess, so a chess class was created! Another student was interested in photography; next came a photography class. “We also are trying to get a creative writing club, song-writing, and song-performance class up and running very soon,” added Trevis. “It could be said that we focus on too many things. My answer would be ‘Why not?’”
Sigrid adds that parents should check out Bird River’s website frequently or sign up for their e-mail list, since new programs are always being added. And if some of these classes seem interesting to you, you’re in luck! Bird River Studio offers classes for adults, too. Currently, their kid’s summer schedule is as follows:
Mondays: Ceramic Sculpture, Chess Club
Tuesdays: Art Studio, Theater + Improv Workshop
Wednesdays: Chess Club
Thursdays: Art Studio, Crafts & Jewelry
Fridays: Creative Writing, Intro to Stop Motion Animation
Morning Toddler Art (2-3 years old)
Toddlers enjoy their very first forays into art! They work alongside their parent or caregiver with hands-on, experimental art projects.
5 Tuesdays, 10 – 11 am
5 Thursdays, 10 – 11 am
In addition to their classes, Bird River Studios also offers an Art & Theater Summer Camp for 5-11 year olds. Small art studio classes in a range of materials will be offered, including ceramics, collage and paper Mache constructions, fabric arts and jewelry, playwriting and acting. Kids will work in various groups by age, as well as collaborate as a whole to put on a self-generated performance complete with sets, props, costumes, self-written and edited scripts and acting. Bird River Studios’ backyard patio will be used for break time and sprinklers.
You can sign up for one or several sessions—Session 1: July 15-19; Session 2: July 22-26; Session 3: July 29-Aug 2; Session 4: Aug 5-9. Camps last from 9am-3pm each day, and parents must provide children with their own lunch. The Studio also offers two specials to make camp more affordable: if you sign up for summer camp before June 1st, you receive 10% off tuition. And if you register a sibling, you receive 10% off their tuition.
Sigrid encourages parents to stop by to check out the studio with its laid-back, accessible atmosphere and free trials of their classes. “We’re from Tennessee, so we wanted to bring our southern hospitality into it,” she said. “We say hello to everyone, we offer our own personal touch. We have an open door policy here.”