Exploring the Creative Journey at Putney Summer Arts Program

August 10, 2022

As the day began at Putney School Summer Arts Program, students found themselves grappling with a multitude of emotions at the end of their four-week journey. Amidst the Vermont nature, creativity, and newfound friendships, participants were torn between bidding farewell to the special haven of artistic expression and reuniting with their loved ones. The concluding day was a mix of excitement, sadness, and anticipation as students prepared to showcase the fruits of their labor to peers, teachers and visitors.

This year, the Shinnyo-en Foundation continued its tradition of sponsoring Junior Youth Association (JRYA) members for an enriching experience at Putney, Vermont. Among the 2022 JRYA participants, Tiffany Nagano from Honolulu and Rose Silverman from the LA Temple each tailored the experience to their preferences and talents by participating in workshops that intrigued them. Tiffany Nagano opted for Dance and Theater, while Rose chose Farm and Metal Jewelry. Putney goes beyond artistic exploration, promoting social and emotional development in a secure and welcoming environment, offering youth a well-rounded experience of growth.

Tiffany Nagano (left) and Rose Silverman (right)

“I really enjoyed having studio time and working in the dance studio with Angharad (the instructor) and being self-directed, working on technique, improv, and choreography. . . Everyone there was so creative and artistically motivating. There was a lot of inspiration everywhere and I think the artistic community is something so special that you wouldn’t find elsewhere.”

“Because I lived in the big city of Los Angeles, I wanted to be able to experience the unique combination of labor and learning by taking farm. . . From this class, I was able to learn about sustainable farm practices and the future of small-scale agriculture. . . The experience of being able to live on farm, in Putney, will forever be a core memory. I was able to learn so much within that one month, not only about myself, but about other people. ”

Francis Bencik, the Foundation’s Grants Manager, visited the Putney School campus on the final day of the Summer Arts Program and observed the students’ joy and engagement during her visit, noting the genuine interactions among students and the instructors. Witnessing the act of the “final song”, where all the students gathered in the main hall to sing their favorite songs from the past four-weeks, it was evident that the camaraderie extended beyond the workshops, with students bonding over music and laughter under the trees.