Children naturally love art – painting, drawing, making music, and theatre. The arts help children think creatively, learn observation, collaboration, and problem-solving techniques, all while building confidence and self-esteem. REGISTER ONLINE.

Fall I: Sept. 3 - Oct. 25  |  Fall II: Oct. 28 - Dec. 20
30-minute class $57M/$86NM
45-minute class $67M/$100NM
60-minute class $78M/$114NM

Ages 5-6  | Thursdays | 4:30-5:15pm
Curtain up on your child’s introduction to the theatre! In this class, we will start the youngest stars out with simple games and learning how to be on stage. We will spend time getting comfortable sharing the stage and interacting with other performers. We will also learn theatre basics and etiquette. All skill levels welcome! Register here.

Ages 7-11  | Thursdays | 5:15-6:15pm
Want to learn about theatre? Want to try acting? Ever heard of improv? Think you have the chops to experience life on the stage? Join us for this class that will let you explore all the aspects of theater from drama to comedy to musicals to classics with some improv mixed in! This class will be a combination of games and scene and monologue work- as well as a look into the audition process. See how theatre can help you live your best life! All skill levels welcome! Register here.

Ages 12-15  | Thursdays | 6:30-7:30pm
Ever feel like you belong on stage? Maybe you want to be a leading lady or a Prince Charming? Maybe think you would be the perfect villain? Now is your chance to find out what it is like to try theatre! In this class, we will use games and scene study to find characters and bring them to life. We will experiment with monologues and audition pieces that can be used in any audition setting! All skill levels welcome! Register here.

Ages 7-11  |  October 19  |  2-4pm  |  $27M/$38NM
Think FAST! This workshop will focus on how to think fast and always be on your toes.  Learn to react to anything that happens and spin it into a fun time for all.

Ages 7-11  |  November 16  |  2-4pm  |  $27M/$38NM
Lets give them the “Old Razzle Dazzle”.  An exciting and fun workshop that will let children explore the music, stories and movement of classic and modern musicals.

Ages 7-11  |  December 21  |  2-4 pm  |  $27M/$38NM
Santa’s elves are going to be a little busy this year so let’s help them out a bit and make a gift of your own to give.  You will be able to choose an art project(s) to do for yourself or to give as a gift.  Please bring an old shirt to wear so your clothes do not get dirty.

Welcome Annette Smith to our Arts Department

Annette Smith is excited to start sharing her love and knowledge of theatre and all things dramatic with the Fox Valley Family YMCA community. She started acting at age 5 and found her passion on stage, spending every summer performing at theatre camps. When she reached high school she focused on theatre - beginning to teach at the same summer camp she attended growing up. When she started her time at Illinois State University she focused on acting and theatre education, wanting to help future generations find a home either on stage or backstage like she did. She also began her study of Shakespeare at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Annette moved to the Fox Valley Area from Chicago with her husband and son to be closer to their family.  She brings her passion for theatre in all its forms, especially Shakespeare and musicals, with her to the YMCA and looks forward to helping build a strong arts department for everyone!

View featured THEATRE WORKSHOPS, including Intro to Theatre and Improv, here.

Art01Our YMCA arts programs promote confidence and creativity through dance, drawing, drama, painting, music and more.

While the YMCA is traditionally known as a place to learn how to swim or practice your favorite sport, YMCAs are quickly becoming the place where kids and adults learn to paint, write, sing or act. The Fox Valley Family YMCA offers a variety of art and theater classes for children to experience a variety of art mediums such as theater, painting, drawing, sculpting and more.

According to a recent article, Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University says, “Parents need to be aware that children learn a lot more from graphic sources now than in the past. Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.” 

Whimsical Lettering
Tuesdays, 5-6:30 pm  |  $40M/$60NM

During this 4-week class, students will be introduced to a variety of supplies and samples to create their own alphabets and lettering.  This is NOT a calligraphy class.  This lettering is to be used in journals, posters and other artwork.


Draw and Doodle your Pet
Wednesdays, 5-6:30 pm  |  $40M/$60NM

This 4-week class is where you will create a unique drawing of your pet.  You will be using markers and colored pencils for this project.  During the class, students will be introduced to Zentangle and will apply it to their project.  A picture of your pet must be submitted 7 days before the class begins.

Intro to Illustrative Watercolor Journaling
Fridays, 5-6:30pm  |  $40M/$60NM
Students will be introduced to contour drawing and blind contour drawing in this 4-week class. You will learn about observing and then drawing what you see.  You will discover a variety of ways to use watercolor pencils and or paints.  These skills can be used in multiple art creations.

Deb has been drawing and creating for as long as she can remember. At an early age, she was making doll clothes for trolls and Barbie’s and coloring and drawing anything she could get her hands on. Most all children color and draw but Deb never stopped.

Through the years she continued making crafts for gifts for family members and trying a variety of mediums. She has continued to hone her skills in drawing and painting. She has created in both Graphite and Charcoal, Pen and Ink with Watercolor Washes, Scratchboard, Scrimshaw, Glass Painting, Sculpting with clay and more. She attended the American Academy or Art in Chicago learning traditional skills of the Masters. Leaving there with a Fine Arts Degree and Commercial Degree. She secured an internship designing Point of Purchase Display in her last semester of Art School. During that employment, she learned computer skills and was able to apply both Sign Making and Graphic Design knowledge and experience.

Since 2006 She has been drawing Caricatures and has her own Caricature business. She offers both people and animal Caricatures from her Etsy Shop online done from photos provided. She also works live at both private and Corporate event providing entertainment and drawings to the guests. She gained her LIVE caricature experience working at Chicago’s Navy Pier and Shedd Aquarium before venturing out on her own.

Deb is excited to bring her art background to programming at the Y!