MUSICmakers and Playmakers Camps

Registration for both the Garfield Center for the Arts summer camps, MUSICmakers and Playmakers, is now open online at

MUSICmakers will have similarities to Musicamp, the music-theatre program offered by the Garfield over the past several years. Unlike scripted productions in past camps, MUSICmakers will produce a completely new work that emphasizes original music created by the participating children within an imaginative and expressive workshop environment. Registered campers do not need to be musicians or have experience in music.

The one-week camp will explore songwriting, expressive movement, sound, rhythm, art and creative play as the kids bring their own ideas to life. The camp staff will provide the structure, inspiration, and support necessary for its participants to put together and perform a final musical presentation on stage for parents, families and the public. At the end of the week, a complete performance of their original work will be offered for a family and public audience. MUSICmakers will run Monday through Friday, July 6 through 10, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and it will culminate in a performance on Friday evening, July 10 with the potential of a second performance in the afternoon or evening of Saturday, July 11. Because of the concentrated form of this week, campers must be available to attend every day of the five-day camp as well as the performances.

Leading MUSICmakers is Jodi Bortz. A musician, artist, and teacher, she has spent her life working in many facets of the creative arts. She grew up in the Chestertown area and participated in programs such as Odyssey of the Mind and Maryland Summer Centers for the Arts that sparked an interest in creativity and the creative process. After graduating from Moravian College, she continued as adjunct faculty helping to set up the Suzuki School of the Moravian College Music Institute. She continued to work with young musicians and behind the scenes in student musical theatre productions periodically until 2015 while also holding a corporate management position during the day. She has taught instrumental music at Blair Academy, was the director of the Lehigh Valley Flute Camp, and has always maintained a studio of private lesson students. Locally, Jodi has been the Executive Director of RiverArts and was also the KidSPOT coordinator, responsible for developing programming for the popular Saturday Free Play program. Currently, she teaches private music lessons, conducts the Centreville UMC choir, runs Blue Canary Letterpress, and works with Main Street Chestertown. Jodi lives with her husband, Gregg, and her daughters, Sydney and Bailey.

Playmakers Summer Theatre Camp at the Garfield Center for the Arts is provided for children ages eight to 15. Playmakers runs four weeks, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., starting Monday, July 13, culminating in two 7 p.m. evening performances and a 2 p.m. matinee performance that includes all participants on the weekend of August 7, 8 and 9. The slated production for this year’s Playmakers is “The Wizard of Oz.” Children ages eight to 10 will make up the chorus and supporting characters, while the 11 to 15 year old campers will play the lead roles. There will also be three cultural performances, presented by The Hedgelawn Foundation, for the campers during the four weeks of camp. The cultural performances are also open to the public for a nominal fee.

Leading Playmakers this summer is Catherine Byrd Bushby. Catherine has been a co-director for Playmakers summer camp at the Garfield for the last eight years and is thrilled to continue her work nurturing young artists. Originally a native of Richmond, Virginia, she graduated from James Madison University where she majored in Communication Arts with a concentration in Theatre. She then studied acting in New York City under Michael Beckett at the Herbert Berghoff Studio and under Esther Brandice at Actor’s Advent. Since coming to Chestertown in 1990, Catherine has performed in numerous local productions. Some of her favorite roles over the years have been Lettice Douffet in “Lettice and Lovage,” Marquise de Merteuil in “Dangerous Liasons,” the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz,” Ruth in “Blithe Spirit,” Mistress Page in “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and Claire in “A Delicate Balance.” She heads up the Language Arts and Drama Departments and also teaches Literature at Radcliffe Creek School, where she has directed a “gazillion” plays. Catherine has been married to her husband, Skip, for 34 years and they have three grown children.

For more information about MUSICmakers, contact Director Jodi Bortz at For more information about Playmakers, contact Director Catherine Bushby at General inquiries about either camp may also be sent to Education Outreach Coordinator Paul Cambardella at The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown and can be found online at

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