Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Charles River Tent Flaps: “The Next Ten Years?” as Viewed From CRCAP’s Perch in 1979

[“CHARLES RIVER TENT FLAPS – THE FIRST TEN YEARS” is made up of interviews with past and present staff members and campers of the Charles River Creative Arts Program of Dover, Massachusetts and of articles from The Daily Double.” -from “Tent Flaps”, published for the CRCAP tenth-anniversary celebration, summer 1979 (David Downing, editor). Its final page is a curious time capsule, including staff speculation as to where this thing goes from here … having no idea that 10 years of “this thing” would lead to forty more … ]


It depends upon the economy, the gas situation. I mean, Dover’s out in the middle of nowhere. I’d like to see it become a year-round thing.”


Every summer the performances, the quality of work in the class, the staff get better, even if it’s the same people. The kids as a result get better. Each new person who comes to teach will have their own special class that’s something different, like Susie Clifton’s Sign Mime. I think it’s going to progress in that way. What I hope doesn’t happen is that it becomes more specialized; I hope we still get the same kind of kids, some are talented, some are not.”

The thing that’s made it so special is that it’s small. It would be great if it were as small as it is now but it won’t be.”


I think aspects of this program will be big ten years from now, like the Charles River Press. I think that the camp will still exist here but I also believe that there will be affiliates of this program in existence, in the North End, for example. We really need more outreach, more commitment to recruiting minorities. We can’t be an insular community. The lack of public transportation to Dover has been hard on getting a broad base of kids here.

I see perhaps touring companies coming out of here that take our shows to other communities. Maybe even a team of people who work with the schools to integrate the arts into the curriculum.

The arts generally need more professionalism at the management level. Unfortunately, I also think the arts will still be peripheral to society ten years from now.

Finally, I hope we get some better initials.”


There’s the statement that when things get tough the first thing to go is the arts. That’s true in California with Proposition 13. But here you’re talking about economics and government; you’re not talking about people. I think it’s becoming so much more a part of our society and people are being exposed to it so much more. The city’s moving out to the country which is exposing the country to the arts.

It’s not going to be given up; the arts are too much a part of our lives, whether it’s the kid with the music lessons or parents involved in community theatre or the professionals. People are becoming more conscious of the statement it can make.

By the time Bach came around, Europe had existed for 1600 years. There was a whole culture behind Bach. This country’s only existed for 200 years, and with a transplanted culture. It’s going to take time. If it were two Europeans talking, there wouldn’t be any question of the arts surviving. In this country, the problem is that it’s still too young to have a lot of pride in its artists.”

July 12, 2019 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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