Dakota West Arts Council hosting free Summer Stage events for kids

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The Dakota West Arts Council is putting on Summer Stage events for kids.

We stopped by Custer Park so we don’t miss a beat.

Music and laughter are what you will hear in throughout Custer Park this summer. The Dakota West Arts Council is ramping up its efforts to bring music to the community — especially for young kids.

“We’re just so happy to bring musical programming to kids and the community. So, this is just a really fun series. A lot of times it’s families, kids and their families, kids and their moms come and bring a lunch bring a lawn chair, bring grandparents,” said Molly McLain, the Executive Director of the Dakota West Arts Council.

Kris Kitko, otherwise known as Kittyko, has been performing for more than 10 years.

“There’s nothing like bringing your guitar from your house. The four walls, the ceiling and all that. Out into the public and to see the kids’ faces light up, to see them dance around, and it’s free in a beautiful park. There’s just nothing like that,” said Kitko.

While the goal is to entertain the community, it’s more than just that.

“I like to bring in sort of maybe stealth education. We might tap to beat one, two, three, and four and clap on beat three. Or move in certain ways,” said Kitko.

“He learns a lot. He learns just from the songs and the words and actions. And also, just the interaction with other kids, social skills,” said parent Joan Klein.

Klein says she has been bringing her son for three years.

“He loves it. He adores Kittyko and wants to dance. He wanted to dance on stage every time,” said Klein.

The love of music runs in the family.

“I love to sing, but I’m not a musician. My husband is. He plays guitar. My mother-in-law plays the piano,” said Klein.

So, what’s the goal?

“To bring arts and music to kids’ lives,” said McLain.

“Musicians artists always hope that kids will find the joy that they have found in the instrument. So, to present it in an inviting way, without telling them they should play it, that’s the trick. That’s the fun that we have up here,” said Kitko.

The Summer Stage events are free to the public and will wrap up in August.

For more information, click here.

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