“I just want to commend you and those that worked with the youth in Black Arts MKE’s Performing Arts Academy. The work you all did was phenomenal.” “This (Camp) is AWESOME and so needed in our community.” -Parent Comments

image of the arts camp group from 2019

Ananse Ntontan: The Spider’s Web (performance), Performing Arts Camp Class of 2019

Youth Performing Arts Summer Camp is designed to provide a fun, safe, and creative outlet for youth ages 12 to 18 for four weeks in July, Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm at our rehearsal space and office within the Marcus Center.

Though modified according to CDC guidelines in 2020 & 2021, our Camp team rallied during the pandemic. Black Arts MKE Youth Arts Camp instructors focused on youth authentic voice expressed through the performing arts. They guided youth to spark creative self-discovery through storytelling. Camp highlighted youth as the center of their own narratives, music and movement, emphasized that their stories matter, and celebrated their unique voices.

Image of the performing arts camp class of 2021

#MyPandemicPOV, Performing Arts Camp Class of 2021

Image of Naima Gaines, cast member of Black Nativity in 2018 and 2019

"I had the privilege to be cast in Black Nativity by Langston Hughes in 2018 & 2019. This year, it was a pleasure to serve as an intern for Black Arts MKE’s Youth Performing Arts Camp. During this experience I had the opportunity to assist and learn some of the administrative duties that it takes to run a successful camp.  I also had the opportunity to act as Stage Manager for this summer’s performance of My Pandemic POV. I had a great time, meeting and working with the youth participants and the instructors in the program and would love to do it again!"

Naima Gaines, Camp ’21, Black Nativity Young Performer 2018 & 2019

Performing Arts Camp Program Goals:

  1. Youth ages 12 to 18 will be challenged to work alongside six (6) local professional performing artists to create a musical theater performance.
  2. Youth will be challenged to accomplish specific activities (write a script, learn dramatic process via theater games, create songs/instruments for musical theater, learn to create choreography, and design/create for scenic (sets/props) and their own costumes that complement the story.)
  3. Provide unique venue for personal growth, allowing youth to become independent and self-confident, while socializing and making new friends, and learning new skills.
  4. Provide a community away from home and school where youth learn to work with each other and professional adult mentors, build relationships and manage conflict.
  5. Provide youth development work experience by hiring up to four (4) youth arts interns, ages 16 to 18 to work alongside the professional artists and as mentors to the young campers.
  6. Invite the community, family and friends to six (6) youth culminating performances in Wilson Theater at Vogel Hall, Marcus Center, and a final performance at Black Arts Fest MKE Children’s Stage on the Summerfest grounds.

#BlacknificentArtCreatesLife, Camp Class of 2020