The Arsht Center's AileyCamp Miami Celebrates 10 Years
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County today announced plans for the 10th anniversary of AileyCamp Miami, an award-winning free summer camp that uses dance as a vehicle for the personal development of hundreds of youth throughout Miami-Dade County. To celebrate the milestone, the Center is rolling out a series of new initiatives that will enhance the experience for the Miami youngsters, including a mentoring program, a new hip-hop element for the 2018 camp and an exciting partnership with South Florida's oldest ballet school.
Over the last 10 years, AileyCamp Miami has strengthened the lives of 1,000 public middle school students in Miami-Dade County, opening their world to opportunities that go beyond the six-week program. Former campers have been accepted to prestigious programs at the New World School of the Arts, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Alumni have also gone on to pursue higher education and careers in the arts and sciences - many becoming the first in their family to attend a four-year college. Others have been inspired to pay it forward, founding their own nonprofits and community service projects.
"Few community programs have the ability to radically change the course of a young child's life but that's exactly what AileyCamp Miami has done, which is why we're so proud to offer this program every summer," said John Richard, CEO of the Arsht Center. "We strongly believe performing arts have the power to transform an individual and, in turn, a community."
To formalize the community network of support that AileyCamp Miami has built, the Arsht Center is creating a mentoring initiative that will pair 10 AileyCamp Miami campers with 10 alumni for a series of mentoring activities throughout the summer of 2018. The initiative's goal is to create a positive culture of influence among young people who share the AileyCamp Miami experience.
The Center is also rolling out a partnership with Thomas Armour Youth Ballet that will provide scholarships for AileyCamp Miami campers who are passionate about ballet and modern dance to attend free, after-school dance program. Thomas Armour Youth Ballet has delivered life skills through the study of dance for thousands of South Florida children since 1949.
Also new in 2018: All AileyCamp Miami campers will be introduced to West African drumming in addition to their dance curriculum and, through a new collaboration with Miami's PATH (Preserving Archiving & Teaching Hip Hop) nonprofit, they will have the opportunity to learn hip hop dance elements and culture. The Arsht Center will host the 2018 PATH Hip Hop Summer Academy on its campus as part of the collaboration.
"We bear witness to a beautiful metamorphosis every summer. In just six weeks, campers transform from inhibited, shy youngsters into strong-willed and confident young adults," said Jairo Ontiveros, the Arsht Center's AVP of Education and Community Engagement. "It is a privilege to experience this incredible change unfold before our eyes, and it is so moving to see our alumni reach their goals."
In its first decade, AileyCamp Miami has achieved national acclaim and widespread community recognition as a positive force for underserved youth in Miami. In 2016, the program was recognized by the White House with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award - the nation's highest honor for creative youth development programs. Most recently, AileyCamp Miami was awarded The Children's Trust's 2017 Champions for Children program of the year award.
AileyCamp Miami is produced and funded by the Arsht Center, with public and private support, in partnership with Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation. The camp uses the power of dance as a vehicle for developing self-esteem, self-discipline, creative expression and critical thinking skills in vulnerable public middle school students. AileyCamp Miami campers learn four primary dance forms - ballet, modern, West African and jazz - as well as communication skills, and take personal development classes focused on everything from body image and nutrition to conflict resolution, bullying and drug abuse prevention. The Arsht Center provides free transportation, meals, dance wear and uniforms for all campers.
AileyCamp Miami has built a solid base of community support from a growing number of local foundations, companies and individuals who believe in the program's power to improve young lives. The program has been made possible with the leadership support of The Batchelor Foundation, with additional support provided by Green Family Foundation; The Miami Foundation; The Ware Foundation; The Children's Trust; Miami-Dade County Mayor, Board of County Commissioners and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs; Karen Bechdel; TriMix Foundation, Marian and David Rocker; GOYA Foods; The Israel, Rose, Henry & Robert Wiener Charitable Foundation; Friends of AileyCamp Miami, and the state of Florida/Department of State, Florida Division of Cultural Affairs/Florida Council on Arts and Culture, among other supporters.
For information on how to become a supporter of AileyCamp Miami, visit arshtcenter.org/aileycampmiami.
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and the City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, as well as the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from local, state and national foundations, as well as private contributions to the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation through corporate and individual giving, Visionary Society membership and the Encore Circle major gifts programs.