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AileyCamp Launches Hybrid Program To Connect & Inspire Youth In Nine Cities Nationwide

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AileyCamp 2021 will be held over five weeks virtually and in person this summer, with the guiding theme of “unique”.

AileyCamp Launches Hybrid Program To Connect & Inspire Youth In Nine Cities Nationwide

This summer, AileyCamp will continue to provide youth in nine cities nationwide the opportunity to be themselves and explore their creativity during its free five-week program. Founded by Alvin Ailey and Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey in 1989, this innovative full-scholarship day camp for middle school students uses dance as a vehicle for developing self-esteem, self-discipline, creative expression, and critical-thinking skills. After the successful launch of Virtual AileyCamp last summer, AileyCamp 2021 will be held over five weeks virtually and in person this summer, with the guiding theme of "unique" in Baltimore, MD; Berkeley/Oakland CA; Chicago, IL; Kansas City, KS; Kansas City, MO; Miami, FL; New York, NY;Newark, NJ and Seattle, WA.

The nationally acclaimed summer program continues to inspire young people through dance by providing daily classes in techniques such as ballet, Horton-based modern, jazz, and West African dance. Personal development and creative communication classes will teach campers how to express themselves in a positive way and tackle challenging subjects that include decision-making, peer-pressure, conflict resolution, and self-awareness. Each day features specially curated theme-based lessons and begins with reciting daily affirmations such as "I will pay attention with my mind, body, and spirit," and "I will not use the word 'can't' to define my possibilities," to guide AileyCampers on a path to becoming confident, productive, and motivated individuals. Alvin Ailey once said, "the most unique thing in the world is you," and this year's guiding curriculum theme "unique" will be celebrated through dance, creativity and storytelling in a safe space allowing campers to use the arts as a vehicle for self-expression.

"Alvin Ailey knew the arts had the power to inform and transform, so he used dance to enrich and positively impact young lives with programs like AileyCamp," says Artistic Director Robert Battle. "My passion for dance was ignited in middle school at my first Ailey performance, which was a life-changing revelation. And Mr. Ailey's legacy continues to inspire through AileyCamp, transforming and encouraging the next generation on their journey into the future."

This year marks two special anniversaries, 10 years of AileyCamp in Newark and 30 Years in New York. An exceptional joint finale performance will be held at New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Friday, August 13 at 7pm to celebrate and commemorate helping youth in the local metro area transform their lives and accomplish goals in this unique summer program. All AileyCamps culminate with a final performance for family, friends, and community leaders where campers showcase their hard work in an original production of specially choreographed dances, poetry readings and theatrical improvisations. All campers will perform an excerpt inspired by Opus McShann, the final ballet choreographed by founder Alvin Ailey before his passing in 1989. The final performances highlight the creative and technical skills of the campers, while also celebrating their growth in a dynamic display of the self-confidence, performance skills and pride developed during camp.

"AileyCamp gives students an opportunity to express themselves and to have a voice, it gives them a platform to show them that they matter," says Nasha Thomas, National Director of AileyCamp/Arts In Education Spokesperson & Master Teacher. "This summer we are conducting AileyCamps both in person and virtually, teaching students to believe in themselves and helping them choreograph their path to success. It's truly inspiring to witness how transformative this program is for young people and how positively the arts impact these students."

As the last program Alvin Ailey founded before his passing, his trailblazing legacy continues to reach thousands of youth in AileyCamps across the country every summer, providing direction and hope to children who are most in need of knowing that there can be a bright future. Visionary founder Alvin Ailey's life story is portrayed in AILEY, Jamila Wignot's powerful documentary. Heralded as a must-see at the Sundance Film Festival and a recent Tribeca Film Festival critics pick, the dynamic film will have an exclusive two-week engagement starting July 23 in New York City and expanding to movie theaters across the country on August 6.

AILEYCAMP 2021 SCHEDULE:

IN-PERSON

Baltimore, MD - Towson University (July 6 - July 30)

Chicago, IL - AileyCamp Chicago (July 6 - July 30)

Kansas City, KS & MO - Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (June 21 - July 16)

Miami, FL - Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (June 28 - August 7)

VIRTUAL

Berkeley, CA - Berkeley/Oakland (June 28 - July 23)

New York, NY - Children's Aid (July 6 - August 6)

Newark, NJ - New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Newark Public Schools (July 12 - August 13)

Seattle, WA - Seattle Theatre Group (July 7 - August 4)


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