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NJPAC's Virtual Summer Camp To Return In July


(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s award-winning Virtual Summer Camp is set to return in July, delivering two months of  engaging opportunities to young people focusing on acting, music theater, Hip Hop, jazz, song, poetry, and more.

The series, which includes morning or afternoon sessions in July and August, also gives students the opportunity to participate in online group discussions focusing on social justice and other pertinent issues in today’s world. NJPAC, the State’s anchor cultural institution, is the recipient of Jersey Arts People’s Choice Award Winner for “Favorite Performing Arts Camp.”

“While the NJPAC campus remains closed due to the pandemic, our commitment to serving grade school children, teenagers and young adults with exciting and relevant arts education opportunities has not waned but in fact become even stronger,” said Jennifer Tsukayama, NJPAC  Vice President of Arts Education. “Last year’s virtual program was a great success with students appreciative for access to the arts and even thriving  in the online environment.”

Now more than ever, we must foster in young people an appreciation of the arts and self-expression, and the chance to communicate and connect with their peers on the important issues of the day. Students need a creative outlet and the camps offer two hours of a creative brain break.” Tsukayama said.

The power of expression is the focus of “Act Out Loud,” in which participants explore storytelling and improvisational techniques, creative collaboration, and acting essentials. Those who love singing and acting will want to enroll in “Musical Theater,” which encourages participants to find their song and experience the joy of connecting with others and themselves.

Exploring Hip Hop is a perennial favorite topic of NJPAC Summer Camp activities. This year’s “Hip Hop Arts and Culture” virtual sessions allow young people to examine and express their inner thought through rapping, beat-making, dancing, graffiti, graphic design, podcasting, and music production. Meanwhile, “City Verses Virtual Summer Camp” welcomes teen musicians, singers, poets, and writers to collaborate and create original work that tells their stories.


In addition to classes, NJPAC offers free bonus add-ons that foster a group exploration of topical social and artistic issues. “In The Mix” is an online clubhouse to explore social justice in students’ lives and the world, and “Community Meeting” is a daily social check-in with fellow students. Another valuable no cost add-on, “Creative Coaching,” is a one-on-one mentorship with a professional NJPAC teaching artist.


The four-week programs are for children ages 9 to 16 and include morning and afternoon classes that run from 9:30am to noon and 1:00pm to 3:30pm. (“City Verses” runs from 10:00am to 2:45pm in August.  Afternoon sessions allow students from across the country, in multiple time zones, an opportunity to take part in classes and collaborate together on performance projects.

Parents can register students for either morning or afternoon sessions, depending on age, for $75, Registration is now open at ARTS EDUCTION REGISTRATION The City Verses immersion program is FREE.

NJPAC’s annual Gerri Allen Virtual Jazz Camp welcomes those who identify as female and non-binary from around the world to virtually refine their jazz techniques, grow their confidence and build community with other aspiring performers. The program is under the direction of Artistic Director Regina Carter, the renowned jazz violinist. A recipient of the MacArthur “genius” award and a Doris Duke Artist Award, Carter has been widely hailed for her mastery of her instrument and her drive to expand its possibilities. The program’s namesake, the late Gerri Allen, was a longtime Montclair resident and lauded jazz pianist, composer, and educator.

Sessions including ear training opportunities, technique and theory classes and virtual ensembles, as well as master classes led by artists including Masterclass artists from Katie Kilgallen - Executive Director of Creative at Broadcast Music Inc,  {BMI];  Camille Thurman - composer, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, Patrice Rushen - 4x Grammy nominee, pianist, vocalist and composer. Cost is $100.

 “NJPAC’s students shine and grow their confidence when given an opportunity to express themselves through dance, music and song,” said John Schreiber, NJPAC’s President and CEO. “NJPAC has done a great job in adapting our classes to allow students to tell their stories virtually with vigor and excitement. I’m proud of the dedication and commitment of our Arts Education staff and teaching artists to instilling joy in young people through the arts, no matter whether it’s in person or virtually.”

Approximately 235 students participated in NJPAC’s inaugural Virtual Arts Summer Camp last year via Google Classroom.  

For more information and updates about the Arts Center’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, please click here.


NJPAC'S Arts Education Programs are made possible by the generosity of: The Prudential Foundation, The Victoria Foundation, Merck Foundation, Women's Association of NJPAC, PSEG Foundation, Wells Fargo, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Discover Jersey Arts, The Arts Education Endowment Fund in honor of Raymond C. Chambers, Joan and Allen Bildner, Toby and Leon Cooperman, Albert and Katherine Merck, and The Sagner Companies/The Sagner Family Foundation.

Generous annual support for NJPAC Arts Education Programs is provided by: Jennifer A. Chalsty, David & Marian Rocker, Stewart and Judy Colton, Amy C. Liss, McCrane Foundation, Inc., care of Margrit McCrane, John and Mary Kay Strangfeld, John and Suzanne Willian/Goldman Sachs Gives, Atlantic Tomorrow's Office, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Investors Foundation, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, The MCJ Amelior Foundation, NJ Advance Media/Star Ledger, NJM Insurance Group, Panasonic Corporation of America, Richmond County Savings Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, Verizon, BD, Turrell Fund, M&T Bank, and the Johnny Mercer Foundation.

NJPAC’s Arts Education offerings reach more than 60,000 students and families through live performances, in-school residency programs and arts training classes. These programs bring the joy of dance, music, theater, and poetry directly to the classroom.  Through our innovative residencies, Teaching Artists create stimulating performing arts experiences that engage students’ imaginations and build self-confidence through positive self-expression.  Our residencies help students learn to work together and develop their creative independence.

In addition to NJPAC’s innovative In-School Programs, the Arts Center’s comprehensive Arts Education Department offers an Arts Training Program that helps students at every level learn their artistic and technical skills they need to study acting, dance, instrumental music, vocal music, and musical theater.  NJPAC also presents a SchoolTime Performance Series, which introduces students and their families to a world of entertainment and culture.  NJPAC’s Arts Education programs feature professional artists from a wide variety of traditions and performances of music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and more.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located at One Center Street in downtown Newark, N.J., has the most diverse programming and audience of any performing arts center in the country, and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 8 million visitors (including over 1.6 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

originally published: 04/20/2021

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