All the world’s a stage for Cultural Trust campers
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Summer CampTheater production, cosplay and art exploration

All the world’s a stage for Cultural Trust campers

Five-day camps begin in July

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Trust Arts Education – Camps for Creatives, Global Art Explorers  (Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust)
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Trust Arts Education – Camps for Creatives, Global Art Explorers (Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust)

Theater production, cosplay and art exploration will be part of what’s offered at Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Camps for Creatives this July.

But, some of the biggest thrills for kids from kindergarten through 12th grade might be the field trips — which involve exploring Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, much of it within a stone’s throw of the Trust Arts Education Center at 805-807 Liberty Ave. downtown.

“Going to the different theaters, art galleries, public art … they can be inspiring,” said Kalee George, the Cultural Trust’s manager of arts education programs.

Each camp session runs for five days, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting Monday, July 8.

Week 1 starts with “To Cue or Not to Cue: Theatre Production Camp” for students entering sixth through eighth grade. During the workshops and classes, students will take center stage and “explore the dynamic intersection of creativity and technology,” camp organizers said.

Subjects ranging from set and costume design to the arts of lighting and sound engineering will be explored.

In Week 3, which starts on July 22, students entering eighth through 12th grade can take part in a session titled “Costumes, Cosplay and Capers! Costume, Stagecraft and Storytelling Camp,” George said.

Participants will design, sew and craft costumes, characters and props, all while diving into STEAM concepts and the exploration of teamwork. No prior sewing experience is required.

During the week of July 22, students entering first through third grades will join teaching artists in hands-on activities that encourage them to explore the visual arts, performance, music and more, organizers said. The five-day session will be driven by the Cultural District’s vibrant sites; participants can expect field trips to local art galleries and interactive workshops.

Students should plan to pack a lunch, water and snacks, George said.

Stories of the Great Outdoors (Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust)
Younger kids aren’t being left out of the action. On the week beginning July 15, Camp for Creatives will host a five-day early childhood camp dubbed “Stories of the Great Outdoors.”

Designed for children ages 3 to 5, “Stories of the Great Outdoors” offers a mix of storytelling and nature exploration. The storytelling “will come to life,” camp organizers said, through activities such as crafting nature-inspired art and moving like creatures from the tales.

This five-day camp meets at the Trust Arts Education Center each day from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

George understands the scope of arts programming the Cultural Trust seeks to share. In addition to managing the Camps for Creatives, she oversees Trust Arts Education programming such as its Saturday Family Workshops and “Creative Conversations,” where participants can get a behind-the-scenes peek at life and work at PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh.

“If you don’t have art in architecture, you just have sad, brutalist buildings,” she laughed.
Sometimes smaller activities and details also can come to define a five-day camp session, such as screenings of a film titled “Kennywood Memories” at the historic Harris Theatre, Downtown.

Each five-day session costs $350 per person, but George stressed nobody should shy away from registering due to the camps’ cost. In 2023, about 51% of all campers taking part in Camps for Creatives received some form of financial aid.

Founded in 1984 and celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a nonprofit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood downtown. The district is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. PJC

Justin Vellucci is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh.

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