From Monday, July 29 through Friday, August 2, a total of 50 children from shelters in the Bronx and Brooklyn participated in a five-day, first-of-its-kind, intensive performing arts camp at the Pearl Studios in Manhattan.
Entitled, “Dare to Go Beyond” (D2GB), the day camp was sponsored by the arts organization, R.Evolución Latina, which is comprised of artists from the Broadway and theater community. The children in attendance were selected to take classes in acting, voice, music and dance out of hundreds of applicants from underserved communities.
The curriculum of the camp utilized the arts to help attendees develop skills in leadership, collaboration, commitment, respect, and self-awareness, while promoting health, fitness, environmental awareness, and civic engagement. This year, R.Evolución Latina focused heavily on the theme of cultural exchange, encouraging participants to embrace who they are and from where they come. Accordingly, classes and activities sought to instill this message using the components of performing arts.
"Cultural Exchange is a natural component of our camp each year, but this year, we are focusing on it," said Luis Salgado, Founder and Artistic Director of R.Evolución Latina. “All of this is balanced with the culture of the Broadway artists who donate their time to teach these children."
As an organization that is committed to making a difference through the arts, R.Evolución Latina provides educational and collaborative programming that aims to empower the Latino community and help individuals discover their full potential.
DHS first began its partnership with R.Evolución Latina last fall, when families from shelter were invited to see a special production of the inspirational musical, “Amigo Duende” at El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem. The children who attended the performance left the theater noticeably motivated by the positive message they heard, and by the wonderful music and acting they witnessed.
“The combination of education and the arts was a powerful tool, so we were very happy when R.Evolución Latina invited us to bring children from shelters to their unique performing arts day camp,” said Antonio Rodriguez, DHS’ Director of Special Events, who organizes the events.
Rodriguez continues to work with the shelters and with the day camp staff to coordinate and plan more arts education projects that will benefit young shelter residents in the months ahead.
For more information about R.Evolución Latina, visit http://revolucionlatina.org/.