AILEYCAMP LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER VIRTUAL PROGRAM TO CONNECT WITH AND INSPIRE INNER-CITY YOUTH IN SEVEN CITIES NATIONWIDE WHILE CELEBRATING LOVE
Nationally Acclaimed Free Summer Program Inspires New York and Newark Students to Reach for their Unlimited Potential in Collaboration with Children’s Aid, Newark Public Schools and NJPAC
New York, NY – July 8, 2020 – AileyCampis proud to continue to provide inner-city youth in seven cities nationwide the opportunity to be themselves and explore their creativity with its first-ever virtual summer 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. Driven by Alvin Ailey’s belief that dance was for everyone, AileyCamp will be held over four weeks virtually this summer in Baltimore, MD; Kansas City, KS; Kansas City, MO; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Newark, NJ and Seattle, WA.
The nationally acclaimed summer program will continue to inspire young people through dance by providing three virtual classes per day in dance 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 will feature 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. Camp tuition, dance attire, a water bottle, and an AileyCamp mask are provided to each student free of charge.
“AileyCamp is at the heart of the organization’s mission of using dance to inspire and educate,”says Artistic Director Robert Battle. “Alvin Ailey was dedicated to using the power of dance to enrich and positively alter the lives of underserved youth. Mr. Ailey once said, ‘I am trying to show the world we are all human beings, that color is not important, that what is important is the quality of our work, of a culture in which the young are not afraid to take chances and can hold onto their values and self-esteem, especially in the arts and dance. That’s what it’s all about to me.’ Through the power of dance, storytelling and creativity, AileyCampers across the nation will be given the tools to unleash their imagination and open the door to endless possibilities.”
Last month, select AileyCamp Newark and New York campers were invited to participate in the Ailey organization’s first-ever Ailey Spirit Benefit global broadcast. Since the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) caused the suspension of several in-person activities, the Ailey organization has continued to share the Ailey spirit with a variety of digital dance offerings through Ailey All Access – a free online initiative featuring free streaming of performances, conversations, original short films created by the Ailey dancers, and other especially created content. AileyCamp is committed to bringing dance into the homes of underserved youth and finding new ways to be socially linked to each other at a time when so many students lack the community and connection that an in-person experience would typically offer.
“AileyCamp gives students an opportunity to dream big and take positive steps into the future,” says Nasha Thomas, National Director of AileyCamp/Arts In Education Spokesperson & Master Teacher. “With resilience, AileyCamp will be reaching young people virtually this summer, teaching students to believe in themselves and helping them choreograph their path to success. I am heartened by the power of dance to transform lives when I see the students’ progress from week one and their achievements by the culmination of this unique program. It is truly inspiring.”
Although AileyCamp’s culminating grand finale performance is unable to take place on stage at this time, campers will have the opportunity to showcase their hard work in a virtual performance for family, friends and community leaders. All seven cities will celebrate love in their final performances, the theme guiding the AileyCamp curriculum this year. Campers will perform an excerpt inspired by Love Stories, Judith Jamison’s dynamic collaboration with Artistic Director Robert Battle and hip-hop pioneer Rennie Harris. The performances not only highlight the creative and technical skills of the campers, but also celebrate their growth in a dynamic display of the self-confidence, performance skills and pride developed during camp.
Since its inception, AileyCamp has reached thousands of underserved youth across the country, providing direction and hope to children who are most in need of knowing that there can be a bright future. During this challenging time, AileyCamp’s virtual program will continue to provide a safe and creative environment to motivate and educate students in cities nationwide including:
Baltimore, MD – Towson University (July 13 – August 7)
Kansas City, KS & MO — Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (June 3 – June 26)
Miami, FL — Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (July 13 – August 7)
New York, NY —Children’s Aid (July 13 – August 7)
Newark, NJ — New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Newark Public Schools (July 13 – August 7)
Seattle, WA — Seattle Theatre Group (July 1 – July 22)
Ailey Arts In Education & Community Programs are committed to bringing dance into classrooms, communities, and the lives of people of all ages. In addition to AileyCamp, programs include special student performances; lecture-demonstrations; technique classes; innovative curriculum based residencies inspired by Revelations andNight Creature; and AileyDance for Active Seniors, a program that serves as an outlet for artistic expression and fosters a sense of joy. For further details on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Ailey organization’s performances, training programs and Ailey Arts In Education activities, visit http://www.alvinailey.org/AIE.
PRESS: For photos, videos, and additional press materials regarding AileyCamp visit pressroom.alvinailey.org.
Take a virtual tour and get an inside look of the impact of AileyCamp by watching CBS News Miami and NBC Nightly Newssegments and reading New York Times feature on Solomon Dumas, the first former AileyCamper to become a member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Prudential is proud to be the lead funder of AileyCamp Newark.
Additional major support for AileyCamp Newark provided by Fund II Foundation.
Leadership support for Ailey’s Arts In Education and Community Programs is provided through
the Simin & Herb Allison Arts In Education Endowment Fund.
Major support for AileyCamp is provided by the Meringoff Family Foundation.
AileyCamp Newark is administered in collaboration with Newark Public Schools
and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Children’s Aid/AileyCamp New York is administered in collaboration
with Children’s Aid.
About Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” grew from a now‐fabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, recent posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle, whom Judith Jamison chose to succeed her on July 1, 2011. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 25 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents, promoting the uniqueness of the African‐American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition. In addition to being the Principal Dance Company of New York City Center, where its performances have become a year‐end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami‐Dade County in Miami, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark (where it is the Principal Resident Affiliate), and appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly tours. The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities and lives of people of all ages; and The Ailey Extension (2005), a program offering dance and fitness classes to the general public, which began with the opening of Ailey’s permanent home—the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world —named The Joan Weill Center for Dance, at 55th Street at 9th Avenue in New York City. For more information, visit www.alvinailey.org.
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