Summer is right around the corner.  If you’re a parent like me, you might also be wondering how the heck you’re going to keep your brilliant, well-mannered and incredibly artistic children occupied over their summer break.  You also might be in my boat of being confused or overwhelmed (possibly bored) by all of the multi-colored papers the kids bring home from school telling you about this program and that rec center and what if you aren’t loaded?! Well good news!  I nerded out on all our behalf and you can see the results below.  These aren’t all cheap but where there is need based scholarships available (that I could find) I tell you.  It looks like there are some really great opportunities in our city this summer. I am one excited art lovin’ Mom!

Youth In Focus

Our friends over at Youth in Focus present a one week intensive digital photography camp that will have youth walking away with newly honed skills for both digital cameras and their cell phones.  The camp is open to youth ages 13-19 at all experience levels.   The cost of the camp is $300 for the week and will serve as a fundraiser for YIF’s regular curriculum offering free classes to those who otherwise could not afford them.  What they say:

Photography 101: Composition and Philosophies
Image Creation: On-location shooting & photography mentoring
Photo Processing: Use Adobe Lightroom to digitally edit your photos, and preview some of the best apps available for mobile photography
Printing: How to create gorgeous tangible prints from digital files
Sharing: Online presentation options and social media photography communities

Youth in Focus has a stellar reputation in the community for the high level of dedication to the youth they serve and the quality of skilled photographers they produce. Registration for the camp is limited to 10 students so contact them today to reserve a spot!

Cornish College of the Arts

Cornish is not playing!  They have classes for kids, teens and adults that range from relaxed to incredibly intense. Scholarships were available (deadline was April 1st, sorry!). The cost is reasonable to incredibly expensive but you are getting what you pay for.  They are the premiere arts college in the area.  To find out the price of a particular course, just click on “learn more” there are too many to list.

They have offerings in:

Art + Design (teens only), Dance (for all ages), Music (most ages) and Theater (teens only)

Studio 9 Arts

Studio 9 Arts has camps all summer long out of Billings Middle School in the Greenlake neighborhood.  They offer themed weeks and a multi-medium approach.  The cost is $125 per class with elementary aged youth in the morning and middle school aged youth in the afternoon. 

Rockwell Art Studios

Rockwell Art Studios has a Mural Camp that looks pretty rad.  Each session (there are 4) is part of one mural and their site’s “register for this session if you:” section is really cool and helpful though it will only make you want to register your child for all the sessions (fair warning).  I definitely want to see this when it’s done! The camp is $300 for the week and includes lunch and beverages but this goes up to $325 after May 15th. There are a limited number of need based scholarships available if you contact them.  I wasn’t able to find an age restriction.  If you have younger kids interested, I’d contact them first to make sure.

Neo Art School

Neo Art School in North Seattle has a full service program with extended hours and an art assistant program for older art students.  The cost ranges from how long your child is in enrolled and can be found on their registration form.  I wasn’t able to find any scholarship opportunities unfortunately but it sure looks jam-packed with great art!  I must confess the only part that prompted a raised brow was their section to see if Neo Art School is “right” for your child. I see what the intention is but if I’m perfectly honest, it rubs me the wrong way. Maybe this is a bigger discussion for another time.

Thrive Art School

Thrive Art School in the Ravenna/Madison Valley area has week-long themed summer art camps  like cartoons, zoo, magic and Seattle geared to the younger crowd of 5-12.  The cost is $185 per week and includes materials for half a day. 

STG Songwriters Lab

Seattle Theatre Group has a songwriter’s workshop this July.  Participants are mentored by professionals in the industry and will receive helpful instruction on songwriting, lyric writing, giving and receiving feedback, and navigating the music business to name a few.  They will also have the opporunity to perform at the Neptune theatre for friends and family and possibly the Moore theatre for “More Music”.  Another cool bonus?  Students get tickets to shows and exclusive sound checks and opportunities throughout the YEAR for select performance, recording and production opportunities.  This workshop is open to serious and aspiring young musicians. Cool!

Dates: July 23-27, 2012, 12pm – 5pm each day
Location: The Neptune Theatre (1303 NE 45th Street)
Cost: $200 (limited number of scholarships available on request)

Gage Academy of Art

I first learned about Gage’s awesome youth programs through their Teen Art Studios.  It’s a free drop-in class Friday nights for teens that includes materials and is open to all skill levels ages 13-18!   This summer they have some amazing programming in visual and performance art camps for teens and younger kids available and scholarships too but the applications are due May 25th. You can take a look at the teen program’s flikr here.

Similar to Cornish and EMP, their course list ist too incredible to list here and you will be best served just checking the site out for yourself.  The prices are similar as well so if it’s out of range, be sure to fill out that scholarship application before May 25th.  You will be impressed at the quality they are fostering.


One of the things I LOVE about REEL GRRLS is they are all about female empowerment.  They are talented, impassioned and driven with their philosophy of empowering young girls to realize their inner potential and dreams through film making in supportive team environments.  It’s a great program and I’m not the only one who thinks so!  This summer they have some exciting camps in store for the budding female film maker.  Another thing I LOVE about REEL GRRLS?  They will not turn any girl away who can not pay!  That’s some girl power right there!

Experience Music Project

Similar to STG’s program, the week of classes at EMP’s Teen Artist Workshops culminates with a friends and family showcase!  Students entering grades 8-12 can register for classes from Songwriting, to Rock Band Performance, DJing and Beatmaking, Digital Filmmaking, Guitar 101 and Hip Hop Dancing.  Prices are reasonable and can be found when you click to register for a class.  You can download more information on each program and a scholarship application at the bottom of this page

 A lot of these camps I’m gushing about share the common philosophy in their programming of encouraging the individual student, camper, artist to find their own voice and vision and form of expression with these guiding tools they will be focusing on.  I appreciate that!  Whatever your plans are, we here at AFA wish you and your budding artists a safe, healthy and creative summer vacation!

Did I miss an awesome camp?!  Tell me!!


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