NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Sixty city youths who participated this summer in the Artists Mentoring Against Racism, Drugs & Violence (AMARD&V) Healing through the Arts Summer Program will perform and display their creative talents this Friday, Aug. 21 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick.
The theme of this year’s showcase is “Youth with a Vision: My Decision…My Future.” The camp’s goal is to reduce bias and promote positive behaviors through a combination of arts education, health literacy workshops and recreational activities.
The evening program will feature an outdoor carnival parade, theater skits, music and dance performances. An exhibit will display artwork produced by the youths who participated in this year’s camp.
Throughout camp, the students explored visual arts, theater, dance, photography and creative writing. A total of 60 students, ranging in age from 10 to 15 years, participated in team building and awareness workshops; took field trips to Rutgers Gardens, the Grounds for Sculpture and The New York Botanical Garden, where they saw an exhibit of Frida Kahlo’s work; and participated in conflict resolution, nutrition and drug and alcohol prevention exercises/seminars.
Art workshops were taught this year by a team of professional and young community artists that included local playwright and Camp Art Director Claudio Mir; Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba artists Nelson Baez and Magda Baez, of the Cimarron’s Ensemble; community photographer Maria Fernanda Mero; dance instructor Aleshia Rider; visual artist and Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts graduate student Mitchell Speed, as well as Mason Gross School of the Arts recent graduates Justice Hehir and Alyssa Krompier . Local young artists included Angy Diaz, Keyla Hernandez, Atis Mir, Michael Nazario and Mark Washington.
Sponsors of the program include Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s (RWJUH) Community Health Promotions Program, the Collaborative for Service Learning & Center for Latino Arts and Culture at Rutgers University, the Puerto Rican Action Board, the Suydam Street Reformed Church and the New Brunswick Cultural Center.
Funding for the AMARD&V Summer Camp was generously provided by PRAB Inc., Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s Community Health Promotions Program, the Center for Latino Arts and Culture at Rutgers University, the Suydam Street Reformed Church, New Brunswick Cultural Center, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Middlesex County Department of Human Services, New Brunswick Board of Education, the Office of Students Affairs & Diversity Inclusion at Rutgers University and the Rutgers Community Health Foundation.