Arts camps | 2012

Kids can dance, sing, jam, act, paint and more at these camps for budding visual and performing artists.

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Campers at Frankie's Fashion Camp tap their creative sides.

Campers at Frankie's Fashion Camp tap their creative sides.


The Actors Gymnasium Circus & Performing Arts Camp
Kids learn the arts of circus, drama and movement (hello, tumbling, juggling, trapeze, tightwire, stilts!). Each day begins with a warm-up, followed by training and workshops. They also take several field trips and create and participate in an end-of-session circus-theater performance. 927 Noyes St, Evanston (847-328-2795, actorsgynmansium.com). Jun 11–Aug 3. $965–$1,865. Ages 9–15.

Ballet Chicago Ballerina
Dream campers will create and perform a dance, decorate tutus and tiaras, make their very own princess wands and more. Eligible students ages 11 and up may be selected to attend the School of Ballet Chicago’s annual program. Past students have even been asked to join the Ballet Chicago Studio Company, the school’s pre-professional ballet company. 17 N State St, 19th floor (312-251-8838, balletchicago.org).  Jun 18–Jun 22, Jul 30–Aug 3, summer course runs Jun 25–Jul 27. $225 for camp; $1,800 for summer course. Ages 4–18.

Camp Jam Chicago
Unleash your child’s inner rocker as he or she learns from professional musicians who’ve accompanied Ted Nugent, Billy Joel and Michael Jackson—just to name a few. Kids learn instrument-specific techniques, as well as how to play with a band. Aspiring jammers of all abilities welcome. There’s also an overnight option. Lake Forest Academy, 1500 W Kennedy Rd, Lake Forest (800-513-0930, campjam.com). Jul 9–Jul 20.  $399–$1,595. Ages 12–17.

Chamber Music Camp for Piano & Strings
Calling all serious musicians! Young pianists get coached by institute faculty while making friends with other string and piano enthusiasts. Interested kiddos must submit a DVD. Music Institute of Chicago, 40 E Old Mill Rd, Lake Forest (847-905-1500, musicinst.org). Jun 20–24. $380. Ages 10–18.

Chicago Filmmakers Digital Movie-Making Summer Camp
Is there a bit of Spielburg in your child? Chicago Filmmakers’ two-week camp covers all aspects of digital video production, from film conception through all the stages of production to a final group-made movie. Lights, camera, action! 5243 N Clark St (773-293-1447, chicagofilmmakers.org). Dates TBD. $450–$475. Ages 10–17.

Chicago Kids Company
The Summer Musical Theatre Camp kicks off by discussing plays and characters—everything from scenery to costumes to props. Theater games and auditions round out day one, then it’s full steam ahead to rehearsal. Whether your kiddo lands a leading role or a supporting part, there’s time for visits to the park and popsicle-eating between all of the scenery prep. 4104 N Nashville Ave (773-205-9600, chicagokidscompany.com). Jul 23–Aug 3. $550. Ages 9–15.

Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center
Little dancers learn the basics of floor barre, ballet, jazz, tap, modern, hip hop and West African. CMDC also offers a summer intensive for super serious dancers. See “My camp,” page 55. Dearborn Station Building, 47 W Polk St (312-461-0030, cmdcschool.com). Jun 18–Aug 10. $560 for two weeks. Ages 5–17. Summer Intensive ages 9–18, participants must audition.

Child's Play Touring Theater
Drama lovers don't have to choose between being the page and the stage: They get to be be writers, actors—and lots more—at this drama camp. Child's Play focuses on ensemble building, artistic thinking and problem solving while nurturing kids' skills in acting, improv, writing and more. 2518 W Armitage Ave (773-235-8911, cptt.org).  Jun 18–Jul 20. $250. Ages 6–13.

CircEsteem Summer Camp 
Barnum & Bailey fans will be in heaven at this circus-filled camp. CircEsteem gets little clowns moving and imagining: Campers learn iconic circus skills, including unicycling, stilt walking, gym wheel and more. All campers strut their stuff in an end-of-camp public performance. 4730 N Sheridan Rd (312-731-4242, circesteem.org).  Jun 18–Aug 3. $260 per one-week session. Ages 7–17. 


Columbia College Summer Arts Camp
Kids develop new skills through activities such as painting, creating a short film and staging a play. Camp culminates in an end-of-session gallery show, film screening and stage performance. Columbia College Theater building, 72 E 11th St (312-369-7574, colum.edu). Jun 18–Jul 27. $1,760. Grades 3 to 9.

DayJams Rock Music Day Camp
Campers attend two instrument classes and two band rehearsals with their very own band manager daily. They also create a band logo, T-shirt, poster, CD design and a backstage pass while exploring methods of band promotion. Every day a staff member, guest artist or guest band presents valuable industry-related hints and tips in Q&A sessions, or they perform for the whole camp. Suhweeeeet! Our Lady of Destiny Catholic Church, 1880 Ash St, Des Plaines (800-295-5956, dayjams.com).  Jul 9–13. $575. Ages 8–15.

Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop
Themed weeklong camp sessions include acting, singing, dancing and theater games and culminate in an original performance created by the campers. Little thespians learn about every aspect of theater, including making costumes and props, from field professionals. Locations vary (773-944-9146, dreambigperformingarts.com). Jun 11–Aug 31. $225 per one-week session. Ages 4­–18.

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