Crown Heights Summer Arts Camp


Crown Heights is a neighborhood experiencing a large wave of gentrification. New coffee shops and popular eateries continue to open while classic brownstones are being renovated and renewed. Even amongst the new life and restoration taking place in Crown Heights, the harsh realities for those whose lives are not changing are ever present. Many still mourn the loss of loved ones killed by gun violence, families are finding themselves homeless and in shelters, and the youth are trying to find their place in the midst of it all. Their home and lives are being drastically changed but, unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be for the better. Whether intentionally or not, the youth are being forgotten and left to fend for themselves. Their voices are silenced because their contributions seem slim.

* Where do they fit?
* Can they escape the statistics that are so prevalent in their neighborhood?
* Can the trajectories of their lives be changed just as their neighborhood is being changed?

The choice is not only theirs, it's ours too.


We believe that the youth of our city are often overlooked and sometimes regarded as a nuisance, when in reality they are full of energy and talents that are waiting to be unleashed! Our Summer Arts Camp gives youth the opportunity to discover and cultivate hidden talents by exposing them to new forms of art and challenging them to go outside of the box. We help them identify areas of interest and confidence and then teach them to thrive in those areas. We strive to encourage in order to maximize potential and we have seen very positive results!

We believe that the Summer Arts Camp is not only a lot of fun, but it also fosters experiences that lead toward personal growth and development. While our curriculum teaches principles of art and theater, it also emphasizes themes of unity, teamwork, social etiquette, problem solving, self control and discipline. We do not discourage emotions, rather we teach the youth to channel those emotions and energy into positive outcomes that work toward a greater good.

We believe that our talents should be shared in community with others! Being and feeling a part of a community can shape our outlooks and outcomes in life. Our program celebrates the cultural differences of our community by having the youth engage with influential role models that have come from similar cultures and backgrounds as our youth. This helps them to form a vision of how they too can play an integral and influential role in their communities.


When you partner with us, you play a major role in helping the youth of Crown Heights step into a world of new opportunities in their lives. The youth build meaningful relationships with people who are more than just their instructors - they become mentors and friends as well. As a result, personal value is strengthened and authentic relationships continue long after the program has ended. The directors, Dimetra and Richard Barrios, are natives of Brooklyn and feel a call to walk alongside the youth that remind them of theirselves. They identify with having the same challenges and emotions that the youth of Crown Heights struggle with and are able to be living examples of lives that have been changed. They serve their community under the leadership of Trinity Grace Church Crown Heights, which is one of eleven church parishes within Trinity Grace Church in New York City.

The vision for the Summer Arts Program continues to grow each year and this year we desire to expand even more! With your help, we will be able to accept even more youth into this life-changing program. In 2015, we were able work with 31 youth. This year, our goal is to provide a free program for 35 youth (12-15 year olds) and 25 kids (7-10 years old) from Crown Heights. Not only are we hoping to expand in the number of youth that we are able to work with but we are also extending the scope of areas offered to those who attend. Our vision is greater than our current resources and we need your help! We invite you to join us in the next chapter of this incredible story. With your generous help, you can partner with us as we seek to create a better future for the youth in Crown Heights .

All Gifts are Tax Deductible. 

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