March of 2021 marked the triumphant return of Hip Hop Camp! Children at our long-time partner, The Salvation Army, participated in this week long camp, which featured graffiti arts, spoken word, beat-making, and hip hop choreography. Free Arts teaching artists with the support from camp counselors led these activates. The large space at the Herberger Campus of The Salvation Army allowed for social distancing and safety practices. The team was enthusiastic about engaging the children, making many connections. For many of the children, this was the first time they had picked up a can of spray paint, made music by creating beats on an iPad, or writing poetry. Many of the campers listed graffiti arts and beat-making as their favorite classes. One 10-year-old camper shared, “I loved everything (about the camp), I was just so excited!”
Free Arts is grateful to Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona for sponsoring camp and providing lunch for all the children and staff every day. The campers also received T-shirts, and this year they were able to keep all of their art supplies. On the last day of camp, many of the children were brave and expressed their creativity by presenting their poetry, sharing their music, and performing a hip hop dance routine for a limited number of guests and family. Free Arts was excited to bring back Hip Hop Camp and looks forward to continuing this camp in the future.