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Cumberland County

3rd Street Gallery
214 Third Street New Cumberland, PA 17070

Holds occasional classes in illustration and animation for middle and high school students and also holds regular classes for children including Multimedia Youth Art, a class called Pre-School Messes and Masterpieces, and a Youth Home school Art Class. All of which are designed to foster the joy of creating art as well as lifelong art appreciation. See their website for further details.

Contact: Cindy Orwan, cjorwan@frontier.com

Art School Center and Galleries
18 Artcraft Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

All classes are open to the public. Many classes are structured for beginners and emphasis is on individualized instruction. Most adult classes are open to high school students. See course description for age requirements. Classes are available for children and adults; all skill levels; beginners welcome! *Visit website for course description with details or exceptions

Contact: art.center@verizon.net

Carlisle Arts Learning Center
19 N. Hanover Street Carlisle, PA 17013

Art classes for kids include, Draw and Paint, “I Live in Music” Collage & Paint, The “Tree of Life” – CALC’s Way! (CALC grows its own Disney “Tree of Life” out of the magical imagination of children. Animals and reptiles, mammals and rocks will be created and sculpted into an ever evolving tree of life to share with our Carlisle community, friends and neighbors.), Easter Bonnets with Hornets on it!!!! (where students make either baseball caps [boys] or Easter bonnets [girls] out of such things as hornets, goose eggs, lizards and spiders), and Playing with Clay at the End of the Day, an after school clay class. CALC also holds an arts summer camp for kids ages 5-14. Additionally, CALC has art classes for the disabled.

Every summer, the Carlisle Arts Learning Center’s teachers load up their boxes with art supplies and head over to Hope Station to provide a summer camp of “arts galore” for children of all ages. The week is underwritten by Jump Street and registration is free. The children explore different techniques in drawing, painting and ceramics.

The week culminates with the “Arts Celebration” for the community at Hope Station, and the celebration includes many art activities and a picnic with free hotdogs and ice cream.

CALC also offers an open Art Exploration option- personalized lessons to fit all personalities, ages, and art mediums, for individuals and groups of all ages, personalities and experience levels.

Contact: info@carlislearts.org

Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg
915 S. York Street Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Presents plays and musicals in an intimate setting, focusing on the education and enrichment of its participants and audiences alike. Many of the productions are family-friendly.

Contact: ltmonline@pa.net

Dauphin County

Art Association of Harrisburg
21 North Front Street Harrisburg, PA 17101

AAH offers visual art opportunities for kids in the form of classes in painting, drawing, three dimensional art and mixed media. “Clay for Kids”, a pottery class, and “Fine Arts for Children”, a class in pastels, acrylics and tempera, are held on Saturdays during four semesters. Other classes such as “Basic Design for Youth” which teaches various drawing schools, are offered on Thursdays. “Cartooning” classes are taught on Wednesdays for interested animators.   AAH hold its annual “Art in the Park” each summer. Held in Reservoir Park in Harrisburg, the two week program offers children ages 5 through 11 the choice of instruction in pottery, poetry, drawing, etc.   Scholarship opportunities are also available.

Contact: Carrie Wissler-Thomas, carrie@artassocofhbg.com

BARAK Drama Ministries

Barak serves children in Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry counties, and students from families earning less than 50% of the Capitol Region’s median income are given priority. Barak’s numerous programs for children and youth include the following:

“ARTspeak”, which includes mural training and visual arts education, “Digital Artistry”, where students explore the basics of digital photography and how to manipulate photographs to create their own art, “Cartoon Creations”, a drawing and animation class, “Going Green with Beads”, where students make jewelry out of recycled materials, “BARAKids”, which is a great all-around art class, and “Poetry and Performance”, which inspires kids to create poetry that has the power to transform an audience as well as develop an appreciation for poetry. Barak also has “Voices of Youth”, a multimedia art program that provides students ages 8 to 18 with an opportunity to express their feelings through a number of diverse mediums, including paint, drawing, photography, writing, and more. Students learn to view their surroundings differently, express their feelings visually, and discover their uniqueness through images that they create. Through “Trashcan Transformers”, artists and youth design and paint 55 gallon recycled steel drums that are distributed in the community as the foundation of a promotional campaign encouraging residents to, “Keep Harrisburg Beautiful!”

717-724- 0300
Contact: Wendell Murray, wmurray@barakdrama.org

The Capital Area School for the Arts Charter School
150 Strawberry Square Harrisburg, PA 17101

CASA offers intensive instruction in visual art, dance, music, theatre, and film and video to qualified high school students in the CAIU (over 150 students from 24 different high schools). Located on the first floor of Strawberry Square, the school uses the city of Harrisburg as its “classroom”, affording its students access to the numerous resources located downtown, and utilizing a yearly theme based on the urban environment.

Contact: Tim Wendling, twendling@casa-arts.org

Capital Youth Opera Harrisburg
P.O. Box 426 Harrisburg, PA 17033

For students interested in opera, the Capital Youth Opera Harrisburg has an annual concert and also performs at various venues. See their website for an up-to-date listing of events and ticket information or if you are interested in joining.

Contact: Addie Applebaum, opera@comcast.net

Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz
5721 Jonestown Road Harrisburg, PA 17112

Since its inception in 2001, CPFJ has collaborated with area College Music Departments to carry out a three-day resident/commuter summer Jazz Camp for youngsters aged 13 to 21.

Initially conducted with Lebanon Valley College, the camp currently is held in the Music Department at Messiah College in Grantham, PA. The CPFJ Jazz Camp serves an annual average of 18 youngsters and is conducted by professional jazz musician-educators. Students who seriously desire to further their musical education and, in particular, to learn about jazz improvisation, are welcome. The tuition is kept low due to a generous camp benefactor and a public grant.

The camp is held in conjunction with the weekend CPFJ Festival which affords campers a deep discount on festival tickets, additional jazz clinics at the Festival, and opportunities to meet, mingle and perhaps even jam with renowned festival musicians, tapping into one of the unique aspects of jazz education – the creation of occasions for mentoring.

Contact: friends@cpfj.org

Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
5 North Orange Street, Suite 3 Carlisle, PA 17013

The Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is a ballet school and performing company for children of all ages beginning at age 2. Classes range from beginning levels of ballet to advanced, and include a summer program. CPYB is known nationwide for its excellence in ballet instruction. CPYB holds performances for the public and offers a curriculum for schoolteachers. More information can be found on their website.

Contact: info@cpyb.org

The Central Pennsylvania Suzuki Association

The Central Pennsylvania Suzuki Association, through their website, can help you and your young musician connect with the resources and opportunities in Central PA for using the Suzuki method of music. If you would like to search for a Suzuki teacher near you, know more about upcoming events, or connect with other Suzuki families, this website is the place for you.

Fort Hunter Mansion and Park
5300 North Front Street Harrisburg, PA 17110

Fort Hunter Mansion and Park offers a variety of programs for schoolchildren, as free events throughout the year for kids to enjoy. In March there is the maple sugar festival, with “hands-on fun for kids plus tapping a tree, eating real maple syrup on ice cream, and learning the mysteries of maple-sugar making”. There is also the Dauphin County Egg Hunt, where “thousand of plastic eggs will be filled with candy and scattered on the East Lawn. Take part in special family activities such as face painting, pony rides & more”. In April there is the Civil War Alive Program, with actors presenting as soldiers from the Civil War’s United States Colored Troops. Stroll through the plant sale & craft show, see Victorian dancing and exhibits on Victorian daily life as well as tasty food at the Café and an art show and sale. Garden chats, children’s activities, as well as cakewalks to live music. [There is a ] fee for Mansion tour.” See their website for further details.

Contact: Mary Baratucci, mbaratucci@dauphin.org

Gamut Theatre
605 Strawberry Square Harrisburg, PA 17101

The Gamut Theatre holds a theatre school for youth ages 5-14. Introductory students learn the “Basics”- projection and enunciation for the voice, basic movement skills, and expanding their imagination and creativity, culminating in a short play. Graduates of the introductory course have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of theatre with a more in-depth study of how to create a character and perform it on stage. This course will also culminate in the performance of a short play. Graduates of this course may go on to explore more challenging roles and examine different styles and types of acting. This class will culminate in the performance of an original play. In the final course, students will experience the challenges of a working actor. They will learn a show and take it on the road to local venues. All students must have the approval of the instructor to enter this class.

Contact: Marcia Dever, info@gamutplays.org

Harrisburg Academy of Dance
4409 Locust Lane Harrisburg, PA 17109

The Harrisburg Academy of Dance has classes for preschool, beginner, intermediate and advanced students in ballet, jazz, tap and hip-hop—for all ages! They also hold periodic professional quality shows featuring students of the academy.

Contact: Jo Ellen Hoffman, joellen@HADtoDance.com

The Harrisburg Community Theatre/ Theatre Harrisburg
513 Hurlock Street Harrisburg, PA 17110-1489

Theatre Harrisburg puts on quality shows throughout the year, and sometimes has auditions for children’s parts.

Contact: Myrna Fink, email@theatreharrisburg.com

The Harrisburg Opera Association
225 Market Street 2nd Floor Harrisburg, PA 17101

Part of the Opera’s mission is educational outreach and also helping young singers on their way to major careers. See their website for more information.

Contact: harrisburgopera@mail.com

The Harrisburg Symphony Association
800 Corporate Circle Harrisburg, PA 17110

The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra has a bounty of programs for youth and families. Through the Sound Foundation, students in kindergarten through the 12th grade can enjoy Harrisburg Symphony performances with a parent, grandparent teacher or mentor for the low cost of $27.00 per person (for the entire Masterworks series held on Saturday and Sundays- for seven performances, it’s less than $4 per performance!!). Two pairs of 45-minute long young persons’ concerts per year (one pair in the fall, one in the spring) are aimed at elementary- and middle-school students who are bused in from all over the Capital region. In the days and weeks prior to the concert, students and their teachers or parents prepare for the performance by utilizing tutorials provided by the HSO and an accompanying CD. These tutorials provide information on the composer(s), the music/score and other music-related materials. Docent and musician visits to schools are also available prior to the concert. There is also an education week, where there is a featured concert. During this week, HSO musicians perform in area schools, there is a free open rehearsal of the Harrisburg Symphony, there is a Masterworks Concert, and also a performance by the Harrisburg Youth Symphony. Additionally, there is a Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra Family Concert, which is fifty minutes in length, with an introduction and instrument demonstrations by Tales & Scales Music tellers. Since its inception in 1953, the Harrisburg Youth Symphony Orchestra has been an integral educational part of the Harrisburg Symphony Association and has performed numerous times with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. One of the oldest youth symphonies in the country, its membership of 85 musicians represents the finest from public, private, and home-school institutions in the Central Pennsylvania area. School students can also benefit from HSO’s “Music in the Schools” program, which provides a dynamic presentation that involves music clinics, artists in residence and direct musician to student mentoring. These involve a one time event or repeated visits that develop an ongoing relationship with the students and the musicians. With Harrisburg Symphony Master classes, students of all ages and abilities receive the chance to step into the studios of some of the top performers in the area. Students can also take advantage of a pre-concert lecture series and post-concert “Talk-Backs” (1-hour before and immediately after, respectively) with conductor Stuart Molina and musicians.


The Hershey Theater
15 E. Caracas Avenue Hershey, PA 17033

The Hershey Theatre continues Milton Hershey’s legacy to provide educational and cultural enrichment and bring art to life through outreach programs designed for children, teens and adults. Area schools have the opportunity to collaborate on programs designed to connect their curriculum with out travelling Broadway series; students can attend workshops teaching theatre techniques from backstage to center stage, and their exciting new program, “The Hershey Theatre Apollo Awards”, recognizes excellence in local high school productions. Throughout the year, Hershey Theatre hosts many interesting workshops for guests of all ages.

Contact: Educational Outreach, Mariella Trosko, 717-520-5589, mtrosko@MSHersheyFoundation.org
For ticketing, go to their website or call 717-534-3911

Market Square Concerts
P.O. Box 1292 Harrisburg, PA 17108

In addition to putting on regular concerts at the Market Square Presbyterian Church in downtown Harrisburg, MSC offers performance opportunities to student artists. Also, some of MSC’s touring ensembles present concerts for students.

Contact: info@marketsquareconcerts.org

Nee Danse Company
2040 Derry Street Harrisburg, PA 17104

The Nee Danse Company is dedicated to the presentation and education of modern dance as a performance art & cultural phenomenon. Dance teachers offer a range of instruction, including modern, ballet, tap, jazz & hip-hop. They present dance performances in formal venues, community centers & schools, and emphasize progressive physical skill development and appreciation of dance as an art form. The Nee Danse Company also offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced piano lessons.

Contact: Della M. Cowall, dcowall@comcast.net

The Neighborhood Center
1801 North 3rd Street Harrisburg, PA 17102-1800

The Neighborhood Center has numerous programs for kids. For students in kindergarten through grade 6, there is a summer camp that features a garden project, arts & crafts, music and more. The Neighborhood Center also has an after-school program during the Harrisburg City School year where kids can do arts & crafts and enjoy listening to music.

Contact: ncumc@comcast.net

Open Stage of Harrisburg
25 North Court Street Harrisburg, PA 17101

Open Stage believes that every student, regardless of age and ability, should experience personal and artistic growth. It holds a variety of acting classes for youth, including improvisational, stage combat, scene preparation, technique, audition preparation.

Contact: info@openstagehbg.com

PECAN, Inc. (Progressive Information for Children in the Arts)
P.O. Box 99 Grantville, PA 17028

PECAN is an arts referral system, designed to help children interested in any type of art form to pursue activities and instruction that relate to their interest. If you are interested in dance, gymnastics, music, or theatre, their website will help you locate a program or instructor. They also have wheelchair dancing and other arts activities for children who use wheelchair or who are disabled. PECAN also hosts Theatre Arts and Visual Arts workshops,   has an annual showcase/performance featuring children who are active in the arts, and an annual Youth Music & Arts festival. PECAN hosts Theatre Arts and Visual Arts workshops, has an annual showcase/performance featuring children who are active in the arts, and an annual Youth Music & Arts festival. See PECAN’s website for more details.

Contact: Shirley Nolt, snolt@mindspring.com

The Popcorn Hat Players
605 Strawberry Square Harrisburg, PA 17101

The Popcorn Hat Players is a children’s theatre company in Harrisburg. At the annual Artsfest in Riverfront Park during Memorial Day weekend, the PHP hosts “Kidsfest” for kids of all ages, featuring children’s activities, professional and community performances, and high quality artists selling their wares. Some of the activities include face-painting, caricatures, magic, spin art, and ceramics. See their website for an up-to-date schedule of events. The Popcorn Hat Players also put on numerous high-quality shows for children.

Contact: Marcia Dever, info@gamutplays.org (shares and address, phone number, and e-mail with the Gamut Theatre, above)

The Salvation Army Youth Outreach
1122 Green Street Harrisburg, PA 17102

The Salvation Army holds many activities for children, some of which are clubs that meet monthly, including Dance Revolution, digital photography, hair and nail club, and guitar club. They also have SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids), where kids really get moving with fun, active games that keep everybody moving to the music.

Contact: Yolanda Haywood, yolanda.haywood@use.salvationarmy.org

The Susquehanna Art Museum
15 N 3rd Street Harrisburg, PA 17101

Holds group tours for school students with the option of visiting the Museum Experience Workshop. Fees do apply. Also has a mobile art museum, called Van Go!, which can be contracted to visit area schools.

Contact: Tina Sell, tsell@sqart.org

Susquehanna Chorale
PO Box 232 Hershey, PA 17033

Susquehanna Youth Chorale gives talented young singers the opportunity to rehearse and perform with other highly motivated students at an advanced level of artistic excellence. Participants are auditioned and pay a membership fee. The repertoire includes pieces from many periods of music history and encompasses a wide range of styles, from sacred music to folk songs. The emphasis in rehearsals is on fine choral literature and developing good vocal habits.

Contact: sc@susquehannachorale.org

Susquehanna Folk Music Society
378 Old York Road New Cumberland, PA 17070

The Susquehanna Folk Music Society, based in Harrisburg, PA, is a nonprofit education and arts organization dedicated to the advancement, promotion and preservation of traditional, contemporary and international folk music and folk culture. SFMS presents concerts, dances, workshops and educational programs for the cultural enrichment of South Central Pennsylvania. Occasionally holds dance classes for children. See website or contact for details.

Contact: info2@sfmsfolk.org

The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
222 Market Street Harrisburg, PA 17101

Imagination Station is a place where kids can make their own creations. The area includes a large work table with benches for kids and parents, a storage area for supplies, and kid-friendly instructions for a variety of projects. Kids can visit the Storybook Stage, which inspires expression, music & movement, through a performing arts-oriented exhibit. It consists of a small riser with curtains, adjustable lights, easily changeable back drops and bench seating for adults. An audio track narrates popular children’s stories that can be acted out by kids using props and costumes.

Contact: info@whitakercenter.org

Lancaster County

Bead and Pottery Works
16 West Orange Street Lancaster, PA 17603

The Bead and Pottery Works is available for bead- and/or pottery-making parties. They provide the supplies and clean up, you provide the creativity! You can go to their website to make a reservation.


Ephrata Performing Arts Center
P.O. Box 173 Ephrata, PA 17522

Presents plays and musicals, some of which are suitable for families and are presented to student audiences. Has an education program. See website or contact for details.

Contact: Edward R. Fernandez, artisticdirector@ephrataperformingartscenter.com

Fulton Theatre
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1865
Lancaster, PA 17608-1865
Physical Address: 12 North Prince Street
Lancaster, PA 17603

Central Pennsylvania’s premier regional theatre and National Historic Landmark combines Broadway caliber musicals, comedies and dramas with the grandeur of ornate Victorian architecture.

The Fulton first opened its doors in 1852. Today, 160 years later, this National Historic Landmark Theatre continues to entertain, educate and delight audiences, bringing live theatre, music, and more than 130,000 patrons into downtown Lancaster annually. Since its inception, some of the brightest stars of theatre, music and film have appeared on its stage, including Sarah Bernhardt, Mark Twain, Lionel Barrymore, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, W.C. Fields, George M. Cohan, Treat Williams and Lancaster’s own Jonathan Groff.

Today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Marc Robin and Managing Director Aaron A. Young, the Fulton Theatre produces a mix of comedies, dramas and musicals, employing the talents of professional directors, designers, playwrights and actors from the local community, New York and across the country. The Fulton also features acting classes for children, teens and adults as well as outreach programs for at-risk youth, which earned the prestigious Coming Up Taller Award at a 2008 White House presentation.

Phone numbers: Box Office: 717-397-7425
Administration: 717-394-7133

Lancaster County Art Association
149 Precision Avenue Strausburg, PA 17579

Holds classes for children through an art club called the Pink Flamingos. Taught by Sam & Kate Mylin, the club is a developmental endeavor for young artists to improve their skill levels and develop a creative edge. The Pink Flamingos is open to children 7-13 years of age. Supplies are included in the price of $50.00.

Contact: lcaanews@yahoo.com

Lancaster Marionette Theatre
126 North Water Street, Lancaster, PA 17603

Specializing in marionette performances for both children and adults which are given most weekends. There is a gift shop and museum in this historic property (circa 1850s), which are open before performances. The Hole in the Wall is also available for field trips.

Contact: info@hiwpuppets.com

Lebanon County

Historic Schafferstown, Inc.
P.O. Box 307 Schafferstown, PA 17088

Ongoing throughout the year, Apprentice & Craft School is a way for young persons to learn colonial American Crafts & trades from adult mentors.

Contact: info@hsimuseum.org

Voices of the Valley
771 Pennsylvania Ave., Lemoyne, PA 17043

During its more than three decade history, Voices of the Valley, formerly the Alumni Chorale of Lebanon Valley College, has performed in Alice Tully Hall in New York City, for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association conference, the Central Pennsylvania Choral Festival, and the National Cathedral, not to mention several performances with the Harrisburg Symphony in presentations of Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, Mozart’s Requiem, and Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughn Williams.

Contact: info@voicesofthevalley.co

Perry County

Perry County Council on the Arts
P.O. Box 354 Newport, PA 17074

Holds Kids’ Art-Fest at the annual Little Buffalo Festival, held in Little Buffalo State Park. Also has a youth art day, where more than 700 students from Perry County’s four school districts and home school families participate in visual art, literature, dance, drama, and music. It is a friendly competition for students and a chance for them to gain valuable feedback from field professionals.

This event usually takes place in April at one of our county schools. Entry forms are sent home with every student from school with submissions due in February.

Perry County Council on the Arts’ ArtFlow is a six-county Arts-In-Education (AIE) Partnership dedicated to providing high-quality, innovative artist residencies to students of all ages, through collaboration with artists, schools, communities, businesses and governments.

Email: pcca@perrycountyarts.org

York County

Creative York
10 North Beaver Street York, PA 17401

Holds a wide variety of arts classes for students aged 5 to 17, including pottery, drawing and painting, sculpture, mosaics, fiber arts and art appreciation. Also has special class for students with Asperger’s syndrome, classes for Girl Scouts and Brownies, and for parents and children together. See website for a full listing and information on registration.

Contact: info@creativeyork.org

Cultural Alliance of York County
14 West Market Street York, PA 17401

Holds an artist-in-residence program in area schools.

Contact: Gayle Clucky, AIE@CulturalYork.org

Greater York Center for Dance Education
3524 East Market Street York, PA 17402

Students of all levels, ages and abilities may choose programs of interest according to their dance priority with no regard to their ability to pay. Captivating audiences through performances and dedicated outreach activities that promote a lifelong enjoyment of dance are at the core of our purpose.

Holds dance classes for children, including jazz, tap, ballet, tumbling, pre-ballet, cheerleading, and hip-hop. As part of their outreach program, brings dance programs and workshops to schools, and provides FREE tickets to non-profits serving under served populations.   For students 8 and up, has a wide variety of dance enrichment programs.

Contact: customerservice@gydance.org

The Parliament
116 East King Street York, PA 17401

The Parliament Arts Organization advances the social and economic revitalization of the York Metro Area by providing professional development and event programming for creatives and cultural venues.

Contact: info@parliamentyork.org

Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Theatre
50 North George Street York, PA 17401

Has several performances for kids and families throughout the year. See website or contact for details.

Contact: info@strandcaptiol.org

York Little Theatre
27 South Belmont Street York, PA 17403

YLT maintains a strong presence in the community by putting on plays and musicals, including a children’s series. They also hold a school of Theatre Arts, with classes in Creative Dynamics, Auditioning, Interacting, Reader’s Theatre, and also a Glee Club, which includes group singing, dancing, and movement and where participants can learn new vocal techniques, harmonies, and blending.


York Symphony Orchestra
10 North George Street York, PA 17401

York Symphony Orchestra educational programs expose children, parents and grandparents to the legacy of beautiful symphonic music through the annual Saturday Family Concert, Young Persons’ Concerts and Children’s Musicales.

Contact: Stacey Bear, sbear@yorksymphony.org