The Arts at Home
Some of the many types of art that kids can participate in both in and outside of the home include visual arts, music, dance, creative writing and creative dramatization. At home parents can do visual arts projects with their children. Parents can also read to children and do dramatic readings of favorite story book, with each person reading a different character. Puppets are a great way to help kids communicate their feelings about things that are central to their lives. Puppets can be made from just about anything, including socks, tongue depressors, cardboard containers, paper plates, pipe-cleaners can cloth.
3rd Street Art Gallery
214 Third Street New Cumberland, PA 17070, 717-938-6898
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.
Art School Center and Galleries
18 Artcraft Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, (717) 697-2072
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
Carlisle Arts Learning Center
19 N. Hanover Street Carlisle, PA 17013, (717)249-6973
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.
Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg
915 S. York Street Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, (717)766-0535
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.
Art Association of Harrisburg
21 North Front Street Harrisburg, PA 17101, (717) 236-1432
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.
BARAK Drama Ministries
(717) 724- 0300
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!”
The Capital Area School for the Arts
150 Strawberry Square Harrisburg, PA 17101, (717) 732-8450
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.
3303 N. 6th St Harrisburg, PA 17110, (717) 412-4759
Caitlin’s Smiles is dedicated to sharing smiles and laughter with children facing chronic or life threatening illnesses. Founded in 2004 in memory of Caitlin Hornung, the non-profit organization distributes arts and crafts kits to hospitals, giving kids an outlet for creativity and the means to heightened feelings of self-worth. Caitlin's Smiles recognizes children as unique individuals and strives to heighten their feelings of self-worth and competency by providing them with opportunities to be creative and successful with a variety of creative art experiences. Caitlin’s Smiles holds craft assembly events where smiles kits are put together. Contact Cheryl Hornung at the e-mail address above if you are interested in participating.
Capital Youth Opera Harrisburg
P.O. Box 426 Harrisburg, PA 17033, (717) 533-8817
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.
Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz
5721 Jonestown Road Harrisburg, PA 17112, (717) 540-1010
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.
Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet
5 North Orange Street, Suite 3 Carlisle, PA 17013, (717) 245-1190
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.
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.
200 Crescent Street Harrisburg, PA 17104, (717) 232-2615
Danzante is dedicated to the development of young, talented dancers, actors, musicians, writers/poets, and artists. Holds an after-school arts enrichment program for $40/month with classes in dance, music, visual arts, language, theatre and eco arts. They have discounted tuition for Harrisburg School District students. They also hold an Eco-Arts summer camp. Contact Danzante to register your child.
Fort Hunter Mansion and Park
5300 North Front Street Harrisburg, PA 17110, (717) 599-5751
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.
605 Strawberry Square Harrisburg, PA 17101, (717)238-4111
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.
The Popcorn Hat Players
(shares and address, phone number, and e-mail with the Gamut Theatre, above)
The Popcorn Hat Players is a children’s theatre company in Harrisburg. At the annual Patriot News “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.
The Greater Harrisburg Arts Council
100 N. Cameron Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101, (717)238-5180
The Greater Harrisburg Arts Council holds the Patriot News Artsfest on Memorial Day weekend in Riverfront Park as well as PSECU Kipona ArtFest over Labor Day weekend, also in Riverfront Park. Both events feature arts, food, and live entertainment and have special activities for kids at “Kidsfest”, hosted by the Popcorn Hat Players. The Greater Harrisburg Arts Council also has a “music in the schools” program throughout the year, and “Capitol Kickline”, in celebration of National Dance Week in April.
Harrisburg Academy of Dance
4409 Locust Lane Harrisburg, PA 17109, (717) 652-7071
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.
PO Box 232, Hershey, PA 17033, (717) 533-7859
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.
Susquehanna Folk Music Society
378 Old York Road, New Cumberland, PA 17070, (717) 763-5744
Contact: info2@ sfmsfolk.org
The Susquehanna Folk Music Society (SFMS), 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.
The Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
222 Market Street Harrisburg, PA 17101, (717) 214-2787
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.
Bead and Pottery Works
16 West Orange Street Lancaster, PA 17603, 717-299-9963
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, (717) 733-7966
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.
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1865
Lancaster, PA 17608-1865
Physical Address: 12 North Prince Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
Phone numbers: Box Office: 717-397-7425
Accessibility Services - The Fulton provides the following services at Pay-What-You-Want matinees: ASL interpreted performances, open captioning, audio description, and simultaneous Spanish language translation.
Behind the Scenes at Fulton Theatre - Our Asides program features 20-minute presentations featuring scholars from various fields of study who will share insights about the current main stage production (about 10 minutes of a talk followed by a 10-minute question and answer session). Similarly, Exploring the Family Series provides young people in first through fifth grade the opportunity to go behind the scenes and explore the story and its themes, prior to each Family Series production.
Theatre Arts Training - We offer training in the theatre arts for students of all ages, backgrounds and experiences. The Academy of Theatre brings year-round theatre arts classes to pre-K to adult at all levels of experience. And Fulton Theatre's award winning Youtheatre is an ensemble of teens from all walks of life that creates and performs original dramatics works based on social justice themes.
For Schools and Educators - Fulton Theatre brings the theatre arts to students through productions and artists-in-the-classroom workshops and residencies. Fulton presents special School Day Matinees during school hours. We provide study guides and post-show discussions as requested, as well as pre- and post-show workshops. Neighborhood Bridges is a comprehensive program of storytelling and creative drama designed to help children develop their critical literacy skills and transform them into storytellers of their own lives. Building Bridges employs interactive storytelling techniques, and hands-on activities, and directly impacts the five development domains of an early childhood education (social, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional), including emergent literacy skills. The Pennsylvania High School Drama Festival is a day of 30-minute high-school performances on the historic Fulton Theatre stage with adjudication and pre-festival workshops by Fulton teaching artists at participating schools.
Professional Training Programs - Year-long technical apprentices for emerging professionals, summer internships for high school and college students, and Act 48 credits for educator's in-service training.
Hole-in-the-Wall Puppet Theatre
126 North Water Street, Lancaster, PA 17603, 717-394-8398
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.
Lancaster County Art Association
149 Precision Avenue Strausburg, PA 17579, (717)687-7061
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.
Historic Schafferstown, Inc.
P.O. Box 307 Schafferstown, PA 17088, (717) 949-2244
Ongoing throughout the year, Apprentice & Craft School is a way for young persons to learn colonial American Crafts & trades from adult mentors.
Broadway Beginnings- The Dance Centre
Mailing address: 1570 Walnut Street Lebanon, PA 17042
Studio Address: 882 East Lincoln Ave Myerstown, PA 17067, (717) 270-8825
Offers jazz, tap, ballet, funk and creative movement classes. Has a summer dance camp.
Perry County Council on the Arts
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 354 Newport, PA 17074, (717) 567-7023
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.
Cultural Alliance of York County
14 West Market Street York, PA 17401, (717) 812-9255
Holds an artist-in-residence program in area schools.
Greater York Center for Dance Education
3524 East market Street York, PA 17402, (717) 755-MOVE (6683)
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 underserved populations. For students 8 and up, has a wide variety of dance enrichment programs.
Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Theatre
50 North George Street York, PA 17401, (717) 846-1155
Has several performances for kids and families throughout the year. See website or contact for details.
10 North Beaver Street York, PA 17401, (717) 848-3200
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.
York Little Theatre
27 South Belmont Street York, PA 17403, Tickets: 717-854-5715, Administrative Office: 717-854-3894
YLT maintains a strong presence in the community by putting on plays and musicals, including a children’s series (sponsored by Rabbittransit and Fulton Bank). 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 Beaver Street York, PA 17401, (717) 812-0717
Holds educational programs to expose children and their families to symphonic music through the annual Saturday Morning Symphony, Young Persons Concerts, and Children’s “Musicles”. See website or contact for details.
For Students with Disabilities
The following organizations have programs specifically for participants with disabilities: PECAN, Inc. (Dauphin County), Caitlin’s Smiles (Dauphin County), the Fulton Theatre (Lancaster County), and York Arts (York County).
The rest of the arts organizations listed here, while they may not be overtly inclusive, are likely to be able to work with artists with disabilities. For more information about doing arts activities with the disabled, go to http://www.vsarts.org/.
Thank you so much for your support!
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