The Arts

enriching Camden’s youth!

Self-expression and creativity are essential to a well-rounded education. When we began working with the Heal Camden schools, we discovered many of the students were lacking an avenue to express themselves through arts education. Creating art and music at a young age can teach new skills and very often, supplement in class assignments. In order to bring such enrichment to Camden’s youth, the Domenica Foundation collaborated with two organizations: The Perkins Center for the Arts and Symphony in C!

The Perkins Center for the Arts

Perkins is a non-profit organization with facilities in Moorestown and Collingswood, NJ. The Perkins staff runs exhibits, residencies, outreach camps and classes to many schools in the South Jersey area. For our Project: Heal Camden campaign, we have specifically joined the Perkins Center to support their ARTS Program in Camden.

Each year, we have supported Perkins with a matching grant to bring two 20-day residencies to the Heal Camden schools. Their ARTS (Arts Reaching the Students) Program places professional artists in local schools for twenty days of hands-on teaching. Working closely with teachers and staff, the artists individually design programs, which will build visual skills, teach problem-solving strategies, and increase collaboration among students. Over the past years, these residencies have been brought to both Holy Name School and St. Anthony’s of Padua.

After the twenty days of in class instruction, usually spanning two to three grades of students, the residency culminates with a performance or showcase of art! Many of these residencies have taught African drumming, African-Latin dance, or spoken word to the students. These ending performances bring together the school, family, friends, and locals in community to support the children! Recently, residencies have been designed to increase literacy among the students. To do this, local artist John Robison taught the students to “Dare to Dream” by creating poems and performing them to drum beats.

Check out the results!

“This program is so awesome! I love everything about it – I like that we make music, we write our own poems, and I like that everyone got to express themselves more!” read more from the students and faculty.

Symphony in C

Symphony in C, formerly known as the Haddonfield Symphony, is an organization that maintains a symphony orchestra that provides training for tomorrow’s musicians, with a particular focus on the youth of Camden. Their training orchestra offers educational programs, camps, and workshops throughout the community. Domenica Foundation has specifically collaborated with Symphony in C to support its Music Matters! educational outreach program

Symphony In C’s musicians serve as the primary presenters and educators in the Music Matters! program. These programs serve to inspire and illuminate the imagination and talent of children, while fostering a spirit of collaboration and hard work. The program has also show to increase self-esteem while decreasing behavioral problems. In the past, with the support of a Domenica Foundation grant, Symphony In C has been able to bring this program to the Heal Camden school, Sacred Heart.