Forget Summer Camp:

Tim Kingston

Nope it sure ain’t the lazy crazy days of summer for this group of 25 teens and young adults! Art in Action camp is more like a cultural boot camp for budding activists from around the Bay Area. The Art in Action Camp is a ten-day summer camp for 16 to 25 year-olds that brings together poets, singers, dancers, artists and other young visionaries to create a vision of freedom and hope for the future—while voicing opposition to corporate war abroad and the criminalization of youth at home.

Art in Action takes place this year from August 16 through August 25 at Ben Lomond, an 80-acre redwood forest just twenty minutes north of Santa Cruz. Art in Action’s final day, August 25, concludes with a 7:00 pm evening public performance in the Santa Cruz Veteran’s Hall at 846 Front Street, Santa Cruz.

The three-year-old Art in Action Camp, sponsored by Cultural Links, YES! and the international human rights group Global Exchange, features a host of workshops and participatory programs that focus on dance, poetry, hip hop, spoken word, singing, drumming and giant puppetry—all mixed in with education about the social and political issues of the day. High on that list of issues is working to oppose corporate globalization and the increasing militarization of our world.

Ten facilitators will work intensively with 25 young people—many from the Bay Area. Among the facilitators are Rashidi Omari, a hip hop performer/teacher from Oakland; Xiomara Castro, activist/educator who focuses on immigration, globalization and social justice issues; Aimee Suzura of Youth Speaks; Alli Starr, founding member of Art and Revolution and Dancers Without Borders, and Maryam Roberts of Global Exchange, a founding member of the Art in Action camp. Roberts co-created the camp as a way to involve and inspire youth to action through the arts.

Art in Action is a collaborative effort of Global Exchange, YES!, Cultural Links, Dancers Without Borders and Art & Revolution. Art in Action started by creating a theater piece about immigration performed at the Deep Ecology Conference on the Military and the Planet in San Francisco in 2001. The 2002 performance took place in the High Sierras near Nevada City and took on the issue of building peaceful communities while spotlighting connections between wars abroad and the war on youth at home. In 2003 Art in Action performed another event centering on oil, militarization and empire at the Santa Cruz Beach Flats Community, while in 2004 Art in Action took its art, political education and performance work to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the very first time.

Global Exchange is an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, political and environmental justice. Since our founding in 1988, we have increased the US public's global awareness while building partnerships among peoples around the world.

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Extra info: 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Alli Starr 415-517-0123 (cell) Xiomara Castro 510-717-3062 (cell)