Celebrate. Explore. Create!

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Thank you to our incomparable team of Volunteer Artists who led our May 2015 Art Camp at Shanti Bhavan Children’s Project: Kalee Burrows, Gabby Deede, Carolyn Fry, Harrison Fry, Brian Gnojek, JJ Krehbiel, Lauren Morris, Lizzy Rainer, Midori Samson, Aaron Umsted! Working together for three weeks in May, these volunteers helped wind down the academic year by transforming the school into a place of play, creativity, and ol’ fashioned silliness for the 300+ students at Shanti Bhavan, a school and home for children of the lowest caste, located south of Bangalore.

The camp theme: Celebrate, Explore, Create!

The volunteers taught classes in the visual arts, music, dance and theatre with concentrations in areas such as musical theatre and even comic-book creation class! In addition to the classes, there was a focus on “camp-fun activities” such as scavenger hunts, water balloon fights, and even roasting s’mores, a first for the kids!

Beyond simply teaching artistic skills, the focus of ASTEP’s Art Camps provide the children with a safe space to develop important life skills such as creative problem solving, self-confidence, leadership, and collaboration — skills that will help them on and off the stage. Plus, a chance for a child to truly be carefree and play will do so much for their overall health and wellbeing.

The art camp culminated with Shanti Bhavan’s graduation ceremony where the students showcased their artwork and special performances for the community of staff, family, friends and supporters!

ASTEP’s Arts Camp in India!

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A team of ASTEP Volunteer Artists recently spent three weeks in India to deliver a multi-week arts camp for the children of Shanti Bhavan! They are Francesca Betancourt, Lotte Crayton, Andrea DeLonis, Jonny Duennebier, Allison Gibbons, JJ Krehbiel, Kelcie Miles, and Danielle Mooney, led by ASTEP’s Director of Programs Abby Gerdts.

The volunteers created a series of arts-specific events, including the Color Cup, and led art classes that focused on dance, visual arts, even film. Check out the special short film that was written, directed, filmed, and edited by the students — they also got to indulge in a favorite past time…consuming candy!
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