SOCAPA was founded by a small collective of New York artists in Greenwich Village in 2001, and has quickly become one of the premier visual and performing arts programs for young people in the world. Our students travel from across the United States and all corners of the globe to participate in our Summer Intensives. Campers of all experience levels are challenged to advance their skills through hands-on learning with teachers who are leaders in their fields, surrounded by classmates who share their passion. Our faculty are dedicated to their craft and to passing on their knowledge to the next generation of artists. Our support staff are equally committed to ensuring that every student enjoys a safe, rewarding camp experience. This combined effort allows our students to have one of the most fulfilling experiences of their lives.
The intensity of creative expression and artistic development on our campuses is testimony to the hard work of the students and staff. But we're only young once, right? So with all this hard work comes the best of summer – a time for friendship and fun. With scheduled activities every night and on the weekends that take advantage of the wonderful locations where we host our programs, our students gain a sense of independence through adventure and new friends – truly a perfect balance of hard work and play.
Please join us this summer!
Each year we receive wonderful letters from parents and students about the positive, even life-changing, experience they had with us during the summer. Sometimes the letter comes a few years after they attended our programs - once they’ve started university - and they are reflecting on that “moment” they realized what they wanted to do with their lives. These letters mean so much to us. We share them with prospective families as best we can to shed a little insight about our programs. But these are personal stories, right? How do we (and you) know that what we are doing really hits the mark across the board?
This spring we received a letter from the Director of Admissions at FSU, one of the top film schools in the country. Of the 30 students they accepted into their program from 450 applicants, three of them had attended SOCAPA. He thanked us for our work, which he had come to recognize over the previous 10 years of being involved in arts education at the university level. This sparked an online survey which quickly confirmed that an overwhelming number of our alumni are going on to attend the top visual and performing art schools in the nation - Yale School of Drama, USC, NYU, RISD, SCAD, Parsons, UCLA, SVA, LMU, U of Arts, Emerson, the list goes on and on - to pursue their dreams studying Film, Acting, Dance, Photography and Music. This fall, for example, we had 21 alumni enter the freshman class at NYU and another 20 moved into their sophomore year there. What a wonderful testament to the quality of our students, what they accomplish and gain during their time with us, and the hard work and dedication of our staff.
As our students come into our programs with more experience, more curiosity and more ambition, we strive to provide them the most current and relevant experience in the arts possible. While we continue to nurture thoughtful self-expression and create a safe and exciting place to explore one’s artistic voice, we recognize that it is a competitive world out there and that young people (and their parents!) want and need their summer experiences to work toward their college acceptances.
While our one and two week programs are wonderful opportunities to enjoy and explore the art discipline of one’s choosing, our three-week programs are very much designed with college applications in mind. Students in our three-week programs are walking away prepared for their college applications. They have their portfolio ready in order to showcase their work. They have reviewed and thought about what their art, and their future in their art, means to them. They have had a vision and have followed through and created something. They have presented their work to a group of peers. They have reflected.
All this while still having “the best summer” of their life, as they regularly write, and we observe. Who knew learning could be so fun?! When it's what you want to do, where your heart is, it isn’t work at all. It is just being.
We hope you will be with us this summer!
Founder and Director of Summer Programs SOCAPA, School of Creative & Performing Arts