13 Virtual Arts Camps Happening This Summer

A guide to programs throughout New Jersey that are engaging children of all ages in theater, dance, music, film and more.

Virtual summer camps are popping up all around the state. Below, find a list of programs to keep kids of all ages enriched in the arts throughout the summer months. (Registration for most camps is already open.)

Note: On May 29, Governor Murphy signed an executive order allowing in-person youth day camps to open beginning July 6. Although all camps listed here are virtual offerings, some may transition to in-person programs in the coming weeks. 

art supplies

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

ART

Newark Museum of Art

Campers will participate in two 45-minute Zoom classes per day and Google Classroom check-ins throughout the week. From July 6 to August 14, the camp will explore different weekly themes such as recycling, equality and imagination. Classes include art making, science experiments, astronomy, yoga, live animals, music and movement, and more. Teen classes will meet three times a week in the afternoon; topics will range from photography to coding. The camp costs $50 per child per week and $45 per child per week for members. All weekly sessions include the cost of materials, which will be available for curbside pickup.

The Center for Contemporary Art

This Bedminster art center is offering ten weekly virtual summer art camps, from June 22 to August 28. Children ages 5–15 can participate in half-day sessions via Zoom. All art supplies are included in the price of tuition and will be provided via curbside pickup. Projects vary based on age groups. Youngsters will paint, draw, carve and sculpt. Artists ages 9–11 and teens will explore graffiti, cartooning, iPad drawing, 3D design, Chinese brush painting and more. Beginning June 29, the center will also offer weeklong virtual camps for children ages 6–15 with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs.

Montclair Art Museum

Experience live online instruction from museum educators. Art supplies boxes are included for all camps, with the option of curbside pickup or home delivery. Ages 6–7 will create projects around themes. Campers ages 8–9 and 10–12 have the option of studio art classes or digital media classes. Tweens ages 12–15 can explore either traditional fine arts media or experiment with digital processes.

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey

The first two weeks of camp, June 22–July 3, will be virtual. In this half-day program, kids ages 6–9 will make two art projects daily in a variety of media, while tweens ages 10–12 and teens ages 13+ have two focused art-studio sessions daily. Teachers will instruct remotely via Zoom; curated art supply kits will be available for curbside pickup. The center plans to hold in-person programming for kids beginning July 6.

DT234 Gallery & Art Studio

This Jersey City–based art studio is offering live step-by-step instructional classes via Zoom for ages 4–12 (all supplies and shipping included). Can’t make the live classes? No problem. They’ll be recorded and sent out at the end of each week. The summer session runs July 6–August 28.

Michelle Fleet, left, formerly of Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Susan Egan, Tony-nominated actress known for creating the role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, will both teach during the Axelrod Performing Arts Academy. Courtesy of Axelrod Performing Arts Center

THEATER/DANCE/MUSIC

Axelrod Performing Arts Center

Beginning Monday, June 29, Axelrod brings dance, musical theater, dramatic arts, vocal training and music instruction into your home. Curated by Juilliard alumnus and director of the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater Gabriel Chajnik, camp programs will be available for all ages. The star-studded roster of teachers includes Tony winners Faith Prince (Guys and Dolls), Joanna Gleason (Into the Woods) and Debbie Gravitte (Jerome Robbins’ Broadway); Tony nominees Susan Egan (Beauty and the Beast) and Bryce Pinkham (Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder); and former principals from Paul Taylor Dance, Michael Trusnovec and Michelle Fleet. The online academy will conclude with a virtual showcase. Prices range from $180–$1,200.

Centenary Stage Company

The Hackettstown-based theater’s Young Performers Workshop is a five-week online program running from July 13 to August 16. It will culminate with a week of online cabaret performances. Performing arts classes include private voice lessons, stage and special effects makeup, playwriting, monologue workshops and various dance classes. Classes meet online via videoconference five days a week. Tuition starts at $595 per student, and the registration deadline is July 10. No experience is necessary; however, all new applicants must schedule a Zoom interview with program director Michael Blevins prior to registration. Call the administrative office at 908-979-0900 or email [email protected].

Luna Stage

For elementary school students, Luna Stage offers a virtual camp in which participants will write and perform an original mystery play and perform it for family and friends at the end of the two-week program. Two sessions are available: July 6–17 or July 20–31. For middle and high school students, Luna offers a film/video acting and screenwriting conservatory. This four-week session runs July 6–30. These summer opportunities are offered on a pay-what-you-wish basis. Traditionally, summer tuition ranges from $500–$1,500 for camps and $150–$300 for classes.

McCarter Theatre Center

Whether you’re a dancer, playwright, actor, or just starting to explore theater, McCarter has engaging online summer classes for children and adults to explore. Classes for July are available now. August classes will be announced in a few weeks.

George Street Playhouse

Celebrate artistic expression with George Street’s Virtual Summer Theatre Academy. Choose from classes focused on everything from puppetry to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) to Shakespeare’s soliloquies. All classes culminate in a virtual presentation with family and friends. Session 1: July 6–July 17; session 2: July 20–July 31. To enroll, call 732-497-8097, email [email protected]  or register online.

Premiere Stages

Premiere Stages, the professional theater company in residence at Kean University, hosts an online version of Camp Premiere, the annual summer theater program for middle and high school students. In the theatremakers class, July 13–24, middle schoolers will learn the elements of acting, improv and playwriting. In the actors studio class, July 27–August 7, high schoolers will focus on the craft of acting through monologues, scene study and plays selected for the virtual setting. Both camps will culminate in live-streamed performances. The tuition deadline is June 29. Any inquiries can be emailed to [email protected].

New Jersey Performing Arts Center

In this four-week virtual arts training experience, young artists will be guided by NJPAC’s faculty through sessions on topics including acting/devised theater, dance, hip-hop arts and culture, and musical theater. Morning or afternoon sessions are $50; all-access passes for full-day sessions are $75.

Bergen Performing Arts Center

The bergenPAC’s Performing Arts School presents programs for arts-loving children of all ages—from early childhood music sessions to advanced musical theater workshops. Classes will be held on Zoom.

film, camera

Photo by Kushagra Kevat on Unsplash

FILM

Montclair Film

The organization’s Online Summer Film Academy for ages 12–18 includes the following classes: guerrilla filmmaking, on-camera auditioning for TV and film, sketch comedy writing, editing with Adobe Premiere Pro and more. New classes will be added on a rolling basis.

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