GEM Summer Arts Camp set to empower girls, build confidence

Miami's Community Newspapers

Now in its 10th season, the award-winning, inclusive GEM (Girls Empowerment and Mentoring) Summer Arts Camp provides girls, ages 6-15, with an oasis of visual and performing arts and self-enrichment experiences, through classes and workshops in dance, musical theater, music/choral, painting, journalism, photography/videography, women’s history, community service and leadership development. No experience is necessary.

GEM Camp runs June 10-Aug. 9, at two locations: The Women’s Park, 10251 W. Flagler St., Ages 10-15, and The Fair, 10901 Coral Way, Ages 6-9. Camp is held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and offers 7:30 a.m. early dropoffs and 6 p.m. late pickup options. The cost is $100/week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $15.

Registration is ongoing for both age groups via The Women’s Park. Space is limited, so registration will be accepted on a first come-first served basis. A limited number of scholarships are available to students with a medically or school documented disability or for those with a demonstrated economic hardship.

For more information, call 305-480-1717 or send email to

GEM Camp is based on a progressive learning model, where participants can grow their skill sets in various mediums as they go along. They are motivated by community leaders in arts, academia, business and government which creates a mosaic network that encourages and enriches positive social interaction with the arts through possible career paths. The program emphasizes self-expression, creativity, confidence building, connecting with new friends and developing self-potential.

Field trips are also planned throughout the summer to provide artistic inspiration. Among them are the PAMM Museum, ICA Museum, FIU’s Frost Art Museum and Women’s Center, Futurama Art Gallery at Little Havana and more.

The summer program culminates with a “Summer Arts Showcase” and “Festival of the Arts” exhibition by the GEM girls at The Women’s Park Roxcy O’Neal Bolton Women’s History Gallery.

“Miami-Dade County Parks contributes to different types of perspectives, creating cultural programs to provide the best service to our community and offering first-hand experiences by developing quality arts educational programs, as the GEM Summer Arts Camp,” said Vivian Greer-Digon, GEM program manager. “The GEM Arts Program provides the perfect environment to indulge young girls in self-expression, confidence and artistic creativity as we nurture their inborn love for the arts.”

Miami-Dade Parks’ GEM program began in the summer of 2010 as a pilot program initiated by the department’s RAICES Hispanic Cultural Arts Center at Miller Drive Park.

The GEM program is funded by The Children’s Trust, a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County by making strategic investments in their future with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Through the nonprofit Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade, In the Company of Women supports parks and parks programming, including The Women’s Park and its GEM Summer Arts Camp.

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