YAE! [Young Artists Empowerment] Camp is a program run by WolfBird Dance and supported in collaboration by Portland Street Art Alliance, and (for 2019) Graffiti Camp for Girls: all three organizations are female-directed nonprofit organizations. Our second annual YAE! Camp will hit Portland streets August 12th-16th & 19th-23rd, 2019!
YAE! Camp 2019 is a 2-week, 10 day immersive experience designed to build confidence and empowerment for female identifying youth inside of typically male dominated Artistic spaces. YAE! provides mentorship for female/femme/non-binary youth ages 12-17. Participants who come from diverse, historically marginalized communities, and under-served low-income homes in Portland are given top priority in our scholarship program.
Our students come from all different levels of technique and experience in Visual Art and Dance. By the end of our program, campers will have completed a large scale mural on a city wall that remains on display year round. They also showcase a dance they’ve helped choreograph and participate in a freestyle/cypher/jam session with local female dance Artists.
Mornings 11am-1pm: Students alternate dance training days between hip hop and contemporary dance. From 11-12 campers train in fundamental hip hop technique/choreography and/or fundamental contemporary technique/choreography. From 12-1, they train with two rotating instructors: learning fundamentals of each instructors specified style under the hip hop umbrella term (krump, wacking, breaking, etc). From there, they spend the rest of their time practicing incorporating these styles into their own freestyle,1V1, and cypher sessions. conversely, for this time on contemporary training days, they work with a rotating group of instructors that mentor them through improvisational skills and finding oneself through freedom of movement expression. By the end of our program, ideally, our students have enough movement styles in their wheelhouse, that it encourages them to find their own unique movement style (that maybe doesn’t necessarily, or need to, fit into a defined box).
Afternoons 2pm-4pm: Students learn fundamental skills necessary for creating a mural. They are guided through the process, focusing on how to collaborate and cooperate with one another, supporting the development of each other’s skills. They receive lessons in letter-making, drawing, composition, aerosol painting techniques, and safety. Mentors provide creative counsel, assistance with designing, an understanding of tools, and tips on how to seek permission. Campers are also encouraged to take risks and reach beyond what they’re comfortable with. They can contribute their ideas and will be encouraged to support each other in executing their ideas.
During the lunch hour of our program (1-2pm), students are provided workshops from guest Artists to learn about other art forms and present them with active, working Artists in our community. These interactions provide an opportunity for them to communicate with role models of our community in a comfortable, active, and non-authoritative setting. During this time campers also learn about the history and pillars of hip-hop culture, including freedom of expression in public space, rhythmic poetry, blending melodies using a turntable, and breakdancing.