12 summer camps in Pittsburgh for arts-loving kids
Photo above courtesy of PMT Conservatory.
A great many of the summer camps in Pittsburgh offer arts-related classes. But some are especially focused on creating and performing. For all those arts-loving kids out there, and for the children who are curious about making or performing and might just want to learn more this year, we’ve pulled together a list of some of the coolest arts-focused summer camps in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region.
Pittsburgh Musical Theater Conservatory: Summer Musical Theater Camp at the PMT Conservatory shines the spotlight on kids ages 4-18. The four-week camps train kids in acting, voice and dance, while helping kids build confidence, make new friendships, learn collaboration — and spend time away from screens. It’s a great opportunity for face-to-face fun and creativity. Campers rehearse for a full-scale performance as a grand finale. And teens can choose the Technical Theater and Design track to learn about set design and construction, lighting and costumes. Get details and register (or book a spot at the June 11 open house) here. Financial aid and payment plans are available.
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust: The Trust Arts Education Camps for Creatives series, offering some of the most creative summer camps around Pittsburgh, returns this July with in-person camps for grades 3-12. These five-day sessions concentrate on developing creative skills in various topics, including dance, theater, sewing and STEAM making. Register here.
The Children’s Museum: After running virtually for the past two years for COVID safety, the team at the Children’s Museum is excited to be back in person for an expanded roster of summer camps this year. They’ll be hosting sessions for ages 3 to 13 running from June 20-Aug. 12 at both the Children’s Museum and MuseumLab. Topics will include art, theater, movement, fashion design, animation, making and much more. Find details and register here.
Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History: Starting on June 13, creative kids and nature lovers alike can attend a variety of week-long summer camps in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History. Young artists and explorers are invited to mask up and wander among real dinosaurs, make a mess, design a city for the future or become a filmmaker. Find all the details and register here. Financial aid is available for eligible families.
Sweetwater Center for the Arts: Kids ages 4-16 can find their muse through a wide variety of mediums at Sweetwater Center for the Arts. From ceramics and watercolor to animation and graffiti, kids will find exciting ways to express their creativity. Cooking classes, STEM circuitry and acting are included, too. Get details and register here. Scholarships are available.
Gemini Children’s Theater: Five-day summer camps at Gemini Children’s Theater channel energy and talent toward the theater arts. Kids as young as 4 learn to write, rehearse and perform a play that they help develop from their imagination. Scene building, collaborating and character development apply across all age groups (up to 17 years). Early bird discounts, scholarships, tuition assistance and payment plans are available.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre: Dancers in all sizes, from toddlers to teens, will find a place at Pittsburgh Ballet’s summer sessions. Kids will develop progressive dance fundamentals through barre and floor exercises, French terminology and ballet concepts. The youngest dancers (18 months to 7 years) can try four-week camps including “Family and Me,” running June 11-July 2, which introduces the art of ballet in a nurturing environment. Children and parents explore the world of dance together, and dads are very much welcome. There are also pre-ballet and ballet foundations classes. The most advanced Junior Intensive covers skills in pointe, pas de deux, jazz and repertoire, as well as pilates and yoga during 40+ hours of learning. At every level, kids can expect to find plenty of joy in their movements and training. Sessions run throughout June, July and August, with enrollment rolling until the day before the start of each program. Some classes require new students to submit a placement form to register for particular programs. Get all the details and register here.
Cello Fury Rock Camp: The four-week Cello Fury Rock Camp for Strings will happen again this year, giving young musicians a chance to play in a high-energy string rock orchestra. Registration is now open for violin, viola, cello and bass players ages 7 to 17. Sessions for various age groups run June 27-July 1 and July 11-15 at PYCO School of Music in Wexford and July 25-29 and Aug. 8-12 in Shadyside at The Ellis School. All four weeks of camp will be in person, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Get more information and register here.
Steeltown Film Academy Summer Intensive: Steeltown’s Film Academy is a youth education program in digital media arts and filmmaking. The Academy is open to all high schoolers, from rising 9th graders up through recent 12th-grade grads. Teaching artists and professional mentors will offer a curriculum covering all aspects of digital media production, including storytelling, camera, audio, lighting and editing. This in-person summer program runs from June 27-July 28, four days per week (Mon-Thurs, except Mon. July 4) from 10 a.m.-3pm at WQED. Lunch will be provided each day. Register here, and contact program director Mary Ann McBride-Tackett with questions.
Little Lake Theatre: Budding theater stars ages 6-18 will take the stage during in-person summer camps at Little Lake Theatre. Kids with a flair for the dramatic will study improv character movement and audition skills in Acting Camp. Musical Theater campers will rehearse and perform roles in “Disney’s The Descendants: The Musical.” Be A Star Camp is offered in two sessions – Great American Road Trip and Around the World in 5 Days. Learn more and register here.
Pittsburgh Glass Center: Teens in grades 6–12 take over Pittsburgh Glass Center from July 11-15 for the intensive SiO2 teen boot camp. This one-week summer day camp introduces the science and art of glass, offering hands-on experience with glass-making at one of the top facilities in the country. Sessions include glassblowing, flameworking, kilnforming, and coldworking. At lunchtime, campers will gather for discussions with instructors and fellow students. Scholarships are available. Learn more and register here (apply by June 1).
The University of Pittsburgh Architectural Studies Program Summer Studio: Also known as the Experiencing Architecture program, this four-week experience is a unique summer camp in Pittsburgh. It immerses high school students in the various facets of architecture and design. Participants develop foundational skills for architecture – including sketching, drawing, and model making – while working on design projects and using Pitt’s architecture studios and maker spaces. Students get a sense of what it’s like to study and practice architecture and related professions through office tours, construction site visits, and walking tours of notable buildings in and around the city. Applications are open now for this July camp, and applicants will receive a status update by mid-April. Questions? Email Sara Pettit. Students in grades nine through 12 from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply if they have a strong interest in pursuing architecture or design beyond high school.