What is Hearts to Art (HTA) for? An annual award-winning summer camp designed for young people 7-14 years old who have experienced the death of one or both parents.

How long has HTA been running? HTA started in 2005. Summer 2018 marks our 14th Anniversary!

When is camp? HTA holds two sessions over the summer at Roosevelt University (425 S Wabash) in Chicago. Each session runs for two weeks from 9AM – 4PM.

Does HTA accept children experiencing non-parental loss, like a sibling or grandparent? Hearts to Art specializes in working with children experiencing the loss of a parent. Please explore our additional resources for other programs and camps that may be better suited to your child’s needs.

How many campers will be accepted? Enrollment is limited to 45 campers per session. Campers will be grouped by age. Each session will offer age appropriate programming.

What is achieved at HTA? Using several different areas of the performing arts, HTA encourages communication, fosters emotional growth, and provides the consolation of friendship and compassion. Camp activities encourage team building, self-esteem, consciousness and problem solving. Through interaction with other children who have experienced a similar loss, campers understand that they are not alone in their situation.

What are some camp activities? Hearts to Art is a performing arts camp, meaning that each day campers work in developing skills in acting, movement, improvisation, singing, and more through fun and exciting classes. Additionally, small group healing sessions and our guest speaker sessions provide campers the opportunity to share about their loss, if they so choose. Campers also rehearse and stage a final showcase performance for family and friends! Click here to view a sample schedule.

Does my camper have an opportunity to talk about his or her loss? Small group creative activities are facilitated by professional healing counselors. This provides campers a safe time and place to express and share their feelings with peers. There is also a counselor on site throughout the duration of camp.

Does HTA have a program for teens? Our Junior Counselor program is designed for previous campers ages 15-18 who want to remain connected and give back to camp. Junior Counselors are accepted for both sessions of camp, however only Junior Counselors 16-18 years old will be considered for Session 2. Junior Counselors who are 15 are only eligible to volunteer for Session 1.

What about lunch and snacks? Due to the generous support of our sponsors, we are able to offer free daily lunch for all campers. Snacks and bottled water are also provided throughout the day.

Does HTA offer extended care? For the convenience of our campers’ caregivers, child care is available one hour before and after the regular camp day for a small fee.

What is the HTA payment policy? Sponsorship allows us to keep tuition at $50 per child – just $5 a day – despite expenses that exceed $1200 per camper! All camp payments must be made in full at the time of registration by check or major credit card. The deadline for all applications is  June 25, 2018 or until all spots are filled.

Does HTA offer scholarships? We are committed to assisting all families in participating in HTA, regardless of their financial situation. Scholarship applicants must provide documentation of financial need such as a letter of verification or a copy of school records regarding eligibility for free or reduced lunch and/or tuition assistance from a school official (principal, counselor, social worker, or other authorized personnel).

If I withdraw my application before camp starts, can I get a refund? If an application is withdrawn for any reason up until June 25, you will receive a refund. NO REFUNDS will be issued after this date.

Does HTA provide transportation for campers? Dependent on camper need and funding availability, HTA hopes to assist families with transportation to camp. Please contact us at 312.341.2353 for more information or to express a need for transportation.

Is HTA a suitable environment for a child with special needs? While we are not specifically a special needs camp, our staff is trained to handle special circumstances to a limited extent. We have found that if students are able to function without an aide at school, they generally do very well at camp. If your child does require an aide at school, you must ensure that an aide accompanies your child to camp. Please contact us with specific questions or needs, and we’d be happy to discuss possibilities!

Who are the camp instructors? Our camp staff is comprised of both professional teaching artists and students pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degrees at Roosevelt University and other accredited institutions. Previous staff members hold degrees in education, music, dance and theatre performance, social work, and counseling. Our healing counselors are professional therapists and/or social workers with experience in grief counseling. All staff have prior experience working with young people, have cleared background checks, and are trained as mandated reporters through Auditorium Theatre.

What is the ratio of adults to students? To ensure a fun, safe and supportive camp, we keep a high ratio of caring adults to campers at HTA. Along with dance, theatre and music teaching artists, our staff includes healing (grief) counselors, camp group leaders (who are with the campers throughout the entire day), volunteers and administrative staff.

How do I apply? Click here to start your application! Application Deadline: June 25, 2018 or once all spots are filled. A letter of reference and support from a teacher, counselor, etc. detailing how your child can benefit from this specific program must accompany new camper applications. We encourage you to send your application in as soon as possible. If camp has been filled prior to receipt of a camper’s application, we will place the camper on a waiting list and contact you immediately should a space become available.

Who can I contact for additional information? For questions regarding enrollment please email atru-education@auditoriumtheatre.org.