Arts Camp Offers Healing for Kids Who Have Lost a Parent

June 3, 2019

Hearts to Art, an award-winning camp for children who have experienced the death of parent, returns this summer for its 15th year. Offered by Chicago’s landmark Auditorium Theatre, this unique performing arts camp is for young people between the ages of 7 and 14.

“Through the exploration and creation of dance, theatre, and music, Hearts to Art inspires communication and collaboration, fosters emotional growth, and provides friendship, compassion and community,” say camp organizers. “Through interaction with young people who have experienced a similar loss, campers understand they are not alone.” Professional healing experts—including a grief counselor and a licensed social worker—are on site at all times during the camp and lead the Heart to Art activities. All staff members have been specially trained to be able to meet the campers’ emotional needs.

The camp is split into two sessions: July 8-19 for children 7-10 years and July 22-August 2 for 11-14 year olds. At the end of the first week, campers present a talent show based on their interests. At the conclusion of the second (final) week they perform on stage showcasing the acting, music, and dance skills they learned during the camp.

Registration for Hearts to Art is open now. Because arts organizations and private donors generously subsidize the program, tuition for the Auditorium Theatre’s Hearts to Art camp is only $50 per child for a two-week session. The Auditorium Theatre adds that it is committed to making the camp available for any young person so it offers scholarships. For information regarding scholarship opportunities, contact Nailah Cartman, Camp Coordinator, at

The Auditorium Theatre is a Chicago treasure. It has been a landmark in the city since 1889. Presenting events from opera to rock and roll, from political conventions to sporting events, this music and performance venue can be found inside the Auditorium Building at 50 Ida B. Wells Drive. The building’s distinctive Richardsonian Romanesque style was designed by two of the city’s architectural legends: Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan.