News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
May 02, 2013
Media Contact:
Laura Phillips
laf@miamidade.gov
305-755-7842

Miami-Dade County Parks' ''Gem'' Summer Arts Camp For Girls Empowering & Mentoring Tween/Teen Girls toward Bright Futures


Georgia O'Keeffe, one of the most important and admired female artists of the 20th century said, "Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."  Recognizing that art has demonstrated itself to be a powerful tool of self-expression and esteem-building for adolescent girls, the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department in its long-standing commitment to local youth, offers a fun and innovative summer arts camp program for girls ages 11 to 16.  Back for its fourth summer, the popular "GEM" (Girls Empowerment and Mentoring) Summer Arts Camp will be held June 10 - August 16, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Women's Park, 10251 Flagler St., Miami. The GEM Camp includes a wide variety of arts-focused classes and workshops that incorporate the Women's Park vision of preserving and promoting the contributions of women to the Miami-Dade community and the arts.

Classes and workshops for the 2013 GEM Summer Arts Camp include: Dance (modern jazz, lyrical, ballroom, and Afro-Cuban); Theater (improvisation, public speaking and acting); Music (chorus and music appreciation); Visual Arts (painting, arts and crafts, fashion design, and textile arts); Tai-Chi; Screenwriting and Film; Photography; Leadership; and Women's Studies. Participants will receive professional mentoring and learn leadership skills to help them achieve their personal best.  Field trips to local museums, cultural events and arts festivals are included.

"GEM provides a creative outlet for young girls to envision their bright futures and take steps toward expanding and developing their own unique talents and interests," said Vivian Greer-Digon, GEM program manager. "Girls learn to express and challenge themselves through fun and interactive art and cultural enrichment activities aimed at building self-confidence and critical life skills."

During the 10-week summer arts program campers will receive guidance and access to resources, as well as social and emotional support from GEM partnering mentors, which include professional women representatives from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools; FIU Florida International University; Miami-Dade College; Barry University; and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

The cost for the camp is $75/week, plus a one-time annual registration fee of $12 (includes early drop-off at 7:30 a.m. / late pick-up until 6:00 p.m.) Class space is limited.  To register for this program, call 305-271-0812.

The 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 program is sponsored 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.

The 15-acre lakeside Women's Park (dedicated in 1992), the first such park in the nation, and its 6,000 square-foot Roxcy O'Neal Bolton History Gallery with memorial brick terraces (opened in 2000), began as the dream of pioneer feminist Roxcy Bolton, as a standing testimony to the contributions of Miami-Dade women toward improving the community's quality of life.  The facility has rapidly distinguished itself as a cultural center dedicated to the presentation and preservation of the heritages of women of all cultures, offering space for public meetings, events, and exhibits. The park also contains walking paths, a spacious picnic pavilion, a children's playground, and a coral rock monument marking a buried time capsule containing mementos from three prominent Florida women: environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, author Zora Neale Hurston, and anthropologist Lydia Cabrera.

About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/.

Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County's world-class parks system for residents and visitors.  Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.  For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit www.miamidade.gov/parks_foundation.

To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call 305-755-7848.