Sonoma Community Center and Positive Images LGBTQIA+ Center Host Self-Expression Summer Art Camp for Teens

Art Camp for Ages 13-17 Fosters Inspiring Environment for Radical Self-Expression


May 5, 2021, (SONOMA, Calif.) — This June, Sonoma Community Center (SCC) and Positive Images LGBTQIA+ Center (PI) are partnering to create Self Expression Camp, a two week in-person arts camp for teens ages 13-17. The camp – a first of its kind for SCC — will feature local and visiting guest artists who will facilitate activities in a variety of media, ranging from mural painting to spoken word performance. Emphasis will be placed on creating a safe and affirming environment for participants.

Both organizations have been cautious yet eager to bring people together in-person for social connection after shifting to virtual programming in March 2020. The outdoor summer camp will be limited to 12 students per group to allow for social distancing.

Jessica Carroll, director of programs at PI says, “We have so many young people just bursting with creative energy. Our walls at PI are completely covered in loud, gorgeous art made by teenagers. I can’t wait for folks to connect with the instructors at Self-Expression Camp and explore so many different artistic mediums together.”

Self-Expression Camp will offer an artistic community of inclusion for all identities of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. The creators of the camp are working from experience to provide a space that not only fosters creativity, but also alleviates the isolation many experiences as queer artists and as artists of color living in Sonoma County’s rural communities.

“An ongoing goal of the Sonoma Community Center is to provide world class programming to all of our communities and I felt that there was a void that needed to be filled, says the Center’s Creative Programs Manager, Eric Jackson.  “Teens specifically are craving artistic vehicles to channel all of their emotions and thoughts that are a result of the difficult year that we have all experienced, which gave us the opportunity to hand pick artists who could provide artistic outlets that aren’t being offered anywhere else.”

The Camp plans to provide artforms that include mural painting, zine artistry, movement, and ceramics.  Noteworthy instructors scheduled to participate include former Broadway performer and the Center’s Eric Jackson, Movement Teacher JT Bymaster, Poet & Zine Artist Rosie Angelica Alonso, Artist in Residence at Sonoma Ceramics Anela Ming-Yue Oh

Space is still available but limited.  Those interested are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible to secure their spot.

When: June 7 through June 18; Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: Sonoma Community Center; 276 E Napa St, Sonoma, CA 95476

Cost: Sliding scale of $600-700 for two weeks, with financial aid available that would reduce the cost to $25 for some participants


For inquiries, images, or more information about SCC and Self Expression Camp, contact Eric Jackson at (707) 938-4626 x3 or [email protected]  For inquiries, images or more information about Positive Images, contact Chelsea Kurnick at [email protected].