Current Programming

Since 2010, our mission has been to provide “Arts for All” to the children in the New Orleans area. Through afterschool, holiday, and summer programs, Upturn Arts provides arts enrichment opportunities to children on a sliding scale based on income. These creARTive grants allow for all children to have access to the arts regardless of their family’s financial situation.

From the beginning and still true today, Upturn Arts’ programming – both off-site and on-site – acknowledges the importance of New Orleans’ rich cultural and artistic heritage, with instruction focused on local traditions including New Orleans music, Mardi Gras Indians, Carnival masking and more. Special guest instructors augment the instruction of our regular staff with our Master Artist Series. Most importantly, we do not hold auditions for admission to our programs or camps, and believe in fostering individuality and creative expression.

Camp Programs at NOLA Spaces:

Holiday Camps are offered during most academic breaks: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, post-Mardi Gras, Spring Break, Fall Break, pre-Thanksgiving, Holiday Break & Parent-Teacher Conference Days. These camps are particularly important to the working parents of our young artists who otherwise are unable to provide constructive activities for their children when schools are not in session. The same is true during the summer; most, if not all, of our campers have working parents who take advantage of our flexible before and after-care hours.

Summer Arts Camp: Summer Arts Camps have been held at Nola Spaces since 2013, featuring classes in dance, theater, music and visual arts. In response to the overwhelming demand for our camp offering, 2017 Summer Camp was expanded to 10 weeks and three age groups: 3-5 years, 6-8 years, and 9-12 years. Demonstrating young artists’ and parents’ solid support and buy-in, 43% of our 2017 attendees had returned from previous years.

2017 Camp featured full-day programming centered around 6 themes: International (2 weeks), NOLA (2 weeks), Recycle (2 weeks), Superhero (2 weeks), Red, White and Blue (3 days) and Explore (5 days). This Camp also included 8 field trips (including City Park, New Orleans Museum of Art, Ogden Museum, and Aquarium of the Americas / Insectarium), 4 community performances, and 4 final student performances.

36 special guest artists in 2017 (including Tank and the Bangas, Upbeat Academy, and Dr. Michael White) augmented the instruction of our regular staff. These guest artists provided special 60-minute workshops and taught our students how they employ the arts in their craft.

Off-Site School / Community Programming:

Upturn provides after-school arts programming at New Orleans schools and community centers that lack creative arts programs. Several of these off-site programs are tuition-based and fully funded by participants; these revenue streams help underwrite our sliding scale tuition model.

Lycée Francais: Upturn Arts provides music and yoga classes 2 days per week for 20 students. 60% of the students at this school are low income.

Cathedral Montessori School: We provide after school yoga classes to ages 3 to 5 years during the school semester. The last two weeks of May, we also offer half-day, mini art camps at our NOLA Spaces studios, with instruction in art, music, dance, yoga and storytelling.

Jewish Community Center: We provide 1 after-school Creative Movement dance class 1 day / week each school semester. Introduction to Dance also is taught to boys & girls ages 3 to 5 years as an after-school program. In the summer, a 4-week immersion program is offered to teens, with Upturn teaching artists focusing weekly on specialized skills, including, photography, emoji and hashtag art, musical theater and others.

KIPP Central City Primary: We have renewed our association with KIPP – one of our original school partners – and again are providing after-school music, dance, and theater for students grades K through 2nd four days a week. Upturn has a long history with KIPP, having initially provided their dance instruction from 2010 – 2014. The majority of KIPP Central City students live below the poverty line.

Academy of the Sacred Heart: Upturn Arts provides on-site, all-day arts programming on Parent-Teacher Conference holidays for students in grades K – 4.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal School: In 2017 Upturn initiated two 6-week arts programs for pre-K – 3rd grade students.

Bricolage: In a partnership with DiscoveryFEST, Upturn Arts provides Visual Arts classes 4 days a week for 20 students, K-1st grade at no cost to the students. 28% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch.