Summer Camp 2021

Please check out A Day at Art in the Garden, a reflective document through the words of the campers and the Newsletter created by this year’s Teen Counselors.

Art in the Garden’s year-round programming focuses on addressing impacts of early childhood adversity and trauma on health and learning. Art in the Garden supports youth in holding themselves and others in compassion and growing in connection to self, others, and the earth.AITG’s 2021 summer camp celebrated nine years of youth and family programming with record attendance and new partnerships with local artists and ecologists.

This summer campers made new friends and connected with old friends, drummed and danced with Sankofa Village of the Arts, created two graffiti style murals through a collaboration with Rivers of Steel and ceramic murals with The Clay Project, made pizza in the wood fired oven in Borland Garden, played water games, harvested herbs and made plant medicine, learned how plants sequester carbon to help mitigate climate change, and more!

WHERE: Camp is located at Borland Garden in East Liberty, 527 North Beatty Street (the corner of Black Street and North Beatty Street). Our rain locations are The Kingsley Association and Eastminster Presbyterian Church.

REGISTER: Click HERE to register for summer camp.

REGÍSTRESE: Click AQUÍ para registrarse en el campamento.

COST: In order to promote economic justice, Art in the Garden uses a sliding scale fee. Camp is FREE for all families experiencing poverty. For more about sliding scales, click HERE. *At least half of the spots in our programming are always reserved for students who identify as low-income and/or as a person of color, immigrant, or refugee.*

QUESTIONS? Email us at or call (412) 592-5711.


Some of the city’s most talented teaching artists and ecologists provide unique experiences for youth and families at Art in the Garden. We are a community that embraces our intersectionality, welcomes the whole of each person, and values our interconnection. Teaching artists and ecologists empower youth and build confidence, giving youth opportunities to experience themselves as agents of positive change. Art in the Garden supports each youth’s ability to thrive and live their fullest expressions of themselves. 

Rivers of Steel

The Mural Art Project (Mondays and Thursdays), led by Max “Gems” Gonzalez and Shane Pilster, is a collaboration with Rivers of Steel. Youth learn graffiti and mural arts skills while building community and are empowered to challenge barriers and give voice to their dreams. Youth have opportunities to create lasting murals that foster love and solidarity and justice.

SOAR Coaching Academy (Mondays), led by Anita Russell, gives teens opportunities to explore their true strength and to dream big.

Pittsburgh Forest Garden (Tuesdays), led by Sten Carlson, is a response to the rapid pace of global climate change and growing anxiety among youth about its effects on their future. Its purpose is to create a network of food forest school gardens to serve as outdoor classrooms where youth engage in the regenerative practices needed to help mitigate, adapt to, and, ultimately, reverse climate change. Youth learn about and contribute to the emerging field of carbon farming, improve ecosystem health, increase food security, beautify their community, and produce high yields from edible and medicinal plants.

Sankofa Village of the Arts (Wednesdays), led by Shabaka Perkins and Toddja Thornhill, teaches youth West African drumming and dance using sound and movement as tools for building self-esteem, self-discipline, self-determination, and self-sufficiency.

The Clay Project (Fridays), led by Sandra Moore and Guy Perry, provides the tools and materials for youth to make a series of clay artifacts. Youth learn about a variety of surface treatments such as burnishing, stamps, texture and glaze and the low fire technique, Horsehair Raku. As youth discuss what their clay piece needs to survive the firing, which they do in a kiln built on site, they also have the opportunity to discuss resilience and what they each need in order to thrive in the face of challenges. Building on sequential firings, youth learn to create more durable and better-constructed pieces.  

Reading is Fundamental Logo

Reading is FUNdamental Pittsburgh (Fridays) brings stories, activities, books, and literary resources to Art in the Garden. At each visit, youth choose a book to expand their home libraries.

Earthen Vessels (everyday) provides free breakfast and lunch.

Plus… guest musicians: Luis Hernandez, Melissa Stewart, and Nick Coles of Smokestack Lightning.

Already a Supporter of Art in the Garden? Please read our Summer UPDATE.