Summer Camp 2023

Art in the Garden Summer Camp 2023 celebrates 11 years of youth and family programming!

Art in the Garden is an LGBTQ+ led, liberatory, joy-centered youth program that uses arts, ecology, and mindfulness as vehicles to address the impacts of childhood adversity and trauma. Youth learn to see themselves as creators of positive change for themselves, others, and the planet. All are welcome!

Join us this summer to make new friends and connect with old friends. Come make a graffiti mural with the Mural Art Project, make plant medicine with Pittsburgh Forest Garden, explore migration through the study of birds with Bird Lab, learn printmaking techniques with the Andy Warhol Museum, become a chef and cook in the wood fired oven in the garden. Plus strengthen your teamwork skills and make friends through collaborative games and learn about how plants create biodiversity and sequester carbon to help mitigate climate change…and more! All activities are designed to build confidence, nurture compassion, and give campers opportunities to experience themselves as agents of positive change.

WHEN: June 26 – August 4, Mondays through Fridays 9 am – 1 pm, with before and after care options

WHO: Campers age 4-13 (with options for Teen Counselors ages 14-19)

WHERE: Camp is located at Borland Garden in East Liberty, 527 North Beatty Street (the corner of Black Street and North Beatty Street).

REGISTER: Register early, spots fill quickly. Registration link coming soon.

REGÍSTRESE: Regístrese temprano. Las manchas se llenan rápidamente.

COST: In order to promote economic justice, Art in the Garden uses a sliding scale fee. For more about sliding scales, click HERE. Costs range from FREE to $350 per week + $25 enrollment fee. *Registration is limited and, in the interest of equity, at least half of the spots are reserved for campers who identify as low-income and/or are of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx heritage. Priority is also given to families who live within walking distance of Borland Garden and families who are registering for all six weeks of camp.*

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


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. 

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Pittsburgh Forest Garden 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. Campers 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. (Mornings 9-10; Fridays 10-11:30)

The Andy Warhol Museum, in collaboration with Bird Lab, explores the migration of birds and how artists like Andy Warhol raise awareness about social issues through their art. Using Warhol’s Endangered Species series as a springboard, youth explore topics of migration, rare birds, local birds, and native vegetation. Youth make silkscreen prints on paper, pillowcases, and t-shirts. (Thursdays 10-11:30)

Bird Lab led by Nick Liadis, explores questions related to migratory songbirds whose journeys span oceans and continents every year to make Pennsylvania their home. Campers engage activities around nest building, bird song, and the role of native plants. (Thursdays 10-11:30)

Sankofa Village for the Arts led by Toddja Thornhill teaches campers West African drumming and dance using sound and movement as tools for building self-esteem, self-discipline, self-determination, and self-sufficiency. (Tuesdays 10-11:30)

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Rivers of Steel

The Mural Art Project led by Max “Gems” Gonzalez, Jerome “Chu” Charles, and Shane Pilster, is a collaboration with Rivers of Steel Arts (ROSA) and Hemispheric Conversations: Urban Art Project (HUCAP). 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. (Mondays and Wednesdays 10-11:30)

SOAR Coaching Academy led by Anita Russell gives teens opportunities to explore their true strength and to dream big. (Pre-program, for Teen Counselors)

Reading is FUNdamental Pittsburgh (RIF) brings stories, activities, books, and literary resources to Art in the Garden. When RIF visits, campers choose a free book to expand their home libraries. (Final Friday)

Affirming, Strengths-Based Mental Health Support is available on site for campers and staff and includes options for individual counseling on-site with licensed clinical social worker. Campers are supported with strategies to address anxiety and build confidence. Our counselor is also available to connect families interested in long-term counseling with therapists in the area. Our counselor is an EMDR certified therapist and a Certified Trauma & Resilience Practitioner (CTRP-C).  (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays)

Earthen Vessels provides healthy, plant-based breakfast and lunch for free to every camper every day; Art in the Garden provides compostable dish ware to eliminate waste. Campers experience the benefits composting and healthy soil as they growing food they get to enjoy! (Everyday, breakfast and lunch)

Families are invited to enjoy guest musicians, STEAM activities, and more!

Be sure to check out our HIGHLIGHTS from 2021!