FREE ACCESS TO ARTS OPPORTUNITIES:  The Prince George’s County Local Development Council (PGCLDC) funds free week-long performance arts camp for youth.  Partnering with the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA ) a non-profit arts organization, the two join forces to bring together music, drama, dance, and visual art in an intensive 5-day summer camp performing arts experience using opera fun performance art, fused with motivational methods to galvanize camper’s activities.  

by Patrick D. McCoy

Prince George’s County Local Development Council (PGCLDC) and the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA) partner to present CAAPA C.A.M.P. South (Cultivating Artists, Musicians and Performers) from Monday, August 9, 2021 through Friday, August 13, 2021.  At the conclusion of the camp, the campers will be showcased in a culminating performance on Friday, August 13 at 6:00 pm with a visual art display starting at 5:30 p.m.  Campers will showcase their dance, theatre, music and visual art talents at the free-to-the-public showcase.

An exciting aspect of this year’s camp is that it will be housed at the newly launched CAAPA Cultural Center (CCC), located at the Henson Valley Christian Church, 1900 Tucker Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744.  The camper’s day is from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, with breakfast, lunch and snacks daily, along with fun activities, crafts, games and interactive sports.   The week-long program is free of charge to children grades K to 8th grade (5 to 13 years old).  Parents must provide their own round-trip transportation daily.

Now in its third year, the camp is designed to provide youth with personal and creative experiences. Working with outstanding artists-educators, the campers under their guidance explore and discover their own individual talents, self-esteem, and confidence.  Whether it’s through music, drama, visual art, dance or master classes in opera, step, or the behind the scenes career-building aspects, campers are also introduced to opera and classical music to help them feel comfortable and knowledgeable when talking about composer such as Mozart, Beethoven or Black composer Joseph Bologne-Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who is often referred to erroneously as ‘The Black Mozart.’

CAAPA’S creative and unique programming also introduces Italian musical terms such as ‘da capo’, an Italian musical term that means at the top or at the beginning. Each morning campers and staff use this as an opportunity to meet at the start of the day allowing for a welcome gathering, announcements, recap, and/or pertinent information shared.  While ‘bravi tutti’ meaning ‘good job everyone’ is the daily camper gathering where both campers and staff come together at the end of the day with to share their personal experiences.  Each camper, as well as staff members and volunteers also display their talent at a daily Noonday Talent Showcase.

Joining forces to launch the C.A.M.P., PGCLDC believes the future is now and through partnership and collaboration, they can enrich the lives of students living in south county.  A similar camp had been held, CAAPA C.A.M.P. North in Landover, MD also with free breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided daily.

CAAPA is now accepting online applications for free registration at, by email caapacamp@4caapa.orgor calling the office at 301-839-1444.            

A native of Petersburg, VA, Patrick holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Virginia State University and a MM in Church Music from Shenandoah Conservatory. Formerly the Performing Arts Columnist for Washington Life Magazine, he currently is a freelance writer, publishing articles for several noted publications, including The Washington Post, Early Music America Classical Music Voice North America, The Afro-American Newspaper, CBS Washington and He is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America, National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., The American Choral Directors’ Association, a member of the Shenandoah University Alumni Board of Directors and a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He serves as Organist/Choirmaster at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Zion Parish in Beltsville, MD and as an adjunct instructor of music at Virginia State University.  Visit  Follow him on twitter @PatrickDMcCoy, IG: PDM06 and subscribe to ACROSS THE ARTS.