AileyCamp Celebrates 30 Years!

It’s that time of year when parents are thinking about summer camps for their kid(s). But, there’s only one in the Kansas City area that was inspired by the late Alvin Ailey and teaches and inspires youth through dance. This year, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (KCFAA) is celebrating 30 years of AileyCamp.

“I am excited to celebrate AileyCamp’s 30th anniversary and the wonderful partnerships created with the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Kansas City Public Schools, Kansas City Kansas Public Schools and Topeka USD501,” said KCFAA Chief Artistic Director Tyrone Aiken. “Thousands of young people are inspired by Alvin Ailey and we are proud to honor his vision of bringing the best in arts education to students across the U.S.”

AileyCamp is a six-week summer day camp that introduces students to the physical and mental elements of dance. Through dance education, campers increase their leadership skills and enjoy a variety of athletic and social activities. They learn that dance is challenging, fun, and helps them in school, in sports and in life!

Each year, 100 boys and girls in Missouri and 100 boys and girls in Kansas are selected to attend the free, award-winning camp. Dance attire, meals, transportation, and field trips are provided. The cost of the six-week Camp ($1,275 per camper) is covered by KCFAA thanks to cash and in-kind donations from corporations, foundations, government agencies, community groups and individuals.

AileyCamp runs May 29 through July 6 and Campers will host a public performance at the end of camp.

“It is great to see the campers grow, apply the lessons they learned to life and sometimes come back to inspire the next generation of campers,” Aiken said. “We encourage everyone to support the campers and help KCFAA continue to offer this experience for 30 more years and beyond.”

Kansas City was awarded a competitive national grant from the Gannett Foundation to develop a replicable innovative summer program for middle school students in the KCMO School district. AileyCamp was designed to inspire urban youth, using dance to develop their self-esteem, self-discipline, critical thinking skills and creativity. KCFAA expanded AileyCamp into the neighboring KCKS District in 1999.

AileyCamp has received many awards and honors, including the prestigious Coming Up Taller Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and three federal agencies. For more information on AileyCamp and all of KCFAA’s programs, visit