An East Mountain performing arts group called Artrageous Artreach will take the stage at the African American Arts Performance Center in Albuquerque later this month.
In addition to that performance at the end of the month, Artrageous Artreach is hosting its first-ever free youth summer camp, also in Albuquerque from June 20 to 24, which includes a youth performance.
Artrageous Artreach is a performing arts troupe whose home base has been Tijeras for the past 30 years. The troupe performs a culmination of arts compiled from many years of traveling all over the United States and the world.
The troupe is an art and music circus which includes all arts on stage, with live music, live dance, live mural painting, puppetry and magic acts, attracting all ages.
“The locations choose us,” said Sophia Mitchell, an Artrageous entertainment specialist. She said theaters and other performance spaces reach out to the group and invite them to do shows all over.
Pre-Covid, the troupe averaged about 50 to 60 shows a year, Mitchell said. This year the group has already done 21 shows in March. “We started in Arizona and ended up in Florida. We traveled back to New Mexico through New York and the Midwest,” she said.
Artrageous Artreach started out as The Pink Flamingos, a world-famous traveling theater performance group which did local performances as well, including the Mayor’s Gala and events for Sandia National Labs. In 2015, the group turned into Artrageous and then opened its non-profit and starting donating what the group calls kid-show performance-based workshops.
“We wanted to grow outreach to include more kids,” Mitchell said, adding, “[With the camp], we wanted to start in New Mexico, our own backyard.” The focus of the arts camp is underprivileged youth.
This year the program is limited to Bernalillo County and outreach was done with the partnership of the African American Performing Arts Center and Artrageous. Mitchell said the group does plan to keep the camp going and to expand to include other areas in the state. She said the biggest barrier right now is transportation for the kids.
“What fuels us is using the arts as social emotional skills. Skills that carry into the lives of children… skills like math, teamwork, working together, being kind, being supportive and developing confidence,” said Mitchell.
The camp is offered though the troupe’s non-profit “Artreach” initiative, which focuses on “exploring multiple art forms including dance, vocal and performance art, set and costume design.”
The camp includes student-led art performances, theater games, and brain- and team-building activities for kids ages 10 to 14. The performing arts camp is made possible by a partial grant from PNM. Additional sponsors include Celebrity Enterprises, The McCune Foundation, The African American Performing Arts Center (AAPAC) and One Albuquerque.
Daily activities at the camp focus on instilling specific values such as creativity, kindness and teamwork, through a curriculum built around art literacy, inclusion, public speaking, creativity and social emotional learning.
Campers will host a final performance that they will create during their week at camp. The show will be on June 24, starting at 12:30 p.m. at the African American Performing Arts Center at the State Fairgrounds.
“After navigating these past couple of years of pandemic craziness, we know how badly kids need a safe, fun experiences to reconnect them to their community,” said Lauri Francis, one of the producers and a performers in the troupe, adding, “It’s also so important for the parents to have a healthy and affordable option for their kids. We hope to give them that.”
Artrageous performs live on June 25 at 7 p.m., in partnership with the African American Performing Arts Center at the State Fairgrounds. All proceeds will go toward student programming at AAPAC. For tickets visit app.promotix.com/events/details/Artrageous-tickets. Tickets cost $10-$15.
The 2022 performing arts camp has filled all of its seats for this year. However, anyone interested in future participation can learn more information at artrageousartreach.org/summer-camp to get on the waiting list.