Caldera is a non-profit, multidisciplinary arts organization serving low income midde and high school-age youth.
Caldera’s year-round youth programs make a difference in the lives of underserved young people from Portland and Central Oregon. Students become involved in our program in 6th grade and remain involved throughout high school, into college and their path to the professional world.
Our program fills the parental gap, providing positive adult role models and creating a community offering meaningful learning opportunities designed to make a long-term impact on young lives.
We reach out to young people who may not have regular access to the arts and outdoors.
More than 100 kids will be identified by counselors and teachers at our Arts Partner schools as being kids most in need of Caldera’s unique blend of arts education and personal support. In addition to monthly mentoring, these kids will experience life-changing summer arts retreats at Caldera’s extraordinary Blue Lake facility in the Oregon Cascades. For eight to ten days, they will retreat into the mountains with students from diverse ethnic, urban and rural Oregon communities to take part in deep learning experiences that are designed to build community. Every day, trained counselors support small teams of students in daily check-ins. Community circles, group campfires, performances and a challenge course help build trusting relationships among all students, creating a supportive peer group that is united by shared positive experience. Each day all students take part in workshops taught by professional artists who are also gifted teachers. Courses include music, art, photography, dance and creative writing and provide rich connections to Caldera’s stunningly beautiful outdoor environment.
Young people become involved in our year-round program in 6th grade and are encouraged to remain involved through the years that lead into college and their path to the professional world. After attending one of our summer camp retreats, we reconvene for weekend art intensives and send artists to connect with youth in their schools throughout the year.
Students new to our program will first attend the Discovery Camp, an 8-day retreat serving kids in grades 6-8. During Discovery, students will enjoy introductory arts experiences in a wide range of art forms designed to spark their creativity and interest in the natural environment.
The Immersion Camp, a continuation of Discovery, is a 10-day retreat serving students in grades 9-10. In Immersion, students will apply to study one artistic discipline with a professional artist.
If students are interested in furthering their artistic pursuits beyond Immersion, they may apply to the Apprentice Program. Apprentice is for students in grades 11-12.