In Songs of Hope, kids get the life-changing opportunity to live and perform with kids from countries worldwide. This amazing summer performance camp puts kids aged 10-16 into dorm rooms with kids from China, Guatemala, Madagascar, Israel, Turkey, Italy and many other countries. Learning activities focus on how kids in other places live and what they think. The heart of the program is performance, starting with three weeks of intensive rehearsals. Kids prepare a concert of international songs while learning discipline and teamwork. Songs of Hope then brings its messages about people getting along to audiences in the Upper Midwest. Songs of Hope is not a traditional summer camp. Although any kid in the world may enroll for a fee, for many of the kids in Songs of Hope, the fee is waived or greatly reduced, or sponsors are found. When children get a chance to live with roommates from countries around the world, they start seeing beyond the ends of their streets and their villages toward a world loaded with possibilities. When they accomplish great things in rehearsals and on stage, they grow confident and willing to take risks. Our results have been extraordinary. Many of the Songs of Hope kids come from neighborhoods where less than half of their friends graduate from high school. Yet more than 95% of our kids graduate and most continue to post-secondary educations. Our alumni include a Fulbright Scholar, a Guggenheim Fellow, and others pursuing careers in music, dance, education, architecture, international relations, and other exciting fields. For the Songs of Hope audiences, they are given the extraordinary chance to tour the world musically through the eyes of talented, optimistic young people from many countries and cultures.
Interviews with past Songs of Hope participants