Community Arts and Media Project (CAMP)
- Saint Louis
Vision: CAMP operates an open and accessible space that fosters art, media, education, and urban sustainability as tools to connect local and global struggles for social justice.
The Community Arts and Media Project (CAMP) is a local independent effort to bring free and sustainable resources to its neighborhood and to the city of St. Louis. Through the means of art, media, open forums, open doors, event space and collaborative projects, CAMP provides a center for creative interaction, welcoming people of all ways of life.
Thriving inside of the historic Randall Building at the corner of Cherokee Street and Minnesota Avenue, CAMP considers its location in crucial juxtaposition with its mission. The crossroads of CAMP span out into an extremely diverse range of incomes, races, cultures and ideas. We want to be agents to foster cultural fusion and positive ideas. We believe that art and open spaces provide that agency.
The Community Arts and Media Project takes form not only as a space for the public but also as an umbrella for several groups who rent affordable office space inside the building and contribute to the vision of CAMP. These groups include the Confluence newspaper, Gateway Green Alliance , St. Louis Independent Media. CAMP has also given birth to new educational projects such as the South Side Workshop Exploring Appropriate Technologies (SWEAT), which not only focuses on human-powered technologies, but also provides a bicycle workshop for the neighborhood youth and broader St. Louis bike riders; South Side University, a local “free school” that offers classes which are taught and attended by anyone who wants to share, learn, and participate; the Bread and Roses Library, which features hundreds of handmade books, also known as “zines” a public access computer lab which is set up with wireless internet and useful software; and an ongoing indoor murals project.
Since its founding in 2002, CAMP has been slowly unfolding in its physical manifestation. As a grassroots non-profit, we have been able to completely rehab two floors of our 7,500 square-foot, three-story building with the support of dozens of volunteers doing thousands of hours of renovation work. We have used many of the most environmentally sustainable forms of rehab available to our budget, such as skylights for natural lighting, soy-based insulation, bamboo flooring, solar-powered attic fans, and endless amounts of recycled materials. Through the hard work of green architects and incredible volunteer effort, we opened our doors on June 2nd, 2007 to show you all this work we’ve done. CAMP hopes this opening was a point of departure to bring forth your visions of what we can do together. The future of The Community Arts and Media Project is now. Our history is now. We want you to be a part of it now. Share a skill, use a public computer, help out in your local community garden, eat an organic peach from one of our backyard trees.
Currently we have an ongoing afterschool program for neighborhood youth, regular art shows and documentary screenings and other events, a number of dance groups that use the space regularly, a mental health support group that meets here, a community garden, a free bike workshop, computer classes and computers running Edubuntu, and other youth programming. We hope to soon offer classes and workshops that are adult-focused as well.
- Gateway Greens
- St. Louis IMC
- Southside University
- SWEAT Bikeshop
- St. Louis Icarus Project
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