In Photos: ExploreAsia Summer Camps

Asia Society Texas Center’s fifth year of ExploreAsia camps welcomed 95 campers across six sessions that explored social issues in Asia, art and cultures of East Asia, Japanese manga (comics), art of the South Pacific, and dances of India and China. ASTC’s camps are fun, unique experiences that highlight the diverse cultures of Asia and how these cultures have contributed to our global society. Instructors create and teach a week-long curriculum to children ages 6-14 through hands-on activities that expand their knowledge of Asia and encourage them to continue learning outside the classroom.

Camps began in June with Be the Change: Exploring Culture through Children’s Connections. Instructor Nida Alavi led campers through activities and projects that explored issues of discrimination, education, and equality in Asia, and how these topics connect to our local communities in the greater Houston area. Campers ended the week by creating a mini-museum that highlighted each camper’s research into an activist they had personally chosen.

The Anjali Center for Performing Arts came in at the end of June to put on Dances of India, teaching the campers to perform dances inspired by traditional and contemporary Indian traditions. The students learned about the history of the dance, clothing, and costuming – and even got to make their own props. 

Unveiling the East explored China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines through in-depth lessons and art projects. Instructor Vehishta Kaikobad led campers through projects where they created ink paintings, masks, ceramics, stilt houses, and more. The week ended with a reception for family and friends to view the projects from the week, and campers presented their knowledge of East Asia through a trivia contest with the audience.

In July, Manga Style! took a look at creating Japanese comics. Campers discovered how wood block prints, Buddhist scrolls, and events in Japanese history have influenced this popular form of storytelling. They also looked at the work of influential manga artists and analyzed their styles, learned through drawing tutorials, and worked throughout the week to create their own short stories.

During Oceanic Adventure, campers took a trip with instructor Vehishta Kaikobad to a different island each day, including Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji. The week was filled with art projects, games, and traditional dances, and ended on Friday with a performance written by the campers and a reception to view the art projects from the week.

And finally, camps closed out in August with Dances of China, where campers learned three different dances with traditional Chinese props from instructors at Dance of Asian America, and then got to dress up in colorful costumes to perform their dances alongside the members of the company.

Check out some of our camper's creative stories below!

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