Local children prepare for final summer camp musical performance

Numbers from the musical “The Lion King” will be performed in Glendale this Friday, featuring some of the city’s youngest residents.

YWCA Glendale’s summer camp for youth called Camp Y encourages children to explore the arts and expand their knowledge of skills such as singing, dancing and acting.

Camp Y participants performed selections from musicals every other Friday while attending the eight-week summer camp, and its last presentation will be Friday, with the “The Lion King” performance. About 20 children, ages 5 to 11, participated in this year’s camp.

YWCA Glendale partnered with the dance and theater program of Glendale Arts to expand the services and instructors available for the young participants.

Camp Y reaches out to children from low-income families and children who have been exposed to domestic violence, so they can have a space to explore their interests.

“A lot of kids who experience trauma have a hard time expressing themselves. With a positive outlet, they can express themselves and build confidence through art,” said Tara Peterson, executive director of YWCA Glendale.

The camp’s sponsors — Glendale Arts, Las Candelas, Kiwanis Club of Glendale, National Charity League Glendale Chapter, Assistance League Glendale, and Girls on the Run Los Angeles — each sent members to be counselors and instructors for the campers.

Through the arts, Camp Y aims to teach children about communication, both through their words and through art, to help them later as adults.

“These are kids who would not have any opportunity do music and dance because those classes are really expensive,” Peterson said. “Bringing trained artists to work with kids who wouldn’t have had an exposure to it before.”

Camp Y’s presentation of numbers from “The Lion King” will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the YWCA of Glendale, located at 735 E. Lexington Drive.