This being New York City, we come across tons of amazing and fun things to do as a kid citizen, but every once in a while it literally hurts that we’re too old to sign up ourselves. This is one of those times. “A Mid-Winter’s Break Dream” is a special February break camp featuring a collaboration between  kid’s maker force Koko NYC and dance/theater group Spoke the Hub. A group of 20 lucky kids will get to conceive, build, and perform their very own immersive interactive theater production in one week. (A what? huh?) Read on to learn more!

photo: via Koko NYC Facebook page 

Making Making It Happen
Koko NYC was founded Monika Wuhrer in 2007 when, a mother of three boys herself, she saw a need for classes and activities that engaged kids’ natural curiosity and innovative thinking. She paired that with the seemingly endless stream of building and creative materials left on curbs and thrown out and now oversees all kinds of fun and stimulating classes and camps that get kids conceiving and designing and building.

photo: Miho Suzuki/Koko NYC Facebook page 

Related projects: The South Slope Soap Box Derby & Maker Camp Play:ground
Perhaps the most well-known project of Koko NYC is its annual soap box derby, during which participants in the week-long Soap Box Summer Workshop, dedicated to designing and building a gravity-powered car from raw materials get to race their rides. (In fact, the derby is free and anyone can enter, whether they’ve attended a camp or not; alums and kids-at-heart routinely take part as well.) Note: Registration is open now and filling fast, so if this is of interest, get on it!

But Koko NYC also leads a boat-building summer camp, simple machine and “extraordinary” machine classes, in school and after-school programs and even maker birthday parties.

photo: Koko NYC

Space + Materials + Imagination
Koko NYC recently moved into some semi-permanent digs in the Gowanus area of Brooklyn. (It didn’t really have one before, and eventually will be settling down for good in a nearby location.) Dance group Spoke the Hub is a fellow tenant of the building, and the two companies are coming together to collaborate for this one-week camp.

Under the guidance of the experienced teaching artists from Koko NYC and the dance, theater and circus arts teaching professionals of Spoke the Hub, campers will conceive, design, construct and perform an interactive theater experience that will engage all the senses. They will create a multi-room, interactive set, as well as costumes, props, lights, and of course, plot and characters. (Parents, friends, etc. will be invited to a performance on the final day of camp.)

The “canvas” will be the entire second floor of the building, as well as some additional space on the floor below. Materials will be sourced from places like Materials for the Arts, local businesses, discarded items on the curb, broken electronics, and anything campers want to bring from home.

The “story” and concept will be determined the first day of camp, with campers driving the creative process. (Personal agency is big at Koko NYC.)

photo: Koko NYC Facebook page 

Ready, Set, Make!: The Essential Info

“A Mid-Winter’s Break Dream” is designed for kids ages 7 to 13, with kids of similar ages working on various aspects of the project together.

Dates: February 19-23, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.; extended day option 3-5:30 p.m.

Cost: $550/week; $125 for extended day option. Scholarships are available for qualifying families.

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Koko NYC
234 Butler St.
Gowanus
917-586-0130
Online: kokonyc.org

Has your family done a Koko NYC class or camp? Tell us about it in the comments! 

—Mimi O’Connor