Early last month, FreemantleMedia and 19 Entertainment launched the American Idol
-inspired performing arts youth summer camp, and recently, the producers of the hit reality series announced that they are considering expanding the duration and locations of Idol Camp in the coming years.
"So much funding for performing arts programs has been drying up over the last few years, so we are really just trying to fill that gap and encourage kids to extend themselves, take risks and pursue their dreams," FreemantleMedia director Felicity Carr told Reuters
. "Ideally I would like to see our program reaching all around the U.S. and also touching kids from a whole variety of backgrounds and different cultures."
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Idol Camp kicked off on July 7 at Northfield, Massachusetts, with children between the ages of 12-18 being immersed in a 10-day program consisting of different classes, including one that educates campers on singing, dancing, acting, songwriting and audition techniques. Former American Idol
finalists, namely Bucky Covington
, Vonzell Solomon
, Jon Peter Lewis
, Kimberley Locke
, Ace Young
and Carmen Rasmusen
, were among the teaching staff at this year's camp.
Since enrollment was limited, applicants for the first Idol Camp were chosen based on their ability to demonstrate "enthusiasm, dedication, a desire to perform and a passion for the arts." Additionally, a percentage of the students were rewarded with fully paid scholarships based on financial need.
However, the producers also noted that the camp is not audition-based and does not give students an advantage should they decide to try out for the television series.
For the next few years, FreemantleMedia and 19 Entertainment are looking to lengthen the duration of Idol Camp from one month to three, and establish a West Coast location.
Meanwhile, auditions for the seventh season of American Idol
are underway. The show began the cross-country search for potential contestants in San Diego late last month, and will continue on to other cities in the coming weeks.
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image Courtesy of Reuters)