May 27—Rise Up is a nonprofit performing arts organization with a mission to provide affordable arts education to youth in the Yuba-Sutter community.
The organization was founded in 2018 by Julian Barkley-Brinson. Barkley-Brinson attended Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts and Yuba College before transferring to Chico State University and building a team of like-minded professional people.
Rise Up first partnered with the Yuba Sutter Arts Council to present the “Applause KIDS!” production that showcased the talents of some twenty students. In 2019, Rise Up hosted their first junior musical “The Little Mermaid”, followed by a summer arts camp at the Tri-Counties Community Center. For 2020, Rise Up was scheduled to present a production of “Beauty and the Beast”, but had to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, Rise Up is back with new funding and expanding its programs and accessibility. Three summer camps will be available to local families, all of which offer free breakfast and lunches through a partnership with the Marysville Joint Unified School District and Yuba City Unified School District summer meal programs.
Summer Arts Academy, Rise Up’s most popular camp, will return for its third year and is aimed at kids ages 8-14. This two-week program will run from June 20 to July 1, Monday to Friday, at Edgewater Elementary School in Maryville. Summer Arts Academy is a full day camp with a 7:30-8am drop-off window and a 5-5:30pm pick-up window.
In addition to quality training provided by experienced artists, the camp will offer other activities such as crafts, games and even s’mores. To conclude the session, a free performance will be prepared for family and friends to show what the students have learned.
Camp registration is available to Yuba-Sutter families for $200, and $100 for each additional sibling. Partial scholarships are available in an easy-to-fill form accessible online. Only 40 slots are available.
Next up is the new Rising Stars Camp which was made possible by a grant from the Sutter County Children and Families Commission. The idea for this camp was inspired by a collaboration with the First 5 Children and Families Commission in 2020, which produced the group’s Dancing for Tiny Feet program for children ages 4-6.
Rising Stars Camp was also designed for children of the same age group who want to explore the performing arts. Bridge Street Elementary School in Yuba City will host this camp, Monday through Friday, June 13 through June 17. Parents can choose between a morning session, from 8 a.m. to noon, or an afternoon session, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. departure and pick-up time will include a half-hour grace period, 30 minutes before the start of each session and 30 minutes after.
Similar to the Summer Arts Academy, Rising Stars Camp will feature lots of group activities, games and crafts, and culminate in a free showcase for friends and family. Only 40 slots are available and eight full scholarships can be applied for online.
Finally, one of Rise Up’s most anticipated events is the return of its musical theater program with The Lion King Experience. This camp will welcome up to 60 students, aged 8 to 15, in its first entirely free summer camp. A grant from the California Arts Council allowed Rise Up to fund this unique opportunity in which students will work in tandem with creators and staff to design and produce various aspects of the show. In addition to working on their assigned role, students will also participate in building the set and making props. This intensive two-week camp will end with a performance of “Lion King Jr.” at Yuba College Theater on July 22 at 6 p.m. The show will be open to the public and ticket prices are still being determined.
The Lion King Experience will run Monday through Friday, July 11-22 at Edgewater Elementary School in Marysville. The final days of camp will be held at the Yuba College Theater in Marysville, in preparation for the show. This is a full day camp with a drop off window between 7:30am and 8am and a pick up window from 5pm to 5:30pm
Staff requests that a recorded audition video be sent with the registration forms. All interested children will be accepted into the program as long as places are available. The video audition is only to help the directors know where to place each child in the show. Instructions for this can be found on the Rise Up website under “programs”. Those who register for this free camp can also benefit from a 15% discount on registration for the Summer Academy of the Arts.
For Barkley-Brinson and her team, providing affordable childcare and performing arts training to the Yuba and Sutter community is the foundation of the business. The name Rise Up was inspired by a line from the show “Hamilton” in the song “My Shot”.
“It’s just the feeling, at least for me, of getting out of that poverty and all that hardship sometimes,” Barkley-Brinson said thoughtfully. “For students who can persevere and grow out of it, I think we’re raising voices that need to be heard. And that’s what I’m passionate about, bringing those voices to light and giving those students the resources they deserve to grow. and flourish.”
For more information about these summer camps, to register, or learn more about Rise Up and its programs, visit riseupys.org or email [email protected] For families with a 7-year-old who is interested in one or more of Rise Up’s camps, Barkley-Brinson asks them to email him personally at [email protected]