Art in the Garden

Registration is full for Art in the Garden 2019. If you’re still interested in enrolling your child, let us know and we will put you on the wait list. To do so, please contact us at 412 592 5711 or Thanks for your interest!

Art in the Garden is OMA Pittsburgh’s first educational program. It’s centered around investing in the resiliency and social and emotional development of Pittsburgh’s youth. See our Art in the Garden 2019 Brochure.


 WHO: Children ages 4-11. For more information about our teen program, contact us.
*Children younger than 4 may attend with a parent or guardian
WHEN: Nine weeks, from June 24th-August 22nd ; Mondays-Thursdays
WHERE: We have two sites! Campers can enroll at a single site or at both sites.
Site one—Mondays only 9-1 at the 
African Healing Garden in Larimer at 160 Meadow Street
Site two—Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 9-1 at Borland Garden in East Liberty at the corner of Black Street and Beatty Street
COST: Campers receive free breakfast and lunch from Earthen Vessels. Camp is free for all children eligible for free/reduced school lunch and low cost for all other participants. Registration priority is given to underserved youth from the neighborhoods we serve.

Weekly Schedule with our Community Partners

Art in the Garden features workshops with community partners that empower youth to see themselves as creators of positive change. Our 2019 community partners:

Mondays at the African Healing Garden in Larimer:
The Clay Workshop will provide the tools and materials for youth to make a series of unique clay artifacts. Youth learn about a variety of surface treatments such as burnishing, stamps, texture and glaze and the low fire technique, Horsehair Raku. As youth discuss what their clay piece needs to survive the firing, which they do in a kiln built on site, they also have the opportunity to discuss resilience and what they each need in order to thrive in the face of challenges. Building on sequential firings, youth learn to create more durable and better-constructed pieces.

Every-other Monday at the African Healing Garden in Larimer:
The Storymobile from Reading is FUNdamental Pittsburgh will bring stories, activities, books, and literary resources to Art in the Garden. Each time The Storymobile visits, youth will be given a book to expand their home libraries.

Tuesdays at Borland Garden in East Liberty:
TOPittsburgh will provide interactive theatre and drama workshops each week, using exercises and games from Theatre of the Oppressed. In Theatre of the Oppressed, developed in the 1970’s by Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boal, participants analyze systems of oppression, share stories of oppression from their own lives, and rehearse strategies to overcome these systems and make positive change in the world. Boal’s approach is across the globe in a variety of fields and contexts, including: politics, therapy, conflict resolution, and education.

Wednesdays at Borland Garden in East Liberty:
Sankofa Village for the Arts will engage youth through West African musical and performance traditions. Youth will use sound and movement as a tool for regulating emotions, and developing self-esteem, self-discipline, and self-determination.

Thursdays at Borland Garden in East Liberty:
Arts and Ecological programming led by our incredible teaching staff.

Some Thursdays at Borland Garden in East Liberty:
SOAR Coaching Academy provides a workshop in which youth will experience the value of being their true selves and choosing to live an authentic life based on positive self-image, identifying their strengths, and connecting to others. 

Earthen Vessels provides free breakfast and lunch for all of the youth.

We Believe

We believe that when we grow in our understanding of connectedness to ourselves, each other, and our earth, we are able build a better neighborhood.

We believe mindfulness practices have the power to help youth as they work to reframe untrue and distorted or limiting beliefs and that this can create space for the positive transformation of self, family, and community.

We believe it is morally imperative to prevent early childhood adversity and equip adults with tools to support youth.

We believe that all people deserve access to healthy food.

We believe all people have a right to easily access and enjoy green space.

We believe children need nature and we believe in the transformative power and healing potential of nature.

Why do social and emotional learning and resilience matter?

All of our programming invests in the resiliency and social and emotional well-being of youth. Youth develop abilities to identify and process emotions and channel their energies into activities that support their ability to live their fullest expressions of themselves. Research shows that youth thrive when they can recognize and express their emotions in healthy ways: their emotional intelligence and social skills increase, anxiety and depression decrease, they are less likely to bully others, they have better academic performance, and they have stronger leadership skills.

Surviving to Thriving Seminars

Surviving to Thriving training seminars are free and open to the public. Our vision is for Pittsburgh to become a model for best practices in social & emotional learning and in trauma informed care & resilience. In order to support this vision, we at OMA Pittsburgh hold Surviving to Thriving seminars.

Save the dates! Summer 2019 Surviving to Thriving Seminars are Saturdays, June 15th & August 10th. Attendees—educators, administrators, parents, grandparents, and anyone working with youth—will gain an understanding of social, emotional, mental and behavioral health issues and learn necessary skills to support youth. Keynote speakers and workshops teach concrete, actionable holistic skills adults can use to support youth in developing resilience and stronger brain architecture including: developing mindfulness practices, strengthening conflict transformation, fostering supportive relationships with youth, and skills that support youth for development of social and emotional intelligence. Using community collaborative learning sessions, we are developing greater awareness about the needs that exist for healthy youth development and holistic and accessible skills that can support the healthy development of mind, body, and spirit beyond our program in all aspects of their lives.


To contact us, please email:
Telephone: 412-592-5711


Art in the Garden is made possible by support from individuals like you, Borland Garden, The Neighbors Committee, and The Heinz Endowments.

“The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping our region prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to our work is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls southwestern Pennsylvania home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive.”