Ah, the childhood charms of summer camp—melted s’mores by an ashy fire, goosebumps raising on your arms as each ghost story gets scarier than the last and undoubtedly, chanting along to a campfire song or two. This summer, experience the youthful pleasures of camp all over again with Denver’s I Heart Camp, a single-night event aiming to reconnect adults with their inner-child. Accompanied by Grammy award-winning Infamous Stringdusters, Boulder-natives Grant Farm and a multitude of community performers, harmonies by the fire have never sounded so good.

Development and communications manager, Natasha Ballard explained that Heart & Hand lucked out when Infamous Stringduster member, Chris Pandolfi, was already acquainted with Tyler Grant and Adrian Engfer of Grant Farm, making for a seamless and exciting performance to grace the camp. “We are so excited to dance with our neighbors as we share in this one-of-a-kind performance and support the kids of Northeast Denver,” Ballard added.

Since their inception in 2007, the Infamous Stringdusters have amassed exceptional success including three awards at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards Ceremony and of course, Best Bluegrass Album at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Colorado’s own Grant Farm, whose formation occurred just a year after the Infamous Stringdusters’, has similarly followed a path of achievements, performing on stage with Sam Bush, Tony Rice and The String Cheese Incident to name a few.

penny ozinga, kait starr, I Heart Camp, Heart & Hand, summer camp

Courtesy of Penny Ozinga Photography

Founder of Heart & Hand, Nikki Cady, has provided Northeast Denver with elementary-level summer camps for the past eight years with a focus on academic enrichment, social-emotional skills, health and wellness, family engagement and creative expression. After working in various homeless shelters, Cady identified a glaring need for after-school and summer programs dedicated to the community’s children, and thus, Heart & Hand was created — but her commitment didn’t stop there. Cady’s most recent production, I Heart Camp, wanted to extend the delights of camp back into adult lives.

“We started the I Heart Camp fundraiser to share the fun and enriching experiences we provide for our students with adults in the community, while raising money to reach more kids with our high-quality summer programs,” Ballard shared. “We want our I Heart Camp event guests to experience a ‘grown-up’ version of our summer program by having fun, experiencing different activities and enjoying time with friends — all while learning more about the need in our community.”

According to Ballard, founder Cady was inspired to start her organization through the simple act of coloring. One ordinary day, a young girl had drawn the outline of a basic home while looking up at Cady. She had informed her that the house was to be filled with other children like herself, and that way, the child would always know where to find Cady as well. From that day onward, Heart & Hand was born.

This will be Heart & Hand’s first year of I Heart Camp, joined by a partnership with Denver Public Schools Summer Academy. The event will take place June 8, 2018, starting at 6 p.m. at the Exdo Event Center. Tickets can be purchased here.

heart & hand, i heart camp, kait starr, summer camp

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