Cinemakidz is a Brooklyn-based youth arts STEAM educational program, offering children ages 5 -15 the opportunity to explore the world of movie-making in an engaging and interdisciplinary manner. We offer after school classes, birthday parties, summer and vacation camps, weekend workshops and free events throughout the city. Filmmaking is such an amazing all-encompassing process. Children who take our classes often realize passions they never knew existed. We work closely with every student to help them discover what they love about filmmaking. We see movie making as a means to explore the world around us in a hands-on exciting way. Our classes are interdisciplinary in their design; several include building, robotics, historical research and critical thinking skills, writing, art, engineering, and more.
Cinemakidz was founded by Ingrid Aravena in September 2015. Prior to developing her own business, Ingrid worked at several renowned NYC camps and educational institutions. Cinemakidz started small, in schools in Brooklyn, and since then has expanded to over 8 after school partnerships, and a full summer day camp in NYC. We serve over 1000 children every year, and continue to grow and reach more kids throughout the five boroughs and beyond.
The organization has cultivated a vast network of talented colleagues and friends that support the mission and vision of Cinemakidz. CinemaKidz hires professional guest educators and freelance filmmakers, artists and movie buffs to assist with classes and movie productions.
We see film as a means to explore the world around us. The program focuses on kid-made projects from start to finish. Kids learn by exploring and having fun. CinemaKidz has developed a deep understanding of child cognitive development and the important role creativity plays in building self-confidence and critical thinking. The program is designed to engage children in ways that complement and enhance traditional education.
CinemaKidz partners with various locations to host birthday parties, workshops, after schools, and summer camps, making the program accessible for children and families. Summer Camp is at Pine Street School in the Financial District of Manhattan.
A graduate from the film and television program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. My goal as a Teaching Artist at Cinema Kidz is to show the students the magic of filmmaking and how that can be achieved in this highly collaborative art form. I want to instill the type of excitement for filmmaking that I felt when I was a young filmmaker in elementary school.
Levi is an award-winning media maker and educator who strives to build the creativity and confidence of young artists. His professional work has won several awards, including an Emmy and a College Photographer of the Year Award. Levi has a Master’s degree in Journalism from New York University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. As a teaching artist, Levi works to inspire young creators to dream big and realize their visions on screen.
Brooke McPheeters is from Kansas City, Missouri and is a Current NBA Dancer as well as a Former Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleader for 4 consecutive years. She has performed for Norwegian Cruise Lines, RWS Entertainment Group, Silpada Jewerly, and Broadway Dance Center just to name a few. Brooke went to the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance and graduated with a BFA in Dance and Minor in Business.
After graduating from SUNY New Paltz in 2018, Adam worked with several companies including Comedy Central, the Food Network, and WWD. Adam loves working with kids! He was a camp counselor for 7 years at the JCC in Staten Island. Joining the Cinemakidz team allows Adam to combine his passion for both working with children and filmmaking. Adam wants to help kids explore their imaginations and create something they will always be proud of.
Alex has worked with kids all his life. Starting as a camp counselor in high school, he began tutoring and teaching year round. He continued to work in elementary school classrooms through all four years at Sarah Lawrence College, where he studied Filmmaking and Screenwriting.Alex has wrotten, directed, and produced several short films, and loves working at CinemaKidz!
Teacher + Choreographer
Bree Breeden is from Cheraw, S.C. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from Montclair State in 2016. She is currently a dancer for various NY companies, filming and managing a production/ dance company at Proteo Media + Performance as well as teaching dance to all ages. Bree LOVES film, and has always been passionate about it, working on her own projects. She is excited to be at CinemaKidz teaching!
Andrew Nguyen is a graduate from Johns Hopkins University’s Film and Media Studies Graduate Program. He is a writer and independent producer that is willing to experiment in all different styles and genres. Andrew is inspired by family, food, and martial arts.
Hey, I’m Patrick! I’m a teaching artist and freelance filmmaker. I’ve enjoyed helping kids learn about film and stop animation for over a year now. I have a BA in Film and Screen Studies from Pace University. Outside of Cinemakidz, I freelance in film, specializing in social documentaries. Cinema can bring us together and helping kids make that happen is a blast.
Meg studied Education and Psychology at American University and then completed her Masters in Leadership for Educational Change at Bank Street College. Megan is a Teacher and Personalized Learning Specialist who loves being a part of the CinemaKidz team! As Camp Director, Meg makes sure that all campers are staying safe while having a ton of fun every day. She can can be found singing silly songs, supporting campers and teachers, and helping all things CinemaKidz run smoothly. Throughout the year, Meg helps train staff on classroom management, and helps fine tune our ever-growing, dynamic program.
Camp is Meg’s favorite time of year– she has been Camp Director, Head Counselor, Director of Staff, and wearing many different hats for over 16 years! During the school year, she can be found helping students and families in her private practice.
Ingrid is a born-and-raised Brooklynite who loves filmmaking, making things with her hands, and most of all teaching children. After attending Bronx H.S. of Science, she went on to major in Film and Sociology at Wesleyan University, and graduated with high honors for her thesis film. Ingrid has spent over 10 years directing well-known NYC camps, and planning programming with schools and families. From directing hands-on woodworking S.T.E.A.M. programs, to organizing day camps for girls throughout the city, Ingrid has worked with and planned engaging activities for kids of all ages. She is passionate about empowering children through inquiry-based learning.