Camden musician gives back to kids by creating summer band camp

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Camden musician gives back to kids by creating summer band camp
Arnetta Johnson, a musician who has toured with major acts nationwide, is now giving back to kids in her hometown.

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Arnetta Johnson grew up in a musical family, so it was only natural for her to pick up a trumpet at the end of middle school.

"It helped me develop discipline at a very young age," she said. "And it got me here, you know, it has me currently traveling the world with various big-name artists."

Johnson has taken her talents on tour as a musician for Terri Lynne Carrington, Beyonce, and AJR. But starting last year, she developed a new kind of musical passion much closer to home.

"Being from Camden, New Jersey and the resources that we have here, I just felt with all my success, that I have to make sure the cycle continues," she said, "And that other students just like myself have the opportunity to succeed."

Therefore, Johnson pulled together a team of her mentors and contemporaries to create Arnetta's Band Camp. It just concluded its second successful year of a one-week-long summer program.

"This is a direct reflection of what happens when you're in the city of Camden and everybody comes together and utilizes their resources properly," she said.

Some students have found the program helpful for breaking out of their shells.

"For me, in Arnetta's Band Camp specifically, I learned how to just be out there without being scared and learn as you go," said 16-year-old Shaleah Navarro.

In the future, Johnson sees her program growing to include 50-75 students and potentially incorporating a prolonged stay on Rutgers Camden's campus throughout the week.

To learn more about Arnetta's Band Camp and how to get involved for next summer, visit their website.

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