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The Arts Are for Everyone

The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

Article by Lila Ruppe

Photography by The Arvada Center

Originally published in Arvada Lifestyle

In our busy lives, the appreciation and practice of art can fall to the backburner. The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities fosters the artist in all of us, whether you’re new to art or a devoted creative. Without exaggeration, Arvada Center has a creative experience for everyone.

If you’re looking to get hands on and uncover your own talents, explore Arvada Center’s classes. They offer a wide array of sessions, including musical theater, drawing, dance, and knitting, in various skill levels. Spring classes, from March to May, are offered in a variety of lengths. Some meet weekly for 8-10 weeks, and others are week-long sessions. Ceramics, run by Bebe Alexander, is a particular favorite with the community.

After spring classes, summer camps begin in June. Similar to their regular classes, summer camps provide a space to learn and explore creatively in a variety of artistic disciplines. They are perfect for kids, allowing them to have fun while flexing their creative sides.

Introducing youth to the arts is a pillar of Arvada Center’s values–an especially impactful mission following the COVID-19 era during which many children’s art programs were forced to go dark. The center recently presented Charlotte’s Web, a classic story perfect for all ages. Arvada Center has a school programs division specifically to expose young people to theater and the arts. School groups find great value in attending the performances and participating in classes. The experience allows students to create memories while enriching their education with the arts.  

As part of their outreach program, Arvada Center’s teaching artists travel directly to schools in the Denver area, giving students creative experiences they might not otherwise be afforded. “Live theater builds empathy and helps you understand people who are not like you, which, particularly when you're young, is so important and wonderful,” notes Sarah Kolb, Director of Marketing and Communications. Students can attend live theater performances, visit the art gallery, and learn hands-on about pottery, drama, dance, and more.

The art gallery is currently featuring an exhibit called Art + Science which explores the connection between science and creative expression. The center's 10,000 square foot gallery space highlights living artists from Colorado and the western region, with about four public exhibitions a year.  

Attend a play at Arvada Center to have a wonderful evening while stimulating the extraordinary Colorado art scene. At the end of February, the center opened Our Town, an iconic American play by Thornton Wilder. Our Town is a cerebral and compelling look into the nature of life and family. Originally written in 1938, Arvada Center has revitalized it for modern audiences.

This month, they are opening their final musical of the season, a classic comedy called Damn Yankees about a man making a deal with the devil to guarantee the success of his baseball team. Beginning in the summer, Arvada Center will open their outdoor amphitheater space for a slate of concerts with national touring acts.

Artistic director Lynne Collins values quality casting with a particular appreciation for local Colorado talent. Arvada Center features a repertory company, through which their group of actors rehearse and rotate through multiple plays in their own black box theater space. Every aspect of design and production happens in-house. Costumes and sound are artfully designed and sets and floors are painted all in the Arvada Center, on par with the impressiveness of Broadway tours.

Arvada Center has a unique position within the city. It was part of the city of Arvada until about seven years ago, when it became a non-profit.  “We have patrons and volunteers who have been coming to the Arvada Center for forty years, which is such a wonderful community of people to have,” Sarah says.  

Explore Arvada Center’s 2023-24 theater season, plus their classes, concerts, and more, at arvadacenter.org, and stay connected with updates by following them on social media @arvadacenter.

“Live theater builds empathy and helps you understand people who are not like you, which, particularly when you're young, is so important and wonderful." --Sarah Kolb, Director of Marketing/Communications,

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