1606 Lemay, #105 Fort Collins, Co 80525 Phone: 970-231-5309 E-mail: email@example.com
PROVIDE quality performing arts experience to all students, including those who might not otherwise have the opportunity. CHALLENGE youth to step outside of their comfort zone and try something new. INVITE them to contribute in a positive way to something bigger than themselves. DISCOVER and DEVELOP abilities and personal qualities that come from participating in the performing arts.
Arts Reach Center Inc. offers performing arts opportunities at local schools and independent open-audition productions for elementary through high school aged students. Year-round classes are offered in musical theater, dance, and visual arts to enhance a student's well-rounded education of the performing arts.
Many years ago when my husband and I had first moved to Fort Collins, I was Dance Director at The Colorado Academy of the Arts. For our dance recital that first year, we danced a re-telling of “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.” My jazz class represented the Fizzy-lifting Drink Room with a playful dance done with large bouncy balls. The hip-hop dancers told the part of the story that takes place in the Wonka-Vision Room, and so forth. It was an engaging and well-performed show. Afterwards, we were cleaning up the backstage and dressing rooms (of the Lincoln Center Main Stage). Dancers were excitedly gathering up their costumes and cheerful voices were heard all around as students recounted to each other what a fun time they had performing. Amongst all this busyness, I noticed one of my younger students – about 7 years old, standing alone in the middle of it all, with tears falling down her cheeks. I went over to her and knelt down and, thinking something had upset her, I asked, “Bethan, what’s wrong?” And continued when she didn’t answer, “You did a great job on your dance. The show was wonderful; the audience loved it!” Then she said through her tears, simply, “I know.” That was it. This little girl was so filled with a sense of knowing that she had done well and that she had contributed to something wonderful and bigger than herself that her little emotions were just overflowing. So, on my off days - or any day, I remember Bethan and keep that sense of what she felt as my motivation and focus. We all have something wonderful to contribute to an experience that is bigger than ourselves. Mrs. Jill Van Orden
Why I do what I do...
"In an ideal world, Jill Van Orden would be cloned. The guidance and direction she demonstrates child after child, cast after cast, year after year, allows the children she works with to take center stage, and to feel the empowerment and confidence boost they so often desperately need, and deserve. Jill has that rare quality of being everyone's mother and friend. She is the antithesis to the music teacher who tells us we can't sing, or the acting coach who breaks down the actor in an attempt to build them back up. Children of all ages and all levels of talent leave a Jill Van Orden/Arts Reach Center Inc. Production encouraged and enchanted, many of whom will go forward and follow a path they may never have discovered otherwise." Josh R.
"Participating in multiple classes and productions through the Arts Reach Center Inc. has nourished my child's soul and life. The experience has provided her with opportunities to make friends, learn and grow in every way, and has been a huge self esteem booster that has had positive effects in every part of her life." Angie A.
"My daughter Genevieve has taken music theater classes from Jill on and off for 4 years. During this time, Jill was an instructor at Colorado Academy of the Arts until it closed, then she started her non-profit Riverstone, and we are so excited to see her finally at her very own studio called Arts Reach Center Inc. You won’t find a more enthusiastic, motivating, patient, and amazingly creative and talented instructor anywhere! It is absolutely incredible to see her take a group of kids and motivate them to learn lines and songs, develop acting blocking techniques, learn to project and express themselves, and put it all together in an amazing performance. We love that there are weekly classes where kids can develop their basic acting, singing, and dancing skills in short chunks of time, and that there are also big productions to be part of when it fits in with your schedule. Jill has an infectious enthusiasm, a great sense of humor, and a wealth of experience in dance and music theater and we can’t recommend her enough." Diane D.
"I have never had my child involved is such an amazing program like the one offered at the Arts Reach Center Inc. We have tried many programs in the area that teach skills and technique specific to the activity and most programs rely on parent volunteers that do their best to work with kids on techniques not familiar to them. What we have experienced in Jill Van Orden is someone who is not only a master in her craft, but so willingly shares all her skills with each child. She has created an environment where children of all ages and backgrounds come together, are kind to each other, and through teamwork and fun learn so many expert skills taught by some of the best people I have ever met. Watching these children perform plays they have worked so hard to create is a wonderful and touching experience. I have seen my daughter play a leading role and I have watch her play a small part, but as long as she is working with Jill and her team she always feels like the star of the show. I have never seen her happier and I am so grateful for this program!! " Christy P.