In 1996, three-year-old Samantha wanted to take ballet. No dance programs accepted her, due to her cerebral palsy. Determined that no child should be denied the richness of an arts education, her mother Cathy Binstock founded The River Performing and Visual Arts Center. Since its founding, The River has served over 35,000 students with disabilities, and their siblings.
With a common goal — to extend arts access to children of all abilities — Theatre Under The Stars merged with The River in 2010. This revered pairing of two nonprofits broadened TUTS’ educational reach into the city’s disability community through the demonstrated expertise of The River. Whether kids are twirling or tapping, singing or stenciling, The River’s year-round, accessible classes allow all children to delight in self-expression through the performing and visual arts.
On Saturdays in the fall and spring, The River offers instructional-based arts classes for individuals with disabilities, ages 4 to adults – as well as their siblings. Students can enroll in a distinct arts discipline that interests them, including music, dance, visual art, and acting. In the summer, The River provides an arts enrichment day camp with week-long sessions focusing on all aspects of musical theatre. These programs culminate in an celebratory opportunity for the students to perform for their family and friends.