Local teens had new access to arts experiences this summer, thanks to community partners and the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation.

Through the Tabor Youth Collective’s Summer Art program, teens received opportunities to explore theater, attend a play, learn video and dance, and study films.

“We are grateful to our community partners for supporting local youth and to our volunteer leaders John Nelson and Sara Edwards,” said Mary Ann Graham-Best, president of the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation. “This summer’s programming and partnership offer a perfect example of how we all can work together to provide increased cultural programming to the young people in our community.”

A partnership with Colorado Mountain College made it possible to bring professional theater-makers from New York City to Leadville in June. Young people ages 12-19 participated in a three-day “creating original theater” workshop.

The Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation sponsored 10 members of the Youth Collective to attend the performance of “The Fantasticks,” produced by the Lake County Civic Center Association and directed by Leadville’s Scott Carroll. “The Fantasticks” ran for four nights at the Tabor Opera House in July.

A Lake County Community Fund Grant enabled youth to take a performing-for-video workshop with area videographer Karen Onderdonk, plus a three-night workshop learning Latin and African dance styles with local artist Judah Arrington.

Periodic Brewing loaned a projector and screen for three movie nights where the youth watched vintage and contemporary performances on film in the historic Tabor Opera House lobby.

The Tabor Youth Collective is the brainchild of Nelson, who serves on the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation board, and Edwards, who serves as a volunteer. These locals developed the 14-day summer series for young people in the community to come together and expand their knowledge of theater and the arts.

“In our survey of the community last winter, parents and teens expressed a wish that there was a place for young people to gather and learn more about various art expressions,” said Edwards. “The Youth Collective summer program was our experiment at addressing that need. We are thrilled with enthusiastic participation from our teens and amazing support from local organizations and businesses. It sure takes a village!”

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