The Telluride Academy celebrates 30 years with a "Follies," Opera House, 8/5

The Telluride Academy celebrates 30 years with a "Follies," Opera House, 8/5

[click “Play” to hear an interview with Wendy Brooks and Elain Demas]

ATT00028 The Telluride Academy, shorthand for an aggregate of enrichment activities for young people, celebrates 30 years in business with a series of events, including “The Follies,” August 5 @ 7 p.m. for hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and silent auction. Show time is 8 p.m. The event takes place at the Sheridan Opera House.

Among those scheduled to hit the boards Thursday night:  Megan McManemin, Pam Shiffrin, Missy Balthrope, Sue Groner, Marcia Northrup, Mike Apt and Mike Knight, pictured here.

The history of the Academy is the story of the little engine that could. It is also the history of Telluride and the transformation that took place over the past 30+ years: slowly but surely, a small business in a poor funky town became a million dollar nonprofit in a robust ski resort. The truth is Telluride’s thriving cultural economy is thanks in large part to the Telluride Academy, the magnet which drew the economic engine known as second homeowners to the region, providing a great excuse to put down roots. Along with the Ah Haa School for the Arts, the Telluride Academy is a socially integrative force that unites second homeowners with one another and with primary residents through a shared love of children and experiences.

The beginning was modest. In 1981, Wendy Brooks, a single mom with three young boys of her own, started a daycare/camp to help other working mothers. The initial enrollment was six kids, including Brooks’ son Dylan. Today the Telluride Academy hosts 750 kids mentored by 50 instructors and specialists.

The Academy’s curriculum has grown with its campers and its international reputation. It is now balanced adroitly among a wide array of activities including classes in visual and performing arts, science and sports. Adventure travel programs allow students to leave the region for challenges in new environments, including overseas destinations.

To learn more about the Telluride Academy today, its illustrious past, and upcoming celebration, “The Follies,” click the “play” button and listen to an interview with executive director Elaine Demas and founder Wendy Brooks.

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