The River Merges with Theatre Under the Stars!
It is with great pleasure that we announce the merger of The River Performing and Visual Arts Center and Theatre Under The Stars! Our organizations have been collaborating on programs for more than two years…workshops, the Performance Troupe, Summer Camp…and we are taking the relationship to the next level, a marriage of like minds, to provide our special children the best opportunities to participate in the richness of an arts education. Together, we will continue to enrich lives and impact positive change through education and entertainment!
John C. Breckenridge Sandra Wicoff
President & CEO, Theatre Under The Stars Executive Director, The River
In 1996, three-year-old Samantha wanted to take ballet, but cerebral palsy affected her walking, talking, balance and eyesight. No programs accepted her. Cathy Binstock, Samantha's mother and a clinical social worker – vowing that no child should be denied the opportunity to participate in the richness of an arts education – rolled up her dedicated sleeves, contacted arts instructors and friends, and The River Performing and Visual Arts Center was born. The first class was creative movement for seven little girls with disabilities. Now in its thirteenth year, The River has served more than 13,000 children with special needs and their siblings.
The River offers a variety of classes in dance, music, visual arts and drama. Scholarships are available. The River program welcomes siblings. A nurse is on staff during the Saturday Morning and Fine Arts Summer Camp programs.
The River has been the recipient of the Mayors Award for Outstanding Service in the Cultural Arts and the Leadership In Action Award For The Arts. In recognition for her work as Founder, past Executive Director and Board President, Cathy Binstock has been the recipient of the Woman On the Move Award, and the Hannah Solomon Award of the National Council of Jewish Women. In April 2007, Cathy received the prestigious national Daily Point of Light Award: this honors individuals and volunteer groups whose service has helped meet the critical needs of children and youth in their communities.
The River has been featured numerous times on radio, television, and in the print media by: PBS; KTRK Channel 13; UPN 20; 104 KRBE; KPFT 90.1; Municipal TV; the Houston Chronicle; and H Texas Magazine.