A project of Reif Center
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Founded in 1981, the Myles Reif Performing Arts Center attributes much of its longevity and growth to the award-winning national and international touring acts presented here, the strength of our highly praised dance program, the stellar quality of our world-class theater, and an overall reputation for providing excellence in every capacity--not only on our stage, but in our community, as well.
The Reif Center project was the result of two decades worth of work in the 60s and 70s and resources from the Blandin Foundation, Independent School District # 318, and the surrounding arts community. Myles Reif, President of the Blandin Paper Company and the Blandin Foundation’s Vice President at the time, was an integral player in conceptualizing the combination of an art center and the high school. Unfortunately, Myles passed away before the finished project was complete, but the building was named in his honor.
Another major proponent of the facility we now cherish was Lois Gildemeister. Lois was head of the Grand Rapids Performing Arts Council in the 1960s and 70s and fiercely advocated for, and worked toward, a facility for creative expression and world-class quality performing arts. Unfortunately, Lois passed away in 2005, but the theater she helped to build lives on in her name as the Lois Gildemeister Theater.
The Reif Dance Program was created in 1990, and through its years of growth and refinement has become as focused on education as it has on professional performance; as such, the dance program is one of the Reif Center’s greatest accomplishments. Reif Dance offers classes from ballet to jazz to tap to modern, as well as adult offerings. Reif Dance also created a Company for advanced students in 1994. This special opportunity gives upper division dancers a chance to perform in an additional show in the spring (“Dancing with Our Stars”).
The Reif Arts Council manages one of the premier presenting facilities in all of Minnesota. With a dedicated team of staff and board members, the Reif Center continues to present amazing productions. These productions, coupled with our professional facility utilized by numerous community events and organizations, and our ever-growing dance program, help us continue to grow stronger and reach further into and around our community and region.