July marks a decade, the Harrington Arts Alliance has brought community theater to the people of Loveland, teaching the art of acting to young and old alike while bringing joy to the community that comes to every performance.
Brittany Grim, who is now the executive director of HAA, said that when the nonprofit started in July 2011 (starting as a for-profit and changing four years) there were two students enrolled , one of whom was his nephew. Now, 10 years later, Grim said that the HAA sees an average of around 500 actors in its various programs, ranging from 5-year-olds to adult theater-goers.
“To go from two students to 500, I’m just incredibly proud of what we’ve built,” she said.
Marily Harrington said she was delighted that the Harrington-created theater has survived the past 10 years, a theater that offers a great product at an affordable price.
“HAA has built a reputation for quality, affordable and local theater,” she said. “It’s an important thing to give to a community.”
Over the years of teaching, the Harringtons have seen families of actors develop. Grim said she can name a handful of actors who have been part of the program since its early years.
But it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Arts Alliance along the way, as it made its mark on Loveland and gained a customer base. In the past year alone, the family and the alliance have faced pandemic closures as well as the struggle to buy their own building.
“Not many people know the details of ugly moments,” Grim said. “Few see through the darkest times and I will forever keep those people so close to my heart who helped us pay the rent.”
Grim added that while there had been plenty of bumps in the road, they couldn’t have gotten through without the people who helped them continue to bring creativity to Loveland. And despite the financial difficulties and the evolution of their work as people were stuck at home, the alliance was able to function thanks to the lockdown.
It came in new forms like digital shows and movies sold online, but did not mark the complete end of their normal productions. The alliance was able to hold its annual haunted house last October, albeit modified for health restrictions.
In April, the alliance was able to host its first in-person show in over a year.
Harrington said the fact that they’ve been through rough times shows what they’re doing is too important to lose.
“It tells us who we are meant to be,” she said. “That what we do is so important to this community. “
Of all the trials, the hardest, however, was the loss of Steve Harrington, Brittany and Brandon Harrington’s father who had played a key role not only in the alliance, but also in Brittany and Brandon’s love for the theater.
Grim said keeping the business alive is the best way to honor his father every day.
“There is no better way to honor my father than to keep the theater alive,” said Grim. “It’s being able to fuel that fire in children and keep that passion alive. We are called Harrington Arts Alliance and I am so happy that Harrington is on behalf of our company because he is our father. This is what we did together and this is what I will continue to do to honor him and feel him close to me. It’s an amazing thing and I’m so grateful to have it. “
“Steve’s heart and soul was all about family and theater,” Harrington said. “The fact that this will continue is spiritually uplifting. “
With the hope of another decade on the horizon, the HAA team hopes to see continued growth and more shows.
Grim said being able to deliver this product to a large community has been amazing, saying she has seen it impact cast, production staff and viewers. She said she was so happy to be able to provide content for everyone at Loveland, ranging from shows like “The Little Mermaid” to “Rent”.
“Being able to offer something for everyone, whether it’s a nervous teenager or a 5 year old who loves Ariel,” she said. “We really try to do something for everyone while doing things that inspire our production team.”
Harrington said they gave the people of Loveland, especially children, special joy.
“It gives them so much,” she said. “It gives them a whole community. “
HAA will celebrate its decade of community service from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at its building, 575 N. Denver Ave.