Tiffany Sims is the founder of Dream Arts Company. Her Co-Creative Director  auren Cornwell is also a former student.

Tiffany Sims is the founder of Dream Arts Company. Her Co-Creative Director auren Cornwell is also a former student.

Photo provided by Tiffany Sims

DACO celebrates its 20th anniversary

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 8, 2023

 Dream Arts Co. was started by Tiffany Sims  20 years ago to create more opportunities for local young performers.

Dream Arts Co. was started by Tiffany Sims 20 years ago to create more opportunities for local young performers.

Photo provided by Tiffany Sims


BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Twenty years ago, Dream Arts Co. was founded by Tiffany Sims, who had a vision that she brought to life in the Birmingham-Bloomfield community.

During her college years in Atlanta, Sims discovered she was passionate about working behind the scenes. Prior to this, she had primarily worked onstage as a performer.

She was selected to be an intern for Disney Theatrical Productions during casting in Atlanta for “The Lion King” on Broadway. This is what opened her eyes to realize what she was meant to do for her career.

“It was just really the jumpstart of me realizing ‘Oh, you want to create opportunities for people and you want to be behind the scenes,’” Sims said.

Her internship with Disney Theatrical Productions ended up helping Sims create the opportunities she had envisioned through DACO, which she said started in a big way.

Once she moved back to Michigan and had the idea to start DACO, she reached out to Disney Theatrical Productions about being their Detroit contact if they ever wanted to come to Detroit to hold auditions.

She was excited to hear back from them almost immediately when they agreed to this and offered to do workshops for her students. In the meantime, Sims called upon her mentors and former teachers to help her out.

About seven months later, they held the first Disney audition call for “The Lion King,” and that is how DACO started.

“Through the years, and trial and error, I have learned how to take my dreams and my visions and make them a reality, and it has been great,” Sims said.


DACO now
In the last 20 years, DACO has grown to connect professional directors, choreographers and designers with children and young adults to develop skills in performing arts. DACO produces musicals, choral ensembles, a resident theater ensemble, school residencies, and various performing arts workshops and camps each year.

DACO’s Arts With-In program offers camps, classes, seminars and residency-type programs to local schools, neighborhoods and community organizations.

For instance, they have a partnership this summer with Birmingham Public Schools where they will present their creative summer camps.

Among the other schools and organizations they have partnered with, they are currently at St. Hugo of the Hills School and Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School doing after-school classes.

“It is a great way for us to connect with the community and for the schools, especially, to have arts within their after-school curriculum,” Sims said.

Sims said outreach is an important component of DACO.

“I always want the kids to feel that they are not just performing for an audience but they are also performing for a cause,” Sims said. “Performing is bigger than just being under the spotlight. It is an artist’s responsibility to use their art to impact the world and impact humanity in a positive way as much as possible.”

Sims said these values are something that will always remain the goal of DACO.

In addition to their work with outside organizations, they also hold shows in-house. Typically they have a big summer musical, with smaller shows throughout the year.

Some of the smaller shows are more workshop-style, where students learn the basics of acting.

Their shows are usually held in the BPS theaters but the past couple of shows have been held at the Flagstar Strand Theatre in Pontiac.

Their most recent show was the “Wizard of Oz” to celebrate their 20th anniversary, which is the emerald anniversary, in December.

Terri Maisel is a parent who has been involved with DACO for many years as both a volunteer coordinator and as the parent of two children, who have been in a combined total of 15 DACO productions.

“I would say the No. 1 thing about DACO is it comes from an education standpoint,” Maisel said.

Maisel said the students learn about what it takes to be on a team and put on a show. She added that the organization has a very good family feel.

“I felt very comfortable just dropping her (Maisel’s daughter) off and knowing that they were going to be loved and supported and cared for while they were in the rehearsals and in this community,” Maisel said.

DACO’s upcoming show has yet to be announced. Visit to learn more.