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We are Dreamers.  We are Visionaries. We are Believers.  We are Artists.


Thistle Rose Academy of Arts is an inclusive, non-profit, 501c3 organization that seeks to engage community members of all ages, walks of life and skill levels to explore, grow and practice all manner of the arts.


From performing arts, to technical arts, to culinary arts and applied arts, we seek to provide a collaborative, safe environment to learn and hone our crafts.  

We seek to train and support artists by providing affordable arts education programs and promoting life-long learning intergenerationally.  

We develop and provide opportunities to perform, practice, perfect and promote the performing and applied arts to all our members, with varying levels of difficulty.

We are a community who seeks out other organizations to partner with to provide awareness, help, charity and enrichment.

We are Dreamers.  We are Visionaries. We are Believers.  We are Artists


The concept was born years ago by President and Artistic Director, Rachael L. Rose. Rachael has a specific passion for performance but also for teaching and empowering others to learn and love the Arts. Rachael has always sought to help people retrain the old tapes of "I'll never be as good as..."; "I could never sing like that..."; "I don't read music..."; I get stage fright..."; "What if I'm not perfect..." and all the other tapes that people begin to listen to throughout their lives to a more positive message of "I love the Arts and the people I've become friends with! What we do is fun! Let's make an impact with one another and in the community!"

Thistle Rose started more than two decades ago as Dreamweavers Theatre Troupe but as the challenges mounted, life happened, and that company dissolved but the dream did not.

In 2013, Rachael and Taylor Alfano ran a workshop at the Farmington Players Barn Theater to help the larger community gain experience and confidence with preparing for and auditioning for theatrical performances. This workshop also provided an opportunity to perform a variety of Musical Styles from the Golden Era up to Contemporary Musical Theater featuring selections from Showboat; West Side Story; A Little Night Music; 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee; Wicked and more showing off the group and people who had not had a chance to perform in that setting. The workshop was hugely successful and showed that the demand existed for a community organization to fill that need.

Upon joining the staff at Trinity Episcopal Church in Farmington Hills as the Director of Music Ministry, Rachael sought to give the church choir an opportunity to perform bigger works such as Requiem Masses, Bach Cantatas and other major works and posed the question to the choir as "What if we did the Faure Requiem Mass for Good Friday and invited all our friends to come and sing it with us so we have a big, fortified, confident sound?" Thus, the Trinity and Friends choir was born as a ministry of the church. The Trinity and Friends Choir (TAF) undertook joint concerts with Devon Hansen of St. Andrew's Chatham Kent in Ontario Canada; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; two original Revue Shows; as well as annual Holiday and Spring concerts! After 3 years, it became clear that the performance group was growing beyond the scope of a church ministry and the time was right to form a larger 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, Thistle Rose Academy of Arts, to provide a home for performance groups like TAF.

Thistle Rose Academy of Arts officially incorporated in 2017 and achieved it's recognition as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization 6 months after incorporation.

Though not a "ministry" of nor directly affiliated with any church, Thistle Rose Academy of Arts is closely tied to the Interfaith Community of Farmington and Farmington Hills and often partners to engage in fundraising efforts for other humanitarian causes, charitable organizations, and ministries such as Trinity in the Woods and First Presbetyrian Church of Farmington, Neighborhood House, C.A.R.E.S. of Farmington, and is a standalone nonprofit organization made up of community members doing good for the community.

Focused on education through mentoring, Thistle Rose has expanded beyond the performance aspects of the Arts to include all Design, Production Management, and other applied Arts such as Culinary Arts. Thistle Rose thrives because our community is built through people of interfaith, intergenerational, and interdisciplinary backgrounds.

We are Dreamers. We are Visionaries. We are Believers. We are Artists.


The organization's name, Thistle Rose Academy of Arts, comes from co-founder and Artistic Director, Rachael L. Rose.

The Thistle and the Rose imagery has many entendres, just as music and theater do and were chosen for a number of reasons representative of Ms. Rose and all the people who form the Academy. The names are obvious: the Scottish Thistle is the national flower of Scotland and the Rose is her last name. However, roses have long been symbolic in Scottish and Celtic history. Each flower has a barrier against threats, just like each person who is an artist does. Art, good art, requires vulnerability. Musicians who are actors and singers are their very own instrument. What more vulnerable place is there to be? Protective barriers, however, do not mean there is no beauty to be sought and found. Merely that there is work involved to gently, carefully and lovingly share the beauty with the world. Finally, the symbol of the faces of Comedy and Tragedy have long been associated with theater and the thistle and rose flowers together, represent a new iteration of "Comedy and Tragedy" symbolically to Ms. Rose.

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