Paramount School of the Arts Raises the Curtain

The Paramount Theatre has been a hub of arts and music in the heart of Aurora since 1931. But now, the future stars of the stage could be taught right next door at the Paramount School of the Arts.

“This facility will provide a place for all arts to be learned in one place,” said Shannon Cameron, director of education and community engagement for the Aurora Civic Center Authority. “They can have all their classes here. They can take that private lesson, then go to dance class, have a theatre class, have a visual arts class, and also have something to offer adults too which a lot of people don’t offer enough of.”

Plenty of Space to Learn

With 19 private classrooms, 10 group classrooms, and many other amenities, the space gives a wide variety of opportunities to prospective students.

They already offer classes ranging from improv to rap and everything in between.

“I actually can’t think of another professional theatre that has this type of educational facility at their fingertips,” said Tim Rater, president and CEO of the ACCA. “The scope of this art center, the John C. Dunham Art Center and the Paramount School of the Arts is so broad I don’t know of another opportunity like it out there.”

Brand New Rehearsal Space

The heart of the school is the JoAnne McKee Studio Theatre, which will provide a state-of-the-art rehearsal space.

Though the school will be offering classes throughout the summer, it likely won’t be fully complete until this fall.

And while the physical school is an exciting development, Cameron said she’s most eager to impact creative young minds.

“The arts definitely changed my life,” she said. “The idea that we’re creating a space that’s specifically for kids like that who need it is really rewarding for me. But I think mostly I’m just excited to see how teachers will transform those lives, how our kids’ feedback will transform others’ lives as well.”

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

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