Hi, everybody! My gosh, it’s June!

“You can see it in the trees,

You can smell it in the breeze,

Look around! Look around! Look around!
June is bustin’ out all over”!

(Thank you, Rodgers and Hammerstein!)

I’m bustin’ with pride that’s for sure! Saturday the doors of the Paramount School of the Arts were officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony presided over by the mayor’s Director of Communications Clayton Muhammad. Mayor Richard C. Irvin gave a great speech, as did Marilyn Weisner, wife of the late, great, Mayor Tom Weisner, and many other distinguished supporters including Project Manager Kirk Albinson of The Community Builders, The Dunham Fund’s Chair, Stewart Beach, and the man with a dream, Tim Rater! I like to sit next to Tim every chance I get on occasions like this. He beams. Wipes tears from his eyes. This is a major moment in his life. To be hearing the words of Shannon Cameron moved him and everyone there. Tim with Shannon, Paramount’s Director of Education and Community Engagement and her staff, have accomplished what so many would think is impossible. A pipe dream. Well, Tim’s and Shannon’s firm grasp of what it takes to get this done, galvanized Team Paramount. The school and the John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center, opened it doors to hundreds of folks absolutely enthralled with the results of the planning and heavy lifting that has wrought the beautiful finishes of the sparkling new facility. The atmosphere was electric, buzzing with excited voices, our fellow citizens, receiving the promise of a bright future here in Downtown Aurora. The City of Aurora and The Dunham Fund believed in the Broadway Series from the very beginning, then RiverEdge Park, and now have brought us to the school and arts center. Building on believing. Serving our community. 

The atmosphere was electric, buzzing with excited voices, our fellow citizens, receiving the promise of a bright future here in Downtown Aurora.

We had a lovely closing night party Sunday night for yet another first for Paramount, the world premiere of August Rush: The Musical. The standing ovation and cheering at the final curtain cascaded into the Grand Gallery where afterwards the cast and crew got to sit on the staircase with pizza and drinks and just feel close for one last time. For me, I am just in awe of how exceptional this company has been throughout the run. Excellent performances from excellent humans that have left a lasting impression on so many of our audience who enjoyed the privilege of seeing them. Many, many expressions of love and appreciation were shared before saying fare well and God bless!

And this weekend, Downtown Aurora is gonna be bustin’ out with rainbows and dancing in the streets for our second annual Aurora Pride Parade! Last year rocked my world! Yours truly was Parade Marshall and this year I’ll be ridin’ on Paramount Proud’s float: a tribute to Kinky Boots! Tireless Trent Stork has organized Paramount’s representation again this year (he had some 350 of us marching from Paramount alone last year!). Be there! We’re gonna “Raise You Up / Just Be!”

Love and thanks,