Our Story


President and CEO Tim Rater imagined opening a school of the arts when he interviewed for the position ten years ago. A decade later, our dream is now becoming a reality. The new Paramount School of the Arts will celebrate its Grand Opening on June 1, 2019, and offer over 40 camps this summer to area youth.   

Paramount School of the Arts is home to students who feel differently, dream differently and express themselves differently. We are here for the young children who are naturally creative and imaginative in their early years. We are for the teens who are a bit braver, a bit bolder and a bit more determined. We are for the adults and seniors that are still dreaming, still growing and still taking risks.

This is a brave place to push yourself, to learn perseverance, to amplify your creative voice and vision and to become a better human. You will have access to some of the finest teaching artists and professionals in the country, many that you’ve seen on the Paramount Theatre stage. We look forward to welcoming you to the ever-growing, never-ending Paramount Family.


The new Paramount School of the Arts is housed in the John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center located next to Paramount Theatre in Downtown Aurora. The Dunham Aurora Arts Center will also include new rehearsal space for the Broadway Series, guest artist apartments, a restaurant and affordable artist housing.

The new school facility will include over 20 private studios, 10 large classroom spaces, a dance studio and the beautiful new McKee Studio Theatre, a flexible performance space which doubles as a dance studio and classroom. The school is a home to students of all ages and ability to study both privately and in a group setting.


The Aurora Civic Center Authority is committed to being a defining catalyst for personal and community transformation by: making the performing arts accessible for every age and socio-economic background, introducing the magic of live theatre across generations to encourage expansive imaginations and broad views of people and the world, and contributing to the future stability and growth of Aurora’s downtown.


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