From Our Executive Director
Welcome to PAA!
I hope you will explore our website and learn more about the incredible program we have to offer. If you take one thing away from this site, I hope it's the understanding that,PAA's programs do not focus on making the next broadway star. However, we are focused on creating a connected community, developing and building each student's character, and inspiring excellence through classes and productions.That's not to say we don't have some incredibly talented students. We do! But instead of focusing on the extraordinary talent in our midst, we choose to place the emphasis on each individual's contribution within the community circle, and how critical each part is for the theatrical experience to succeed. This includes those backstage, onstage, and in director, choreographer, management, design, and technical positions. The applause at the end is for every person who participated, including those who are not visible to the audience.Experiencing the power of collective achievement provides a foundation on which our students build an awareness of their place in our world, while growing through creative opportunities, and deepening their understanding that together, we become more than we are individually.
Dr. James Ramsey
Performing Arts Academy is a Non-Profit Theater Arts company based in South Denver/Highlands Ranch focused on creating community, building character, and inspiring excellence through performing arts education by bringing the transformative power of theatre to all people.
We strive to cultivate self confidence, enhance fundamental skills, and build the character of each participant no matter what their experience level. Under the tutelage of an experienced and professional faculty, PAA nurtures community values and appropriately tailors all educational experiences for each age group.
At PAA, we place a high value on the student experience and with that comes the responsibility to engage the student in dialogue around our core values: Curriculum, Character, and Community. In order to sustain a consistent method of instruction, our Teaching Artists create curriculums that follow or align with state standards for music and arts education. We also stress the importance of building an individual’s character through transformative experiences that can often lead to greater self esteem, leadership ability, service and acceptance of diversity. In addition, the value of being in community is simply allowing the student to recognize the connectedness we all share and how they function differently because of that awareness.
Create community, build character, and inspire excellence through performing arts education, and making the transformative power of the performing arts available to all people.
To transform our community and our world, through a generation of students who are confident in their self-worth, understand the importance of serving their community, and recognize the value in our individual differences.
What We Do
PAA provides performing arts education for students 3-years old through 12th grade in the south Denver metro area through high quality, character-building classes and musical theater shows.
Our History and our Future
The Performing Arts Academy (PAA) is located at 8817 South Broadway, in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. In 2006, Dr. James Ramsey created a theater arts program that would engage 26 children and their families, inspiring them to reveal brilliance and to grow within their community.
In the south metro Denver area, PAA is unique, attracting students of all backgrounds and employing quality, seasoned professionals with degrees in music theater, music performance and music education. The teaching staff consistently designs and implements curriculum that delivers a high quality experience in performing arts for children of all abilities. Our educational model focuses on teaching confidence, cooperation, collaboration, creativity, and community through performing arts experiences.
PAA has grown from 26 students in 2006 to over 1,300 students in 2022. Facility needs for staff and faculty have been accommodated by the continued generosity of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and area elementary and high schools. Long term strategic planning options include but are not limited to:
- Building successful programs in music and theatre for children.
- Expanding into local schools to enhance music and theatre education.
- Developing community partnerships to support and sustain growth.
- Creating a safe space where students are inspired, nurtured and challenged to learn, perform and grow.
PAA continues its efforts to become a self-sustaining organization, with partnerships, fund-raising and grant writing supplementing the current model of “fee for services.”
Resident Dance Director
Resident Acting Director
Resident Technical Director
Resident Assistant Technical Director
Our Core Values
Through Integrity and Leadership
- Building confidence and nurturing self-esteem through transformative experiences for our students.
- Inspiring an understanding of diversity that includes people of different abilities, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, faiths and backgrounds.
- Cultivating leadership in our students by modeling and fostering a spirit of kindness, generosity, collaboration and teamwork.
Through a balanced approach
- Creating an exceptional performing arts experience by setting a bar of personal excellence for both our students and staff.
- Providing experienced and professional faculty who foster respect and acceptance while challenging individual growth.
- Utilizing Colorado state curriculum standards to guide education and performance for each age group.
- Cultivating a community within a community by embracing diversity through shared experiences in the arts.
- Giving back to the greater community through fundraising performances for scholarships and local causes.
- Partnering with local businesses and other organizations through sponsorships and collaborations to create a “small village” for the performing arts that serves the surrounding public as well as our students, staff and families.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Statement
PAA’s mission and vision is an inclusive one. Our core values reflect acceptance of all people, promotion of diversity, and leadership through service, kindness, and generosity. PAA incorporates teamwork and collaboration into every program, encouraging students to share their learning and talents with the public.
PAA embraces values, policies and practices that ensure that all people are represented and treated fairly in the work of our mission, places of work, delivery of service, and community. We welcome the unique contributions that a more diverse collective sum of individual differences in views, abilities, experiences, knowledge, innovation, and self-expression brings. This includes but is not limited to those who have been historically underrepresented because of race/ethnicity, national origin, age, physical, mental, or emotional ability/disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizen status, genetic predisposition, marital status or religion.
PAA recognizes the critical role the arts play in our culture and national conversation, and accepts our responsibility to make positive change through our work, our practices, and our policies. Additionally, building an anti-racist culture requires intention and effort and we commit ourselves to the work of becoming an anti-racist and anti-oppression organization.
LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT STATEMENT
The Performing Arts Academy honors and acknowledges that it resides on the traditional territories of the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe Peoples. We also recognize the 48 contemporary Indigenous Tribes and Nations who have historically called Colorado home.We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future, and to all those who have stewarded the land and water for generations. May this acknowledgment express PAA’s commitment to a better understanding of Indigenous cultures and building and fostering relationships with Native communities.