All are welcome

By Bob Zimmerman Staff Writer

There are many spaces and activities to be welcomed to at the Paramount Center for the Arts in downtown St. Cloud. Stage shows, art exhibitions, educational studios in a wide variety of mediums and a gift store are all part of the Center’s mission to “provide opportunities for artistic production, creative exploration, arts education and the enjoyment of arts and entertainment.” The Center collaborates with many local, state and national organizations to fulfill its mission and improve artistic opportunities for all people in central Minnesota.

The historic Theatre, built in 1921 and renovated in the 1990’s “serves as a stage for rent by numerous community groups to perform as well as a location to attend professional performances by touring musicians and theatrical groups” according to their website. Performers scheduled for May include Magician/Illusionist Jason Bishop, the Kingston Trio Legacy Tour, the St Cloud Municipal Band, Boys and Girls Club, the St. Cloud Singing Saints and more. The full schedule of music, drama, dance and comedy events is available at www.paramountarts.org.

Art exhibitions in the theatre lobby, across the street in the Gallery St. Germain and in Studio C feature Central Minnesota artists and typically are four to six weeks long. Each exhibition has an opening reception that is free and open to the public, most often occurring on Thursdays. Meeting the artist and getting information from the walking docents adds to the enjoyment and understanding of what is being presented. Until May 26, “What Mental Illness Feels Like – Images and Stories” will be on display in Gallery St. Germain. It is an exhibit about what mental illness feels like to the people living with it, as visually interpreted by Avon photographer Barb Kellogg. The goal of her project is to “create an empathic relationship in the viewer through photography and storytelling, decrease stigma and increase awareness of mental illness; and, ultimately, to humanize it.”

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