Unique East Portland program promotes performing proficiency

Although it lost county funding years ago, see how the Portland Metro Performing Arts Center keeps on helping youngsters learn a love of theater and dance …

Some of the young dancers getting ready to perform Glazunov’s “Four Seasons” before family and friends.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Looking rather like a warehouse, the building housing Portland Metro Performing Arts Center is, to say the least, unpretentious. But, within those walls, many a child has turned into a seasoned performance artist.

“We’re kicking off our new season,” Executive Director Nancy Yeamans tells us on September 9. “We’ve invited dancers here from all over Portland. These kids are great. They’ve learned the choreography for “Four Seasons” in an hour! Earlier today, we had the preschoolers participating in an art workshop.”

Center director Nancy Yeamans helping a young performer get ready for the performance.

Yeamans says Metro Performing Arts is important because it provides a teaching center for dance, theater and art instruction and performance opportunities. “There is no place like this on the east side. And, we’re here in the Gateway district, close to the freeways and bus lines, so we’re very accessible.”

A little extra practice always helps!

Specifically, Yeamans tells us, PMPA offers dance, music, theatre and visual arts classes, camps, workshops and performances, for kids from 6 to 14 years of age and all skill or experience levels. “New classes are starting, and registration stays open, on a space available basis.”

The PMPA studios are at 9933 SE Pine St. in the Gateway District, near Mall 205, a couple blocks north of Stark/Washington Streets.

To find out more about us visit their website at www.PDXMetroArts.org.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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