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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Art Talk – Big hair, big shoulders, big dreams


While prom season traditionally explodes in the spring, the Academy of the Arts is taking an innovative approach this year. The nonprofit arts-integrated educational institution is hosting “Love Will Lead You Back” 80s Prom Gala on February 10 at the Yellow Box Theater, 1635 Emerson Lane.

Attendees are encouraged to dress in theme and get ready for an exciting evening of dinner, drinks, and a live performance featuring superstar Taylor Dayne, the pop icon whose debut song, Tell it to My Heart, turned her into an overnight success.

When asked how Dayne got involved with the event, Dylan Ladd, executive director and co-founder of the Academy, explained, “Taylor Dayne joined our Artistic Advisory Board in 2021 when we formed the organization. She is close friends with one of our board advisors and was excited to support us as she strongly believes in the importance of giving back to arts education. We are thrilled to bring her to Naperville and show her the community that is here.”

Optimism is high for the nascent school. Assessment from the programming to date indicates that the Naperville area is embracing the presence of an arts school. Summer and winter break sessions were at capacity, and classes led by some of the top names on Broadway allowed students to hone their singing, dancing, and acting skills. Evening classes are currently available, and Academy leaders anticipate the launching of its pilot program for K-12 in the fall of 2024.

“The ultimate goal is to provide a place for students to receive high-level arts instruction, connect with the professional world, and understand the business side of the arts,” said Ladd. “This curriculum is offered in tandem with a strong academic program so that students leaving here are prepared to be at the top of their game in the arts world or any other professional setting of their choosing.”

Proceeds from the gala will support the Academy as it positions itself to open later next year. Tickets start at $125. VIP packages are also available and include priority seating, an open bar, a three-course meal, live concert, private meet and greet with Taylor Dayne and an after party.

Love Will Lead You Back: 80s Prom Gala
Fri., Feb. 10, 2023 | 6:30-11:30PM
Yellow Box Theater
1635 Emerson Lane
(630) 243-5100
Tickets: $125 – $350

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Debbie Venezia
Debbie Veneziahttp://www.artsdupage.org
Debbie Venezia is the Director of Arts DuPage, a DuPage Foundation initiative. Contact her at debbie@dupagefoundation.org or visit www.artsdupage.org.


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