ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- The Paramount Center for the Arts in St. Cloud is transitioning to its new Executive Director.

It was announced last month that Gretchen Boulka will be taking over that role on September 1st. She has served as the Director of Performing Arts for the past six years.

Bob Johnson has been the Executive Director for the past nine years.

Boulka says what she loves most about the Paramount Center for the Arts is that it is a multidisciplinary arts center.

So what that means is we have opportunities that include performances, visual arts classes, and three exhibit spaces, and we also have a gift gallery where we feature the works for about 80 local artists for sale.

Boulka says they also have a satellite space in Waite Park for wood arts.

She says as she looks to the future of the Paramount, she wants to get back to the momentum of growth they were seeing prior to COVID.

Right now is that time when we're building and we're getting excited about being able to bring the arts not only to patrons who come inside our facility but take those things and go outside.  The two words I like to use to describe my vision are engage and inspire.

Boulka says prior to COVID they were serving about 100,000 people a year, and she is shooting to get back to that number.

Funding for the nonprofit Paramount Center for the Arts comes from ticket sales, registration fees, and donations.

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When it's fully staffed, the nonprofit Paramount Center for the Arts has 14 office people who are mostly full-time employees, along with 30 to 35 part-time help.

They primarily operate within the Paramount building downtown, which is owned by the city of St. Cloud.

Their next big event is the annual fundraiser on September 29th called Kings of Queen. They are planning an outdoor tent part with British foods, before going inside for the tribute to the band Queen on the stage at 8:00 p.m.



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