Naperville, IL

(630) 243-5100

Same Programming, New Name! Academy of the Arts is now Illinois Conservatory for the Arts

Next event:

Velvet Social: For The Dreamers

with the Touring Cast of Back to the Future

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IMPACT: Musical Theatre

Session 2: August 5-9

Children and Art Immersive Art for a New Generation

How do you interpret art? Stop and look, read a book or listen to a lecture? Today’s art lovers are encouraged not to just view, but to immerse themselves in new ways designed to bring paintings to life. Although immersive art is a comparatively new concept, it’s not the first-time art has been examined from the inside out instead of the outside in.

In 1984 Stephen Sondheim brought Georges Seurat’s painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte to life in the highly acclaimed musical Sunday in the Park with George. The plot revolves around George, a fictionalized version of the French pointillist, who immerses himself deeply in painting his masterpiece.  The show not only gives the paintings’ famous characters beating hearts but allows their voices to be heard with songs like Children and Art and Finishing the Hat.

Fast forward to today and art has become even more immersive. Galleries have broadened audiences by introducing high tech projections that allow them to step into their favorite paintings. These shows reflect a cultural shift towards turning galleries into entertainment sites. From Van Gogh to Frida Kahlo, Klimt to Monet, its allowing artists to reach a whole new, often younger, audience who may never have dreamed of spending time in a gallery before.

The visitor experience has now become a core component of the work. They’re not longer simply spectators, but integral to the activation of the installation.

The beauty of immersive art is that it can be accessed by all ages. At the DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville, little ones can explore art hands on with their new exhibit Framed: Step into Art. This exhibit encourages children to ask questions and find answers through the exploration of art, gaining an understanding that everyone can have fun with art and appreciate it.

Guests can step back in time to 1916 to enjoy John Singer Sargent’s painting, Camp at Lake O’Hara. The painting depicts a busy camping scene, and children can pretend to cook a meal over the campfire, tell stories and rearrange items in a magnetic frame to show what a contemporary version may look like.

Traveling south of the border, The Corn Festival allows them to add ribbons and flowers to a floral tower in this piece from the Court of Fiestas in the Ministry of Education Building in Mexico City.

Finally, Be Your Own Mona Lisa allows them not only to learn about some of the painting’s famous parodies, but also step behind a cut out version to replace her enigmatic smile with their own.

As songwriter and visual artist Brandon Boyd says: “Art is everywhere and everywhere is art.” Perhaps now is the time to truly immersive yourself in it.

session 1 • june 10–14, 2024

session 2 • August 5–9, 2024

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IMPACT is popular and fills up fast! You'll be forwarded to the registration form to grab your spot.

James T. Lane / Dance

West End: The Scottsboro Boys, A Chorus Line – Revival (Palladium Theatre). Broadway: Chicago (Billy Flynn and Amos Hart) Kiss Me, Kate (Paul), King Kong the Musical ,The Scottsboro Boys (Ozie Powell/Ruby Bates), Chicago and A Chorus Line (Richie Walters). Tours: Jersey Boys, Cinderella, Fame the Musical. Regional Theatre: Guys and Dolls ( Nicely Nicely) Virginia Stage Company, Mary Poppins (Bert) Aint’t Misbehavin ,Drury Lane Theatre, The Wiz (Tin Man), Broadway at Music Circus,The Old Globe, The Little Mermaid (Sebastian) The Muny, A.C.T and Dallas Theatre Center. Encores/Off Center:Promenade,Grand Hotel, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope Concerts: Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops, Ottawa Symphony and many more. James is the creator of and the 2023 Audelco Award winner for Best Solo Performance for “Triple Threat” that played Off Broadway to great acclaim at Theatre Row in New York City. Mr. Lane teaches music theatre dance when and wherever anyone will let him! Instagram: @jamestlane

Syndee Winters / Voice

Syndee Winters (@syndeewinters) is an American singer, recording artist, and actress. Best known for her role as “Nala.” Syndee’s other credits include lead roles in Motown the Musical, Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar on NBC, and Hamilton. In 2020, Syndee founded R.O.A.R., a professional development program helping artists hoan their skills, transform their stage presence and navigate the industry. Inspired by the art of storytelling, Syndee’s tours the world with two magical productions. Disney Princess: The Concert and Lessons From A Lady: A Dedication to Lena Horne. Syndee is also an award- winning recording artist and her latest project with GRAMMY® winning producer Ben Williams entitled, “Butterfly Black” is available everywhere now.

Caitlin Kinnunen / Acting

Caitlin Kinnunen Is a Tony nominated actress for her work in THE PROM on Broadway, having originated the role of Emma Nolan. Most recently you can hear her as Juniper on the podcast The Callisto Protocol: Helix Station starring Gwendolyn Christie. Caitlin was nominated for an Audie Award for narrating the audiobook MaryJane, and was handpicked by Judy Blume to narrate her book Forever. Film/TV credits include The Intern, Sweet Little Lies, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, We Need to Talk About Kevin, “Our Ladies” (pilot for The CW), “Suck Hole” (pilot for FX), “Younger”, “American Vandal”, “The Knick”, and “Law & Order: SVU”.

Peter Van Dam / Casting

Peter is the recipient of four Artios Awards for excellence in casting. He joined Tara Rubin Casting in 2018 as a Casting Director, and previously was an associate at Jim Carnahan Casting / Roundabout Theatre Company.

Broadway: The Heart of Rock & Roll, Six, The Phantom of the Opera, Tootsie, Head Over Heels, Angels in America, Farinelli and the King, The Cherry Orchard. National Tours: Six, The Band’s Visit. Off-Broadway/New York: Dead Outlaw (Audible Theater – World Premiere), Pal Joey (New York City Center), Whisper House (The Civilians), Sing Street (New York Theatre Workshop), Something Clean (Roundabout), The Beast in the Jungle (Vineyard). Regional: Summer Stock (Goodspeed – World Premiere), Sing Street, (The Huntington), 42nd Street (Goodspeed), Kismet (Granada Theatre/Santa Barbara Symphony), Chasing Rainbows (Paper Mill Playhouse), Chess (The Kennedy Center), Wonderful Town (LA Opera). Canada: Beaches, Six, The Louder We Get. West End: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Nice Fish. Benefits: I’m Still Here (New York Public Library for the Performing Arts), Julie Halston’s Broadway Belts for PFF, Thoroughly Modern Millie (The Actors Fund).


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Fill out the form below to get on the official interest list and access the survey form. Applications will open in Early Spring 2025.