Imagine after school and summer camp programs for kids taught by a world class performer that makes the sessions fun and exciting EVERY single time. Rebecca Kay Perry founded Queen City Arts in Bangor to provide creative and thrilling classroom-style education programs in arts and STEM for children. She takes it a step above her competition by actually writing her own musical and theatrical works that her students perform, and she offers a wide variety of classes from dance and musical theatre to cooking and character make-up. On a side note, she made it to the finals in our statewide Top Gun Showcase, where she pitched her business for a chance to win $25,000!
What was your inspiration for starting Queen City Arts?
My background has been in performing arts, but I’ve always had a passion for education. I’ve always enjoyed spending time with children, and I really love teaching people how to do something that they’ve never done before. Originally, I was inspired to offer performing arts classes to very young, pre-school-aged kids in the Bangor area. Some mom friends of mine brought their young children to my house, and I wrote a mini-musical for them and taught them how to perform it. That’s what sparked it all, and it has just grown from there.
What makes you different from all the other children’s classes and programs offered in the Bangor area?
We like to say that we’re focused on progress through process, which means that every minute you’re spending in the classroom is experience and knowledge gained, as opposed to being focused on a huge performance or showcase at the end of every class session. We like to pack in both fun and education to each classroom time that the kids are with us. Not only does that remove a lot of pressure for the kids, it also sets the expectation that they can have an exciting, great experience every time they step into the classroom.
Why found Queen City Arts in Bangor?
I live here because it’s a really awesome place to raise my family, and the community here is bursting at the seams with artistic, creative energy in people. There are a lot of young people who are living and making a life here while they send their children to excellent school systems. It’s a very supportive environment to start something new and try out an idea, and I’ve been met with nothing but support and encouragement from people so that I can take this idea to the next level. I think that support is exactly what you need when you want to try something new, so it’s been great.
What piece of advice would you give to entrepreneurs just starting a business or company?
Make a plan, then make another plan, and then go over that plan to fix it and make it better. Always have a plan, and revisit the plan. Once you’ve executed one segment of your plan, make sure to take the time to write down notes about what went well with your plan and what needs tweaking for next time. As soon as you stop self-editing, that area of your business stops growing, so always be willing to pivot and change when something doesn’t work.
If you would like to hear more about the Top Gun Entrepreneurship Accelerator, visit our program page here.
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