With the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting day-to-day life as we know it, Emily and Brian Weber, owners of YPAC (Your Performing Arts Center) in Yorkville and Plainfield, were quick to respond, temporarily suspending physical classes and productions March 13 and launching a virtual site with educational and artistic resources that would keep their students, families and extended community singing, dancing, acting and tumbling during this unprecedented time only two days later.
“Our main focus is to sustain and continue developing the social/emotional health of our students and families during this time of isolation. Many of our families call YPAC their 'third place.' The place outside of home and school where they feel as though they matter and belong.
"Brian and I give credit to our entire five-star team who has been creating, researching, implementing, collaborating, coding and putting in additional time to produce YPAC Online, which houses family-friendly virtual content for our entire community,” Weber said.
YPAC has two locations in Yorkville and one in Plainfield. It serves children as young as 15 months through adult, offering lessons in dance, music, theatre and tumbling for all abilities, beginner through pre-professional.
The foundation of the organization is built on “giving back and community,” Weber said. “It was a natural response to what our community would need. I am a mom of three myself, facing a new journey of homeschooling, running a business from home and maintaining a household and that inspired the idea for YPAC Online.”
This past week, the virtual site launched with topics such as, Fast & Easy Work Outs, Theatre For All, Movies for Kids, Storytime, Fun for Parents, Coloring Pages, Dance At Home, For the Tumblers, Virtual Field Trips for Kids, Educational Resources, Calm in the Chaos, Doodle, Draw and Tag, Musician Edition, Just for Fun and Adaptive Learning & movement.
This content is a mix of in-house prerecorded videos, including storytime with students from YPAC’s youth leadership program, the Dance Teacher Training Experience, and links to other arts-inspired programming.
“We have content for not only our kids and families at YPAC, but those around the world. I was able to send the link to my friends on the West Coast who found themselves taking lessons from the YPAC team. It was incredibly special. When I share with parents, I remind them that we are all in this together ” Weber said.
Starting Monday, March 30, YPAC will be expanding their online presence to house a member-based platform that will include both YPAC virtual classrooms and YPAC TV real-time classes and Q-and-A sessions for parents and children. This will be in addition to the original site in which content is being added daily.
Parents have been sharing photos, videos, comments and emails of gratitude that YPAC is still a part of their everyday lives.
“Nothing brings Brian and I or our team members more joy than seeing pictures and videos of our students making adversity their advantage. Together, we are confident that we all will come out of this stronger. Our theme this year is "Build Community That Matters." COVID-19 has reminded us that we are doing just that.” Weber ended.
For information and to gain access to this online platform or inquire about online membership, email email@example.com.