Paramount Center for the Arts has many talented staff members. We would like to feature Jane Oxton, Director of the Education and Outreach program. Jane served on our board from 1999 to 2009. In 2010 she began developing the Education and Outreach program as a part-time consultant until being named director in 2014. Read to learn more about Jane!
What was the main reason for wanting to work at The Paramount?
Since my teaching days at Jefferson Elementary, I recognized the incredible value of the Paramount to this community. Jefferson students came here often to expand their world, develop skills in ways beyond which the school could do on its own, and strengthen teachers in powerful ways.
Serving on the board added a new appreciation for the many services and resources that came to St. Cloud because of the Paramount. But I had this gnawing sense that the arts are of value to all, but not accessible to all. Through this current position, I have been able to help Paramount resources work in order to extend arts impact and touch lives in such compelling ways. Equipping and connecting local artists to share their skills and passion so that our elders, those with disabilities or challenges, new refugees, children with varied learning styles and more can discover or reinforce their creativity and worth has been one of the most satisfying journeys I have had.
Besides that, the Paramount is a wonderful place to work, filled with dedicated, adventurous, kind, creative and hard-working people who share a vision and work as a team. What more could one ask ??
What is the best part of your job?
Watching people discover their abilities and being served by the power of the arts.
When a member of the choir our project sponsors at Good Shepherd says that the choir lifted her from depression, or the 5th grade child says “I get it” during our Math SmARTs dance class, or a husband calls to thank us for the art classes we provided for his wife suffering from memory loss, the teacher who says our Arts Camp for Educators helped reignite her passion or the parent who rejoices that there is a dance class for her child who lives with autism – those moments bring joy beyond measure.
What hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?
Our seven grandkids are a constant source of energy and delight as we attend their many activities and share in their celebrations. I enjoy my little flower garden, a good book on the deck at the lake, morning Sudoku, playing the piano and trying new recipes!
If you could be any person throughout history who would it be?
This is a hard question. I can think of many I might like to be for a day, but a bigger desire for me is someone I would like to have met. My maternal grandfather was a legend in our family, and I long to have known him. He arrived alone from Sweden at the age of 10, homesteaded in Northern Minnesota as a young man, developed a huge farming operation that required 75 horses and many hired hands, raised nine children when his wife died and saw that most of the girls got a college education, and was awarded as one of the first “Farmer of the Year’ in Minnesota. Peter Lindahl is a person I would love to meet and from whom I would learn so much.
What is your favorite quote?
My Mom used to say “Live your life in such a way that when someone says something bad about you, no one believes it.” She also would say “There’s always a way!” and apply it whether the problem was big or small. Both have helped to guide decisions along my life’s pathway.