O U R S T O R Y
My name's Jason Paris, founding director of Pavement Ends Studios LLC.
In 2011, I resigned my job as a Fine Arts Director at Cherokee Public
Schools, where I'd spent most of my teaching career and enrolled at New
York University's Steinhardt School's masters program in Educational
Theatre. The idea was to transition from rural-American high school
teacher to legendary broadway director and playwright. That hasn't
I formed the company in 2012 while completing my degree at NYU. I originally saw the company as an agency to promote teaching artists in the southern plains, where I'm based. This idea arose from the realization that, while major population centers like New York have robust systems in place for creating, promoting, and financing independent teaching artists, rural areas lacked the infrastructure, financing, and, frankly, the demand for teaching artists.
For the first year out of grad school, I eked out a living as an
freelance teaching artist, but in order to do so, I had to spend
countless hours promoting myself with schools and other potential
clients, rather than doing the work I wanted to do: fostering young
artists and helping teachers. So I went back to the classroom. At
that point Pavement Ends Studios, found itself relegated to the far back burner, and existed primarily as a website only so I could maintain ownership of the domain / url.
As it happened, my former position at Cherokee High School became available, and I returned to what has become the best job on the planet! I teach 6-12 General Fine Arts Classes which shift from performance-based projects to visual arts to media production and back again. I think of my classroom as a Fine and Performing Arts Studio in which students can begin their artistic journeys. It also serves as a lab where I get to perfect my teaching practice while developing projects that fall better under the auspices of Pavement Ends Studios.
So what is Pavement Ends Studios? Well, it's a little of everything. We're an independent theatre company, a film / media production company, and an educational services company. It's a place where you can paint, write, rehearse, compose, produce, direct, sculpt, create, and laugh. So that's a pretty good gig.