“One Question” with Shellee Frazee, newly named Artistic Director at the Beverly Arts Center

Frazee Shellee

Shellee Frazee is the Artistic Director of the Beverly Arts Center in Chicago, IL. She is a teaching artist and a freelance director/choreographer. She received her BA in theatre from St. Ambrose University. Ms. Frazee co-conceived and served as Managing Director for Third Time Theatre and Creative Arts Center, a not-for-profit in the Quad Cities. She was owner and Artistic Director of Center Stage Performing Arts Academy in the Quad Cities, and served as Managing Director for Redtwist Theatre in Chicago. Ms. Frazee serves as an adjunct teacher for the theatre department at St. Ambrose University. She has performed, toured, directed and choreographed professionally for many years. Ms. Frazee is a recipient of the Kennedy Center Award for Choreography.

Neoteric Art: What are your initial plans as being named the first artistic director at the Beverly Art Center?

Shellee Frazee: I am thrilled and honored to be selected as the first Artistic Director of the Beverly Arts Center. I have been a part of the BAC since 2009 and have truly developed a passion for the space, the programs and the people. The BAC is clearly a treasured resource of Beverly and the South Side. The community support is overwhelming and it is obvious that we have been entrusted to make the arts thrive on the South Side. We currently offer over 100 classes each session and serve over 100,000 people a year, offering concerts, plays, movies, classes and events in our 40,000 square foot facility and our state of the art 400 seat theatre.

One of my favorite things about the BAC is the diversity of offerings and the diversity of people who participate. There is something for everyone whether they are 2 or 92. As the new Artistic Director I am thrilled to help guide the vision of this unique organization.

Our new Executive Director, Heather Ireland Robinson, and I share a vision to intensify the programming at the BAC. The time is right and we are experiencing a sort of renaissance as we become the “go to” place on the South Side. We are currently working with our Coordinators to develop a new conservatory track for the school of the arts. We often have people who attend the art center who like to “dabble” in the arts. They like to experience a variety of arts, so we are here to take them on that journey and to allow them to immerse themselves in anything that strikes their fancy. But we also have a clientele with direction and a specific passion. We want to help them refine and develop that passion through master classes at professional levels. It is our goal to meet the needs of all of these people. I am thrilled to be working with Heather and our brilliant team to create diverse and cutting edge programming.

We will continue to reach out to our neighborhood and the communities beyond. Our main stage season will be filled with a range of entertainment from diverse concerts, to movies, to live theatre, dance and performance.

The Beverly Arts Center belongs to the people we serve. It is their home, and together we will continue to polish this diamond on the South Side.

Find out more about the Beverly Arts Center here.