Executive Director / Founder
Barbara Yokom has had a distinguished career as Founder of The School of Performing Arts. She is forerunner in the advancement of the performing arts and has built a reputation throughout the Chicagoland area as leader in the field of arts education. A graduate of Millikin University, with a degree in Business, and a minor in Fine Arts, Yokom has been an active performer, educator, administrator, choreographer and community leader – culminating with the establishment of The School of Performing Arts in 1990.The School of Performing Arts is celebrating 26 years of arts education in DuPage County and has recently expanded into downtown Chicago with an arts collaboration with former Artistic Directors of The Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Alexei Kremnev and Anna Reznik. In 2013, Barbara’s passion for the arts and the impact she has seen over the years on so many young people, she established Artful IMPACT!, a not for profit creating arts experiences for people with Special Needs, Seniors and Adults through theatre, dance and music programming.\r\n\r\nA recent graduate of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses national business program, Barbara has overseen a tremendous growth in quantity and quality at SPA, she prides herself in never losing touch with her passion for teaching. With over twenty years of teaching experience, from primary to adult levels, Barbara continues to be a forthright arts educator and administrator.Distinguishing herself as a leader – Barbara continues to seek and acquire sought-after specialists to join her staff in both administrative and artistic roles. For the last 8 years Barbara’s appreciation for arts education has driven her to share her expertise with many others who are in pursuit of establishing dance studios, theater schools or creating an arts education component to an already exciting professional performing company. Barbara has consulted and assisted the development of such prestigious programs as The Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago and has consulted many other established arts groups as well as new and seasoned studio owners around the Chicagoland area.