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Program History

The Summer Performing Arts Company (SPA) in Grand Forks, North Dakota, is an educational arts program for students in grades K-11.  SPA offers activities in the summer months, as well as occasional special projects throughout the school year. 

SPA was founded in the late 1980s after a need arose for summer vocal lessons. Though there was a small summer program for Elementary students, there were no opportunities for Middle or High School students. Grand Forks teachers Dean Opp, Brad Sherwood, Connie Sherwood, Jolly Sherwood, Tom Young, Lori Young, and Mike Weber worked together to create the foundation that ultimately became SPA. Though resources at the time were limited, vocal lessons soon led to structured recitals, which then led to musical revues, and within a few years, SPA became known for its full-scale, auditioned productions that are still in place today.  In 1988, the summer musical was a revue entitled An Evening with Andrew Lloyd Webber.  There were 30 cast members, 15 backstage helpers, and 13 staff members. 


SPA Timeline (2).png
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