Daily dose of sweetness: Grads to get top billing at Austin theater

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Girls underneath theater marquee
Parent Angie Hughson takes a photo of Austin High School senior MacKai Hughson with sisters Allie and Brynn Hughson under the Paramount Theatre marquee.
Courtesy of Austin Area Arts

While large high school graduation ceremonies are canceled, communities around Minnesota are finding ways to honor the class of 2020.

In Austin, organizers of the annual ArtWorks festival are offering a chance for seniors to see their name in big letters on the historic Paramount Theatre.

"We don't have any shows to promote on our marquee because everything's shut down,” said Laura Helle, executive director of Austin Area Arts. “And so we thought, you know, this will be something very special that only the class of 2020 would get — the chance to have their name on the marquee and come take a photo of it.”

Graduating student underneath theater marquee.
Austin High School senior Eli Johnson sports his school colors under the Paramount Theatre marquee.
Courtesy of Jenna Grabau

Seniors will have a designated time when their name will be on display. Those interested in making an appointment should call 507-434-0934.

The group is also organizing sidewalk chalk art messages for graduates. The events start Tuesday and continue through May 29.

Helle said that since this summer's ArtWorks festival may not happen, they're looking for ways to boost community spirit in a safe way.


From acts of kindness and sweet gestures to inspirational signs, these are some of the ways Minnesotans are lifting one another during the coronavirus pandemic.

Discover something that brightens your day? We may include it here. Email it to nyang@mpr.org.

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