From Peter Carman, PAA President:
“I will always remember my first summer program at the Paris American Academy. At that time in 1970, the school was renting space at the ancient and former Benedictine Monastery, the Scola Cantorum on the Rue Saint Jacques. From the opening recital by Marcel Duprès at the organ, the courtyard was alive with creative activities. The sound of the morning French language class was replaced by the rhythmic counts of the Ballet Master Theatre group exercises. The neighborhood echoed with the sound of harp, piano, clarinet. The excitement of this multimedia arts involvement has never failed to be a constant source of inspiration to the participants of this school as well as myself.
In the beginning, the Academy only rented the Scola Cantorum for the summers. In 1971, with the addition of other 4-week study programs, we needed alternative locations. We acquired a series of ateliers located within close proximity, introducing new disciplines where request and space possibilities permitted. In this way, 1950s covergirl model Dorian Leigh Parker helped establish the fashion department, and Jean Pierre Becquet of Maxim’s fame created the French cuisine sessions. The school’s potential was evident, but little did I realize the full scope and amplitude of activities until the academic year was established in 1972, and our university credits were finally recognized.
I have always been impressed by Richard Roy’s vision, drive, and passion for the arts, which have opened exciting new doors for all involved in the school. To quote Roy: “If you are going to do it, do it with style or don’t do it at all.” France is synonymous with both art and style, and in a computerized age, the appreciation of art and craftsmanship is all the more necessary. It is a privilege to be a part of the endeavor to bring our participants closer to the creative resources that France has to offer.”