Mission & History

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide a platform to explore the world of artistic expression for children and their communities.  We do this by providing quality educational, theatrical experiences, which enhance children’s self-confidence, personal growth, group collaboration, and leadership skills while building community partnerships.

Our Goals

  • Provide theatrical, dance and musical education for children to develop skills in music, theater, and visual arts.
  • Provide an opportunity for children to perform at their level of comfort in a supportive environment.
  • Actively engage children in their community and the local community with Children’s Performing Arts.
  • Provide leadership development for youth including programs that increase leadership, teamwork, and cognitive skills.


In 2005, Children’s Performing Arts (CPA) was established at Forest Hills United Methodist Church by Lynette Welsch. CPA’s first production began in 2006 with an Easter musical called ‘Come, Messiah Come’. Throughout the years, with the generous support and involvement of students and their families, CPA began to cultivate their unique curriculum beyond the “typical community theatre” model. This led to the creation of CPA’s flagship production “Legacy.” Each year the Legacy production introduces students in Kindergarten through sixth grade to theatre, while letting them perform at their comfort level. 

Since 2013 Children’s Performing Arts has expanded its efforts to include programming for preschoolers to seniors in high school through five mainstage shows, directing and leadership opportunities, as well as camps, classes, and workshops. These offerings include the signature “Spotlight on a Cause” Program where students learn about advocating for issues that are important to them through the performing arts. 

Children’s Performing Arts began collaborating with Lakeshore Players Theatre in 2017 to create even more opportunities for artistic expression and audience engagement in the White Bear Lake community. In 2018, they opened the doors to the Hanifl Performing Arts Center, which features mainstage, black box, and classroom spaces. 

As CPA grows into our next chapter we are excited to maintain our history of providing students with a place to grow their love of the theatre, leadership, and investment in their communities!

Statement of Inclusion

Children’s Performing Arts honors the uniqueness of each individual and embraces diverse backgrounds, values, and viewpoints to build a strong, inclusive community that prepares youth for lives in a multicultural society.  This means providing all who live, learn, and work within our organization to have the opportunity to experience a broad range of ideas and perspectives.  Diversity is an irreplaceable educational and artistic asset that develops the whole person.  As we embrace the opportunity to learn from each other; it challenges us to grow and think differently.  Quality education is enhanced by the shared perspectives of those with varied backgrounds and views.  Children’s Performing Arts strives to create a supportive environment that welcomes all people regardless of race, beliefs, disability, or economic status.

  • Get Involved

    Board Members CPA is looking for individuals with knowledge of theater that can help facilitate development and fundraising to promote CPA’s growth.  We are looking for board members from all fields and backgrounds with an interest and passion for theater, education, community, and volunteerism.  Leadership experience in business or community organizations is a plus.  Skills… Read More