How do an acclaimed performing arts program and a burgeoning tumbling space survive amidst a shelter in place order? 

Speedy innovation.

Annie and DJ Thistle, owners of Performing Arts Academy of Marin (PAAM) and  Tumblespot in Strawberry, launched online, interactive classes this week for their hundreds of students. Go here for PAAM’s page and here for TumbleSpot’s page.

“It was quite the task for us to build platform, coordinate and educate the teachers on this technology and inform the community on how it all works in a week’s time,” DJ Thistle says. “We’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short time during a very difficult time, not only to keep our doors open, but to make sure the children in our community could feel some normalcy and connection, and of course get some exercise.”

The move marks the latest chapter in the nearly 11 years since longtime Mill Valley resident Annie Thistle launched her Performing Arts Academy of Marin (PAAM) in her living room, a journey that took her from the Community Church of Mill Valley in 2009, then in the Alto Plaza shopping center in early 2010, and then to the 2,800-square-foot storefront space above Balboa Cafe at Mill Creek Plaza that is now home to The Hivery.

In late 2015, as they juggled multiple venues to accommodate their growth, they moved PAAM to a 6,000-square-foot space at 60 Belvedere Drive in Strawberry, just behind the Strawberry Village shopping center. TumbleSpot is within the shopping center.