Message From Founder
It's Showtime, Folks!
Is there anything more thrilling in theater than the moment just before the curtain rises? The house lights flicker and fade, audience members rush to take their seats, and a palpable flutter of shared excitement passes through the quieting crowd. As audience members, that moment is when we settle in, look around at our fellow theater goers, and become part of a collective community experience. For performers, hearing “places, please” is the culmination of weeks and sometimes months of working in community with others to produce a show. Such is the case for our talented students who have been hard at work since September and will take the stage in the premiere of Imagine That! in a few short weeks.
Fostering a strong sense of community in our classrooms has always been at the heart of our programming, but it was especially meaningful this year as we came back together in person. In addition to learning about dance and our world’s greatest innovators, our students were challenged to appreciate the richness of shared experiences, the importance of respecting themselves and others, and the value of being present to celebrate the strengths and achievements of their peers. They are eager to share their accomplishments with you!
I hope you will join me at one of our Imagine That! shows to celebrate the achievements of our dancers and the return of in-person performances!
Message from Founder
An Interview with the Stars!
Mr. Simon Says
An Interview with the Stars!- Hear from the leading dancers and narrators of Imagine That!
It’s time to meet the charming, innovative--- and yes, a little crazy--- characters who will take you on a magical journey in Imagine That! There’s the Thinker whose curiosity, passion, and creativity drives our journey; her imaginary friends, Wingfoot and Stardust, who provide love and support (as well as a healthy dose of comic relief!); and of course the clever Conductor of the marvelous STEAM Engine propelling the train of thought down the track (in the most thrilling of ways).
Let’s hear from the stars of Imagine That! as they share their experiences and excitement for the show!
What are you excited about for the show?
Lily (Wingfoot): It’s the first show in 2 years. It will be different than usual, but it's gonna be fun.
Delaney (the Thinker): All the chaos that will happen onstage and how everyone shows their enthusiasm.
Zoey (Wingfoot narrator): It is my first ArtSparks show. I’m excited to be Wingfoot!
Salina (Understudy): I’m excited to be onstage dancing with a bunch of other people.
Luca (Stardust): I’m excited to perform in front of a lot of people again.
Sherry (Conductor): I’m excited to dance on my hoverboard for the first time.
Eliza (Understudy): Hopefully it not being canceled!
What is your favorite thing in the show?
Ariana (Understudy): I get to be a puppeteer in the Imagineers dance.
Maggie (Thinker narrator): Acting.
Lily: I like the Imagineer stuff because all the props are cool to watch.
Delaney: I like the scene where all the imagination is going away…it is fun dancing with tables and it is very chaotic.
Did you learn anything new through learning the script and choreography?
Luca: I learned a lot about new cultures and different types of props. I didn’t know you could use certain things as props and it opened up a lot more stuff and ideas I guess.
Lily: I learned about Mae Jeminson and how she was the first Black woman in space.
Anything you want to say to the audience before our show?
Ariana: Ribbons. That’s it.
Zoey: It’s gonna be more than you expect!
The Art of Playtime
As we begin this unprecedented school year, I find myself both humbled and hopeful.
Despite the significant challenges our school partners face in educating students remotely, they have welcomed ArtSparks Teaching Teams into their virtual communities and have invested their time and efforts in ensuring the successful delivery of our programming.
How fortunate we are to have their support! Time and time again, I am told about the impact the incredibly talented and devoted ArtSparks Teaching Artists are making — they’re devoted to engaging and inspiring the children we serve.
Led by Artistic Director Erica Piper, our dedicated staff spent countless hours this summer discovering ways in which to provide excellence in Arts education via remote platforms. They are ready!
Will teaching hundreds of children each week in this new environment be without its challenges? Probably not. But if there’s one thing I know and trust to be true, it’s this: the ArtSparks Team will face those challenges with a tenacious can-do spirit.
I look forward to watching our students’ smiling faces as they learn that dance, music, and joy can take place anywhere — and that they are best when shared.
We are in this together!
The Art of Playtime- the Props that bring a show to life!
The toys we play with as children are always far more than the plastic and syntentics they are made of. They are vehicles for our ingenuity, riding along with our train of thought as we create new worlds, new realities, and new ideas in our minds. We dress up in costumes and imagine ourselves traveling to exciting places without ever leaving our room.
In our show about imagination, the toys we played with as children become so much more than simple objects as both performers and audience members let their imaginations wonder…
Can a floating inner tube become a tire for a car?
Might the floor scooters of our elementary school memories become dancing floor tiles of an architect?
Could four hula hoops represent the thrilling spinning teacups at Disney World?
Can a cardboard box, some paint, and a hoverboard become a flying STEAM Engine?
With imagination…anything is possible!
Save The Dates!
ArtSparks is excited to announce our 2022 performance schedule! Join us for one, or all of these exciting opportunities to see our phenomenal dancers take the stage!
(Note: Dates, times, and locations are subject to change due to Covid…. check in with our social media and website to stay in the loop for updates to performances!)
Dynamite Duos Programs: Imagine That!
Dates: March 7, 8, 9, 2022
Location: Firestone High School
This joy-filled performance features Akron Public School children with disabilities who are paired with their typically- developing peers and showcases how we collaborate to use our imaginations!
Cuyahoga Falls: Imagine That!
Date: March 18, 2022
Location: Cuyahoga Falls High School
400 Cuyahoga Falls 3rd grade students and Team TNT/XD hop on the STEAM engine to explore important inventors' crazy ideas through dance, music, and joy!
Support ArtSparks today!
You can play a key role in fostering creativity and self-confidence as children experience the Arts in new and profound ways.
You’ll encourage children to develop a belief in themselves that impacts all aspects of their lives.
Your generosity provides access to high-quality dance programming along with the ArtSparks commitment to fostering the understanding of dance as an art form while challenging students of all ages and abilities to discover new heights of individual excellence.