Curtain Up on Act II!
The first act of a play, ballet or opera typically introduces the players, identifies the quest, and sets the stage for the most exciting elements of a performance. As we approach our ninth year as an organization, I can’t help but feel proud of how our Act I played out and I am delighted that our stage has been set for what’s ahead: a second act unfolding with costume changes, new scenery, and a quest for developing programs and partnerships that allow us to reach even more children.
Costumes for us include T-shirts- A LOT of T-shirts. Shirts worn by students and staff will now proudly display our new logo which features a more inclusive representation of dancers- we proudly serve a diverse population and wanted our logo to reflect that fact. We hope you like it!
Our scenery change is imminent and oh so exciting! We are getting closer and closer to securing a home for ArtSparks and I can’t wait to announce the details soon. Thanks to all of you who are supporting our Breaking Barriers campaign with your generous donations!
Innovation seems to be Artistic Director Erica Piper’s middle name. With the help of Music Director Simon Hunt and key members of the ArtSparks teaching staff, new curriculum, new class offerings and newly formed partnerships are all on the horizon.
I can’t wait to see what our second act brings and I hope you’ll join me by staying tuned as the curtain rises!
Wishing you peace and good health,
A Message from our Founder
Mr. Simon Says
If you ask Du’Mael to show you his favorite dance move, he will jump so high you can almost envision him dancing among the stars.
Du’Mael first experienced the magic of dance when he was in 1st grade and ArtSparks came to his school to work with him and his peers in his classroom for students with disabilities in the Akron Public Schools. The following year, ArtSparks launched the Dynamite Duos Program that pairs students with disabilities with age matched peers from general education classes. Du’Mael has participated in that program since its inception and has grown from that energetic 1st grader who could not stop moving to a thoughtful partner and focused dancer. Du’Mael can tell you the joys of dancing and working with others without saying a word--- the story is in his genuine smile!
Du’Mael exhibits the pillars of the ArtSparks Core Four--- a motivational chant that is a part of every ArtSparks class:
Do my best!
Never give up!
These days, you will find Du’Mael leading the class in that chant during his virtual classes and living out those principles...in dance class and in life!
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!
Our dancers are looking for a building to call their own!
A safe place to come in the after-school hours to engage in something that interests and empowers them.
A place that is accessible and welcoming to all children and their families that fosters community, diversity, and inclusive friendships.
A place where they can dance towards their biggest and brightest dreams.
A place where they (and their committed ArtSparks teachers) can elevate their experiences...because children deserve the BEST of everything.
Join our TNT/XD dancers on their journey to gather support as they search for the right building:
They still need YOUR help! ArtSparks needs to raise $50,000 for the first steps of making their dreams a reality. To learn more about the fundraiser for the Center for Creativity and Community please click here.
Why I Give:
Why I Give: Laura Littman
As a teenager, Laura remembers how disheartening it was when arts electives were removed from her schools. As an monthly donor to ArtSparks, Laura ensures that today’s young scholars have the opportunities in the arts that she was not afforded.
“I give because every child should have the opportunity to learn and grow through the arts.”
Laura, a Certified Public Accountant, volunteers as a tax advisor on the ArtSparks Board of Directors and you will often find her cheering on the children of our community as they boldly leap across the stage in their ArtSparks shows. Even though she did not have the chance to experience dance in her own educational journey, she understands the lasting impact the arts have for generations to come.
“I love everything ArtSparks does, and I will enjoy the opportunity to support them long after my tenure on the board is over.”
Want to join Laura in giving children the opportunity to learn and grow through the arts? Follow the pink donate button at the top of our page!
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.