And just like that, summer is in our rearview mirror and we are speeding through our first weeks of dance with our partner schools. I love this time of year. As our Teaching Artists and Musicians head back to their classrooms, I receive news about our new batch of student dancers ("They are amazing!") and updates on the fabulous teachers and administrators who have now become part of the ArtSparks' family. It's a time of tremendous excitement for all that's to come, and this year in particular, a time to reflect on all that's transpired over the past ten years to get us to this point in time. TEN YEARS – How DID that happen?? The answer, of course, is people. ArtSparks has been blessed with teaching artists, musicians, board members, educators and administrators, and community supporters like you who are thoroughly committed to being champions for children in our community. My heart is full of gratitude for your continued investment in their success and I look forward to sharing the next decade of dance, music, and joy with all of you!
Message from Founder
Thank you to everyone who supported our first annual golf outing!
A Summer of Dance Music and Joy!
Mr. Simon Says
You can’t stop the beat! Thank you to the Akron and Cuyahoga Falls communities for a fantastic summer dancing around town! See glimpses below from our incredible summer dancing with:
Akron Children’s Museum
Akron Public Library
Akron Public Schools
City of Akron Community Centers
City of Cuyahoga Falls Parks and Recreation
Dance Institute of the University of Akron
Downtown Akron Partnership
Festa Italiana of Cuyahoga Falls
Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival
Did you miss out on the action? Check out our YouTube channel to get your performance fix!
School Year 22-23 Takes Flight!
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!
“And that, to me, is what all of us should do….we should always be like a hummingbird.”
Hummingbirds are rather incredible creatures . They dazzle us as they perform wild feats such as flying backwards, upside down, and oh so rapidly fast. Their energy and drive is unmatched. They never seem to rest! This year, one little hummingbird will teach us that we are all called upon to be our best--- our actions matter to the world. Big or small we can all be mighty!
Check out the parable that inspires this year’s curriculum and show as told by environmental activist Wangari Maathai.
Inspired by Wangari and the parable? We are too! To learn more about Wangari and The Green Belt Movement click here: http://www.greenbeltmovement.org/get-involved/be-a-hummingbird
TNT/XD performs alongside their fellow Black Tigers at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Cuyahoga Falls 6th-12th Campus Building
September 27th at Laybourne Field of Bolich Middle School at 7:00pm
TNT/XD performs Peter and the Wolf with the Akron Symphony Orchestra in their Concert for Kids Series
October 4th, October 5th, and October 7th https://akronsymphony.org/concerts-for-kids/
TNT/XD dances alongside the Dance Institute of the University of Akron, Verb Ballets, and the Akron Symphony Orchestra in The Akron Nutcracker
Thursday, December 22nd and Friday, December 23rd at EJ Thomas Hall in Akron at 7:30pm
The Hummingbird- ArtSparks full length production of a small, but mighty tale featuring 400 children from Cuyahoga Falls elementary schools. Thursday, March 23rd at Cuyahoga Falls High School. Performance times to be announced soon! Stay tuned to our website for more information www.artsparksdance.org.
Dynamite Duos- Dazzling dancers with disabilities and their peer partners from the Akron Public Schools light up the stage to celebrate a year of creating, learning, and growing together in a joyous end of year showcase.
May 15th, May 16th, and May 17th at Firestone High School. Performance times to be announced soon! Stay tuned to our website for more information www.artsparksdance.org
PS- Did you catch us on PBS? Thank you to Blue Green for this amazing spotlight on our dancers and our work in the community!
Like the hummingbird, we will tenaciously tackle every step of the school year ahead. Stay tuned to see what happens as every young dancer begins to find the power in doing the best they can.
With 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.