It’s early morning June 3rd. Outside of the Altria Theater cars are pulling up to drop off the two hundred students that will soon fill the LIVE ART stage, while the teachers are throwing a dance party. This is the kind of love and excitement that is cultivated every day in SPARC’s LIVE ART program, an inclusive performing and visual arts program for youths with and without disabilities. While rehearsing their performances, they build relationships and understanding of one another using SPARC’s unique curriculum based on acceptance, compassion, and empathy.
One SPARC parent explains, “The staff are loving and caring and they never let [my daughter] give up, but they encourage her to do her best. She receives support from everyone, someone is always speaking words that build her up, encouraging her to try new things and if she gets a little nervous someone is always there to give her a hug. She is free to be herself and is accepted and never judged. Live Art helps her to reach for the stars in everything she does.”
The year-long LIVE ART classes culminate in a show stopping one-night-only performance each June with nationally acclaimed recording artists taking the stage with the students. This year’s line-up featured Josh Groban, Sara Bareilles, Michael McDonald, and Jason Mraz. Make no mistake, though, the students are the real headliners. LIVE ART: LOVE sold out during presale. With this level of community interest SPARC has announced that LIVE ART: LOVE will air on WCVE PBS in Winter 2018 and on public television stations throughout the country in 2019. SPARC is thrilled to have the opportunity to share these students and their incredible journeys with so many people.
To learn more, check out SPARC’s site here.