Our Current Interns


Nicole Arca: 

 Nicole is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley, where she attained her B.A. in Media Studies and minor in Theater and Performance Studies. She holds a strong interest in deconstructing media portrayals and tactics—her honors thesis explored the manifestations of “greenwash” in marketing with a case study on Chipotle.

Nicole promotes and advocates for accurate representation of people of color and their lived experiences in all art forms, especially in theater, film, and television. Currently, she blogs for Kollaboration.org, where she gets to think critically about Asian-American representation in the media. She has also served as Editor-in-Chief of {m}aganda magazine, the longest running Filipino-American arts anthology in the nation.

Nicole is excited to join the SPARC team this summer! She is honored to contribute to and grow in a space founded on the values of social justice and community engagement.

Her email is: nicole@SPARCinLA.org

 

 

Alex Gonzalez:
Getty Foundation Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program 

INTERN_Portrait_ALEXAlex Gonzalez is a recent graduate from UCLA, and holds a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Digital Humanities. His undergraduate research experience inspired a special interest in the dynamic intersection of art forms and technology. Alex’s minor capstone projects have created digital platforms that attempt to place art at the forefront of public and civic dialogue by showcasing the intriguing narratives embedded within communal art works, such as the Lyrical Map for the Concept of Los Angeles by J. Michael Walker and the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden. Recently, he has completed his position as a production assistant for REMAP at UCLA, a coalition that synchronizes media, technology and live art performance to engage and empower the social situations of the Los Angeles community through new cultural forms and collective practices.

As a SPARC intern in the Digital Mural Lab, Alex hopes to contribute his experience towards SPARC’s ongoing mural expansion programs, and provide assistance towards its creative developments in the hopes that he can help initiate collective understanding, research and educational training of its Los Angeles murals and their meaning.

His SPARC email is: alex@sparcinla.org

 

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Elaine Raif:
Getty Foundation Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program 

Elaine Raif recently graduated from University of California San Diego studying Visual Arts Media and a minor in Communications with an emphasis in Cultural Studies. Raif’s multi-media art includes photography, videography, and digital interface-based works, utilizing alternative post-production processes and existing technological mediums to critically explore social engagements. Raif roots her efforts and investigations towards the cultural/social (mis)representations of contemporary popular culture. Through the use of sensorium memory, Raif recollects cultural and spatial histories to explore the multiplicities of the self in time- and space-specific contexts.

Through SPARC, Raif hopes to continue serving her Los Angeles community and to promote art making as a mode to heal, to advocate, and to bridge communities across the intersections of identities. She identifies as an Artivist!

Her SPARC email is Elaine@sparcinla.org

 

Samuel Camarena: 
Getty Foundation Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program 
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Samuel Camarena is a student at Santa Monica College majoring in Human Development with an emphasis on intercultural adolescent psychographics. He has been an intern at SPARC for two years, and has played a key role in redesigning SPARC’s and The DMLab’s websites. He was drawn to SPARC’s community-based artistic process. Which he hopes to continue in his own community to ease tensions created by gentrification and to advocate for better high schools. Sam looks forward to continuing SPARC’s mission, of turning poignant realities into striking art, this summer by working on expanding The Great Wall of Los Angeles as The Digital Mural Lab Assistant through the Getty Foundation’s Multicultural Internship Program.

His SPARC email is Sam@sparcinla.org

 

Alina Ortiz Salvatierra:
Getty Foundation Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program 

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Alina Ortiz Salvatierra was born in Oakland CA, and raised in Los Angeles. She attends Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and is majoring/ concentrating in installation art and activist education. Her interests in critical pedagogy, and community organizing led her to SPARC. Her passion for socially engaged art and artists coincide with SPARC’s mission to preserve and create spaces for public memory making. Alina identifies as an Artivist and this past year some of her photographs of a public action in LA were published in Conspire Magazine. Last summer, she also worked with and learned from performance artists and activists, through a collective of teachers in Xela city in Guatemala. The teacher collective runs a school in Xela, Proyecto Linguistico de Quetzaltec, and works closely with justice oriented organizations working in the area. This summer Alina will be a Getty Foundation Intern, serving as SPARC’s Public Art Administration Assistant. She hopes to work more with SPARC and similar organizations to better understand and be apart of collective, inclusive processes of art making within communities that memorialize erased histories. In the past year, her interests in organizing have strengthened because of her experience as a student, then student facilitator, and now trainer of facilitators for an activist education organization, apart of University of Massachusetts. She loves storytelling, performance art, and fierce advocacy for justice.

Her SPARC email is Alina@sparcinla.org

 

Lydia Knopp:
Moore College of Art and Design Summer Fellowship 

lydiaHi folks! My name is Lydia Knopp, a motivated Midwesterner from charming Kansas City. I love and support the arts, enjoy all types of music, dance, travel, diversity, change, yoga, good food and drink, intense nature walks, and anything on lake or sea. I found my calling in creative collaborations that brought me East to study at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. I’m now a rising senior earning double majors in Graphic Design & Curatorial Studies. My college years have taught me that I enjoy creating and collaborating for causes I believe in whether that’s designing materials for endangered birds in Pennsylvania or coordinating art programs for retirement home communities.

Outside the classroom, the city of Philadelphia revealed itself to me through magnificent murals done by the Mural Arts Program there. These and other public art projects became a way to learn the neighborhoods and culture of the glorious and gritty city I’ve grown to love. My studies and involvement with Philadelphia Mural Arts led me to SPARC, Judy Baca, and a first hand understanding of what murals and collaboration can do for community pride, representation, and revitalization. I’m blessed to be coming cross-coasts to experience Los Angeles living and gain insight in the Digital Mural Lab as to how technology and my skills can be employed in the creation of meaningful public art.  With my roots in Kansas City, studies in Philly, and this humbling experience in Venice, I hope to be more well-rounded as a designer and activist to continue to motivate myself and others to create positive change in communities through art! Muchas Gracias

Her SPARC email is Lydia@sparcinla.org

 

Sam Garcia 
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Sam Garcia is a student artist from Los Angeles. He has pursued photography, painting, and mixed media art throughout his life. Sam’s photos of President Barack Obama at the dedication of the Cesar Chavez National Monument  in 2012 were published by The City Project and KCET. Sam graduated from Loyola High School in 2014, and will attend Stanford University in the fall. He is undeclared, but is interested in the arts, the environment, and the intersection of the two.

His SPARC email is Samuelg@sparcinla.org

SPARC’s Internship Program

SPARCInternshipLogo_ForWebSPARC relies on the generosity of student interns/volunteers to advance its mission as a leading center for community cultural development. Since 2009, international, national, and local student volunteers have dedicated over 5,000 hours of service to support SPARC’s work in three key departments: SPARC Administration; UCLA@SPARC Digital Mural Lab; and the Mural Resource and Education Center. SPARC has partnered with UCLA’s Information Studies and Chicana/o Studies Department’s Service Learning Programs as a method of engaging student interns/volunteers; in addition, SPARC has accepted students from various universities across the country and abroad including the University of Cairo, Vassar University, Dartmoth College, University of Oregon, University of Denver, UC Santa Cruz, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the Claremont Colleges, Occidental College, Loyola Marymount, Antioch University, San Francisco Arts Institute, Santa Monica Collage and numerous California State University campuses including Fullerton, Dominguez Hills, and Northridge.

Since 2009, over 60 university students from diverse fields of study have given their time to support the preservation and digitization of our public art archive; dedicated their time to editing short documentaries; organizing and managing public events including our annual Day of the Dead Celebration, SPARC Gallery exhibitions, and public art productions. Students have come from various fields of study including: Chicana/o Studies, Information Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Sociology, Architectural Engineering, History of Visual Culture, Art Conservation, African American Studies, City and Regional Planning, Applied Linguistics, Film Television and Digital Media, Liberal Studies and Landscape Architecture.

Click Here To Apply To Intern With SPARC >

SPARC and The Getty Multicultural Internship Program

wordmark_teal_borderSPARC has partnered with the Getty Foundation’s Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program since 2010: Aiming to increase diversity in and provide support for Los Angeles-area museums and visual arts organizations, the Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program has funded substantive, full-time summer work opportunities for students at Los Angeles-area museums and visual arts organizations. Since the program’s founding in 1993, 150 local arts institutions, as well as the Getty Center and the Getty Villa, have hosted over 2,700 undergraduates, exposing these students to career possibilities in the arts. Since 2011, SPARC’s Associate Director, Felipe M. Sanchez, currently serves as the programs Area Supervisor organizing cultural excursions and engaging Getty interns in the cultural and political life of Los Angeles.

The Getty Foundation will be accepting applications for the Sumer 2014 Multicultural Program next spring; for more information, visit: The Getty Website Here >

Michael Gibson

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Michael Gibson was born and raised in Los Angeles. His love for art and art history began in earnest soon after he lobbied against his high school’s decision to discontinue its fine arts seminar program. After graduating from high school early and having become the presidential scholar of his community college’s fine arts department, Michael received his bachelors degree in the history of art from The University of California at Berkeley. While in the San Francisco Bay Area Michael worked at the De Young Museum, Creative Growth Art Center, and Galeria de la Raza. Between working as a student housing manager and attending school full time, he fully integrated himself into the San Francisco Mission district’s art scene. In addition to being the Archival assistant to Galeria de la Raza, Michael was also the personal and archival assistant to several bay area artists and writers. He is very thankful to be working at an organization such as SPARC due to its historic legacy and noble mission. Michael hopes to apply for and enter into graduate school for fall 2015. His current research interests include Chican@/Latino art, public art, municipal/governmental sponsorship of art, art of the cold war, and the effects of globalization on the politics of art.
His SPARC email is michael@sparcinla.org


London James

londonBorn in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles, London James is a recent graduate from Loyola Marymount University with a BA in Sociology. Throughout most of her time at LMU, she worked as a mentor at Loyola Village Elementary School and volunteered at Bread & Roses (a soup kitchen in Venice, CA). She spent time giving back to the Watts-Willowbrook community where she gradated high school by volunteering at the Social Services Department of Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Ambulatory Care Center and mentored the children of Nickerson Gardens Sage Center. It was not until her sophomore year at LMU she was introduced to the Arts through Ceramics. Her ceramic sculptures have been displayed in LMU’s 2012 and 2013 Annual Juried Student Exhibition, having recently received Jurors’ Honorable Mention. London is currently a Getty intern serving as SPARC’s Public Art Administration Assistant. In the near future, London looks forward to emerging herself in her artwork, traveling and continuing on to graduate school.

SPARC’s mission speaks directly to me because it seemed to perfectly merge my two passions—Sociology and Art. After questioning whether I should pursue Studio Arts with an emphasis in Ceramics, I concluded that Sociology would make my art timeless in so being socially relevant. Studying Sociology at LMU made me realize that I am capable of producing art that goes beyond being “aesthetically pleasing.” The thought of creating something that could spark dialogue about social justice issues was much more powerful. I recognized that in my own unique way, I would be able to contribute to conversations about global issues that are blatant yet neglected. Essentially, SPARC’s purpose epitomizes my artistic journey.


Sasha Davila

sashaSasha Davila was born in Los Angeles and raised in San Diego. She transferred to UCLA from San Diego Mesa Community College and recently graduated with a B.A. in Art History and a minor in Chicana(o) Studies. Sasha’s journey with SPARC began as a student in Judy Baca’s Mural and Public Art Classes and as a UCLA/SPARC Intern. Sasha later became an Astin Civic Engagement Scholar through the UCLA Center for Community Learning where she conducted research under Judy Baca and SPARC on the social impact of murals in relationship to community cultural centers and community cultural development titled “Public Art in Contention: Maintaining a Community Ethos in Los Angles”. Her work entailed surveying and interviewing participants from different community cultural centers around Los Angeles about how those involved in community arts programs and centers view the social impact of murals in their communities. Her research sheds light on their views on murals, their social needs, the use of murals to develop community cultural development, and how community cultural centers can effectively use murals as an advocacy and pedagogical tool for their social needs. Both murals and community cultural centers are powerful in their own right, but together they form a unique dynamic for identifying and addressing social needs.

Sasha later became a 2012-2013 recipient of the UCLA Chancellor’s Service Award for her work in the community as a student leader. Sasha also worked as a UCLA Academic Peer Counselor with the Community Programs Office (CPO) and an Art Project Director with UCLA iVolunteer in China. She has a deep interest in issues related to community based public art in LA, and plans to continue this work and attain her PhD in Art History. Her interests include traveling, reading, helping the community, and exploring local eateries. Sasha is currently SPARC’s Archive Assistant through the Getty Multicultural Internship Program.


Davida Persaud

Davida Persaud served as SPARC’s 2012 Getty Foundation Multicultural Program Summer Intern. She is a graduate of Occidental College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Comparative Literary Studies with a minor in Critical Theory and Social Justice (class of 2012). During her work at Occidental she developed a passion for affecting social change; in 2011 she was awarded a Richter Grant for Undergraduate Research Abroad for developing an original thesis in Ghana, West Africa entitled, “Traditional Ghanaian Dance and its Role in Western Notions of Community”. Additionally, her undergraduate research thesis was centered upon the experience of art as a powerful medium through which to invoke unity in communities. Davida’s work as a SPARC/Getty Intern included marketing and development projects for SPARC’s 35th Anniversary Celebration in October 2012.


Candace Kita

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Candace Kita served as SPARC’s 2011 Getty Foundation Multicultural Program Summer Intern. She graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, CA in 2011 and received her undergraduate degree in Studio Art (major) and Art History (minor). With a strong background and investment in community-based projects, her senior thesis included creating a space for Asian American women at Scripps College. In 2010, Candace attended the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland with special focus in visual communications including graphic design, illustration, and photography. During her tenure as a SPARC/Getty Summer Intern, Candace’s project focus included marketing, development and event planning coordination for the Great Wall of Los Angeles Community Picnic, celebrating the restoration of the Great Wall of Los Angeles monument.


Leah Bright

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As an undergraduate studying art history and Spanish at the University of Oregon I explored the many fascinating facets and possibilities of the art world, but despite my passion for art I slowly became disillusioned with the elitist, western-focus of traditional art history. Then, after spending time along the US-Mexico border with a human rights organization and studying some of the visual and literary art that has come out of the conflict and tension along the borderlands, I yearned to find a way to combine my interest in art and art history with activism and working for social and environmental justice. I first learned of SPARC through a particularly inspiring professor while writing a paper about the Great Wall of Los Angeles. I was inspired not only by the moving social messages and beauty of the works SPARC has produced, but by the community-rooted process in which SPARC creates their works, and how art production can become a site for social change and empowerment for youth and the community. I was drawn to SPARC’s process of creating public artwork that grows out the community and highlights the rich cultural quilt of Los Angeles, but also promotes globally applicable ideas. So, of course I was motivated to learn more about SPARC, apply for an internship, and after graduation, to move from my home in Fairbanks, Alaska, to Los Angeles, to learn as much as possible about such an inspirational and influential organization.

Like many recent graduates, I am unsure of my future plans, but I am aiming towards graduate school and am excited to explore the infinite possibilities. I have already learned so much from the amazing individuals at SPARC, the innovative processes involved in the creation of public art, the complexities of keeping such an organization afloat and the huge amount of heart and dedication that all involved put into their work. Whether I strive towards a future in art, art restoration, non-profit work or bringing what I have learned to my home in Alaska, I look forward to integrating everything I have learned, and will learn, about the limitless potential of the power of art to inspire change across the world.


Nicole Saint

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Nicole is a recent graduate of the University of Denver; she earned her BFA in Pre-Art Conservation. She has a great passion for the arts, ethnic studies, art education and cultural preservation.

Her experience includes completing a year-long Post-Baccalaureate Art Conservation Certificate Program at Studio Art Centers International- Florence (SACI). She has interned at the University of Denver’s Partners in Scholarship Apprenticeship, restoring the University of Denver’s John E. Thompson mural; the L.A. County Arts Commission Internship, creating a donor database for the Pasadena Dance Theatre, the Denver Art Museum Conservation Internship, documenting and conserving various objects in the Museum’s permanent collection; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Collection Management Internship, labeling, documenting and creating mounts for a recently acquired collection of costumes and textiles.

Nicole has contributed her time this summer assisting SPARC with administrative projects including research for the Save LA Murals campaign and the Great Wall of Los Angeles restoration project.


Karina Castillo

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Karina Castillo Mejia, nací en San Salvador El Salvador en 1988, hice todos mis estudios en la misma ciudad y siempre sentí la inclinación natural al Arte; iniciándome así en la Escuela de Artes de la misma Universidad, en donde el camino se hace de forma mas que todo autodidáctica en las artes, pues este tipo de estudios en mi pais son escasos y si los hay también atrapados en el tiempo; entonces iniciamos entre un grupo de estudiantes a buscar mas fuentes de información, y fue esa misma curiosidad la que me acerco a SPARC, en donde hasta ahora he permanecido por dos meses conociendo y profundizando mas en la plástica y los avances de la misma. Los que estamos ahora estudiando artes en El Salvador tenemos un compromiso fijo de poder desarrollar un trabajo real, nuevo, que aporte en vez de quitar y mantener la idea de que todo lo nuevo aprendido no servirá mas que para compartirse.

Al inicio me acerco la curiosidad y el deseo de aprender sobre el arte en general, (ademas de que SPARC llego a El Salvador) quería acercarme a fuentes de conocimiento que seguramente traerían aportes e ideas nuevas a lo que ya conocía; luego pude unirme al equipo y entonces fue creciendo la empatía con el trabajo que se desarrollaba, pues no era solamente hacer un mural mas, era plasmar historia, realidad, mensajes que no se entienden con la razón sino con la intuición.

Me intereso en pocas palabras el compromiso autentico de mostrar las raíces de la gente, la transformación que en efecto el arte tiene sobre todos los que están involucrados (teniendo en cuenta que no solo son los artistas, sino todo aquel que se siente identificado, o incluso el que pasa frente al mural y se pregunta para que esta puesto ahí); me intereso que es un arte fuerte y con contenido social.

El trabajo es fuerte pero sin perder la inspiración; he estado en el Laboratorio de murales digitales, aprendiendo la técnica directa de pintar de manera digital, he visto de cerca el proceso entero de la finalización de un mural que incluye: la impresión, instalación y los acabados finales (pintar con oro), y en fin una serie de pasos que hacen que este proyecto cobre vida.

Y como algo muy especial poder aprender de la mano de Judy Baca, que es una artista muy fuerte no solo como profesional en las artes, sino también como ser humano, y por supuesto conocer al equipo de SPARC muchos nuevos rostros con personalidades diversas, con carácter y fortaleza de los cuales me he tomado la libertad de adquirir ciertas virtudes que me son validas para la vida entera.

SPARC es importante por que permite el rescate de la memoria, los valores, la cultura, y la expresión de la diversidad de los pueblos, reconoce de manera humana el tejido histórico que se hace día con día, los plasma de una forma bella en un muro que antes probablemente estaba olvidado y con esto consigue proyectar un mensaje de dignidad a todos los que pasan por ahí, sin importar siquiera si saben un idioma o no, si saben leer o no; por que es un arte sin ataduras de razas, condiciones sociales y religiones.


Renae McCollum

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Hi, my name is Renae McCollum, born and raised in Fresno, CA. Art has always been an important factor in my life and although thoughts of pursuing it in my education are still being tossed around, I’m currently a Geography/Environmental Studies major at UCLA. I constantly crave to know more about the world and different people living within it. Reading a book or going to lecture is one way to learn, but I’ve found that art and a community is a deeper, more interesting step into gaining that knowledge of others. Coming to LA and involving myself with SPARC has enriched my cultural understanding of the world and broadened my own creative world.

I heard about SPARC through UCLA’s website and applied for an internship my second year. I took a break for a year or so but came back this past May with more time to help. Specifically, with a special interest in promoting the Save LA Murals campaign. Community tied together by a work of art expresses so much about a particular place or environment. I want to help make that bond between people, art, and the place they live.

SPARC is my haven away from the busyness and chaos of college life. I’m drawn to the creative atmosphere and warm people that have built this incredible organization. I volunteer with SPARC projects or events. I’ve worked on various things since I’ve been here: the digital archives, data input, inventory, manufacturing items for the SPARC store and assisting with the openings and Penas. Working in the digital mural lab has refined my Photoshop and other computer skills. With my experience working in the front office, I’ve learned more about the world of non-profit organizations and how they function and survive. These newly acquired skills will be beneficial to my future endeavors.

Now as I’m coming to an end in my education at UCLA, SPARC has contributed to my search in what I should do with the rest of my life. Although I’m still uncertain, I know now I want to work with and for the Community; hopefully with an emphasis in public art and how it can impact the environment purely for the good.


Shinji Kitagawa

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I came to know about SPARC in the book called “The Era Of Self-Education”, which is published in Japan. In Tokyo, where I grew up.

By interning at SPARC, I am hoping to be in touch with and learn about their process of on-going projects that involve diverse groups of people in the community. It’s always a wonderful thing to be close to the people trying to connect to others and learn how to appreciate and celebrate our lives through something fun like communal art, and mural paintings.

I personally like being in touch with these positive spirits and energies of the people around me. So I am hoping, not just to learn things out of this internship experience, but also to learn how to provide more to organizations like this as well as others working in the same field in the future.


MonaLisa Whitaker

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My name is MonaLisa Whitaker, I proudly identify as an African born in America-it is essential for me to acknowledge both sets of ancestors-my last name is spelled with one T because when my paternal ancestors were freed, they dropped the second T to indicate that we were no longer enslaved. I was born and raised here in the greater Los Angeles area. Currently, I reside and have an art studio in Inglewood.

My art background is in photography and mixed media. I’m also the director of Inglewood Cultural Arts, a nonprofit arts organization based in Inglewood provide multidisciplinary arts to residents of Inglewood and surrounding communities. I hold an Occupational Certificate in Photography, an A.A. in Studio Art and a B.A. in Art History.

While finishing my art history degree, I joined the Southeastern College Art Conference, and they sent an email about an ArtTable Mentored Internship. ArtTable is an organization based out of New York that promotes women in the visual arts professions. The mentor part of the internship intrigued me because when I became Executive Director, it was all on-the-job training so I felt I could benefit from having a mentor. I was very happy when I received the call from SPARC and to have Debra J.T. Padilla as a mentor. I’ve known of the SPARC sponsored/created murals all of my life and was always interested in the collaborative aspect of their work.

Some of my work here has included press publicity, event coordination and assistance with exhibit installation for our recent events (with other interns, volunteers and staff) on the June 28th exhibit closing event, the Toltec I Ching Book-signing ; Exhibition and the Planet Siquieros Peña as well as general administration work. My mentor relationship has been wonderful–I have gained very valuable perspectives on arts administration and had the opportunity to participate in arts advocacy in a new way! These have all been great team efforts! And, a true testament to the SPARC philosophy of collaboration!

My personal philosophy is that each individual has the ability to make a difference for the collective of humanity. If we can ensure that people learn of their potential through the arts and facilitate the process of how to positively act upon it, then we can enrich the world in which we live. The experiential knowledge I have gained at SPARC has been very complementary to my personal philosophy and I look forward to continuing a relationship beyond the summer.


Alexis Mendez

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I learned about SPARC and its commitment to the community in a class at UCLA, Art and Social Advocacy, taught by professor Von Blum. However, its impact on my life surrounded me in Los Angeles long before I would learn and read about it in a class. Every visit to downtown I would see murals SPARC was responsible for without knowing. One day while job hunting I was riding my bike down Venice Blvd, saw the SPARC building, and decided to walk in. Unfortunately I did not find a paid position, but I was offered and opportunity to volunteer for the organization. Although I am still looking for employment, I did not wish to spend my time waiting out a recession in order to make my impact on the community. Honestly, I remembered Barack Obama’s speech, where he called on the people to commit to social advocacy and volunteerism in these hard economic times.

Since I’ve started at SPARC I have been a part of a collaborative team that works on a wide range of projects. I have helped hand make objects to be sold in the bookstore, printed commissions submitted to our DML, and helped install the latest exhibit: Toltec I’ Ching. I was involved in every facet of installation, from hanging Mexico’s section of the World Wall, didactic installation, and individually hanging and leveling sixty-four paintings. In addition to the work I have done for SPARC I have many ideas on how to better the space, and how I can bring my own talents to use. Specifically, I have experience volunteering on a programming committee, experience I would like to bring to SPARC by creating and implementing Community programs. Through these programs, I would help bring arts advocacy to the people.

I’ve gotten a glimpse at how difficult the road is in the art world, even for renowned artists such as Judith Baca. I’ve worked with non-profit organizations before, however I’ve never gotten to see the workings of such a monumental organization. The ability to serve huge populations through the arts is an invigorating study. I’ve also learned just how deeply the arts are affected in times of economic uncertainty. Though the arts have the ability to enrich people in very deep ways every day, Arts are the first to be seen on the chopping block in lower income communities. I find myself learning what bleak world would be without art advocacy. I find myself reflecting on how deeply my life would be affected if someone had not put a paintbrush in my hand, and given me the liberty of expression, and saddened by the knowledge that everyday more youth are not given opportunities in the arts. And yet, there is never a shortage of military recruitment in these communities. No matter how advanced society becomes, we still need the dreamers who can bring their vision to reality. And I believe a better world can be built by those who are given a well-rounded education; an education where one is given the freedom to dream and create.