Carlos Rogel, SPARC Project Manager and Arts Educator at the Judith F. Baca Arts Academy (JBAA) states:
“As SPARC artists and educators who grew up going to LA Unified schools, we are thrilled to see a future energized by the range of talented ACN arts educators in the room; collectively we will advance a transformative arts education for our students, their classroom instructors, and families. The power of this arts investment not only lies in how it influences the student’s’ educational experience, but also in their exploration of identity, culture, and community.”
Through the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Art Education Branch’s Arts Community Network (ACN) Program led by Executive Director Rory Pullens, SPARC has been awarded a contract to work in the most underserved schools on the arts equity index to provide after-school and in-school art workshops.
This Spring, the Watts students of the Judith F. Baca Arts Academy (JBAA), named after SPARC Founder and Artistic Director Judy Baca, is receiving art workshops in a total of 14 classrooms across TK-6th grade levels in various art mediums including music, dance, print-making, choral-reading, theater, and photography. Classes are led by professional art educators and supported by teaching assistants who all share the same belief in the transformative power of the arts.
SPARC will also be leading its 6th year of the Emancipation Project with the JBAA 6th grade class where trained Mentors will be supporting the students in their self-portraiture projects, exploring and affirming their dreams, communities, and identities. The painted self-portraits are later installed permanently in their campus, leaving their own legacy as they matriculate to the next grade level.
In celebration of the arts, the LAUSD community, our future artists and their families, SPARC will be hosting an end-of-the-year culminating event in June where the students will be presenting their works in a gallery walk as well as a performance event!
This year, SPARC’s cohort of Teaching Artists includes: UCLA Visiting Professor, Edison Elementary Instructor and SPARC’s Artist in Residence, Martha Ramirez-Oropeza teaching 3rd grade choral-reading; ELACC Photography Professor and SPARC Neighborhood Pride Muralist, Mary-Linn Hughes teaching 5th grade photography; Los de Abajo Printmaking Collective’s Kay Brown teaching 2nd grade printmaking; Edison Elementary Instructor Jacqueline Fuentes teaching TK, Kindergarten, and 4th grade music; UCLA Graduate Student in the Dept. of Chicana/o Studies Silvia Rodriguez teaching Theater; and UCLA Graduate Student in World Arts and Cultures Rayven Armijo teaching Baile Folklorico.
Photos by: SPARC Intern, Aryelle Carter and SPARC Associate Director, Pete Galindo.