Turning 70: A moment of reflection from Judy Baca


“Looking back, being truly in the present and looking towards our future.”

September 20, 2016

It is surprising to wake up today and turn 70 years old. How did the time pass so quickly? I founded SPARC when I was 30 years old with my two best women friends, Donna Deitch and Christina Schlesinger. Both SPARC and I have stood the test of time. I am truly grateful to report, I am still thriving and so is SPARC at 40 years old.

I’ve spent some time these last months looking back, being truly in the present and looking towards our future. It seems that my long time motto “The purpose of any monument is to bring the past into the present to inspire the future” now applies to SPARC and to me. My greatest joy has been to provide a solid vision for SPARC and to participate in producing meaningful impactful work. So much public good has come out of SPARC into a myriad of communities.

I along with my long-time colleague and friend SPARC’s Executive Director Debra J.T. Padilla are both deeply committed to insuring SPARC is here for generations to come. We want to extend the Great Wall of LA into the 60’s -90’s, we want the kids at the Judy Baca Arts Academy in Watts to dream about who they can become through our dynamic arts education programming, we want our staff to have good paying jobs with benefits, we want to invest in the next generation of leadership for SPARC, we want the newly arrived in Venice to get to know us and stay a little while, we want our city and country to invest in art to memorialize and beautify our communities, we want to continue to make a difference in the lives of the young people with whom we work and the artists who work along side us to amplify their voice and stories across the river and freeways of LA.

For my 70th birthday, I’m asking if you would consider making a donation to SPARC to continue our important work?

The synergy between my 70th and SPARC’s 40th is not lost on me. Thank you to all who have believed in me and by extension, SPARC. Here’s to embracing all that lies ahead.


Judy Baca

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