sparc! the Artmobile
sparc! the Artmobile is an initiative of the Center for Art and Community Partnerships at MassArt. sparc! travels as an all-purpose mobile base for innovative and intergenerational art and design programs, projects and events. sparc! works with organizations, schools, and businesses to utilize our shared human and capital resources.
The process of creating sparc! involved a multitude of voices, and continues to be a catalyst for conversations and relationship-building. Whether it is stationed regularly or roaming the neighborhood, sparc!'s mobility, flexibility and visibility inspires community engagement. sparc! the ArtMobile is a vibrant part of the vitalization of Mission Hill and Lower Roxbury through art and design.
...many of the people there, not just the band, were part of the performance. I think what was cool is that there wasn't any clear line between who was part of the performance and who wasn't.
- Guest at PAINT! JAZZ! With The Makanda Project
The PAINT! JAZZ! event in the summer of 2012 attracted over 150 creative souls who gathered to paint and draw in response to LIVE music. sparc! provided canvas, pastels, paint, and encouragement - all free of charge. sparc!'s PAINT! JAZZ! was a collaboration of the Dudley Library, Roxbury Action Program, and the Makanda Project, an ensemble of renowned Boston jazz musicians who play original compositions of Makanda Ken McIntyre.
Sharing Our Stories: The Power of Place
...Until the lion tells its story, the story of the lion will always glorify the hunter.
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In the Sharing Our Stories project, sparc! the ArtMobile collaborated with the Tenants Development Corporation to bring together award winning storyteller Valerie Stephens and "Seasoned Citizens" of the South End and Lower Roxbury neighborhoods. Participants shared experiences of growing up in these areas, using storytelling exercises to create a powerful performance about place, politics and transformation. sparc! also facilitated a workshop on creating Memory Boxes utilizing family photos and keepsakes. The project culminated in a reception and performance with over 120 community members of all ages.
What is Poetry?
I didn't think I had anything to say but even that became a poem.
-Student of "What is Poetry?"
"What is Poetry?", a sparc! workshop for youth has been piloted with three different Mission Hill youth organizations: MissionSafe, Sociedad Latina, and the Philips Brooks House. MassArt student and spoken-word poet, Lewis Morris, has led each of these workshops which ask youth to explore their identity and their world through words and performance.
sparc!venture: Mission Hill Farmer's Market
"Now this is really community engagement. I got a recipe from a woman here for gazpacho!"
- sparc! student
Each summer season sparc! co-locates with the Mission Hill Farmer's Market in Brigham Circle. The market features locally grown produce, baked goods, bicycle repair and now, (with sparc!) street-level artmaking projects including printmaking, journaling and jewelry-making. Students and visiting artists guide the process for children adults, health professionals and retirees who are willing to stop by the market. These projects are offered free of charge and all are welcome.
sparc!series: Art Drop-In at the Tobin Community Center
"There is no end to the creativity of the children. We always have a plan but they take it in new directions."
-sparc! student, Faith Johnson
The Friday Art Drop-In at the Tobin Community Center is free and open to all children from 6 to 12 years of age in the Mission Hill neighborhood. sparc! provides a variety of hands-on art projects such as soft sculpture creatures, ice sculptures, the human web installation, native American beading, and bookmaking. The Art Drop-in is run by MassArt students on the sparc! team. The class of 10-12 children per week allows for individual attention and assistance in getting to know new materials and techniques.
Support for sparc! provided by
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, administrated by the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events.
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