SPARK! is a community wide partnership working to expand arts programming in Missoula County Public Schools. We facilitate and foster connections between district schools, local arts organizations, and teaching artists helping to ensure access to the arts for all MCPS students.
A National Partner in the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child Initiative
We believe that the Arts have the power to ignite the imagination, spark innovation through creativity, and transform learning. SPARK! works in collaboration with artists, classroom teachers, university staff, school administration, and volunteers to ensure that the arts are an essential part of every school day. SPARK! is a national partnership site for the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child Initiative, a growing network of communities working to transform learning and ensure access to the arts for every public school student.
A glimpse at what we do…
The Art of Creating a SPARK! Residency [SPARK! Documentary Film]
May 2018, the Roxy Theater
4th graders to the Missoula Symphony, 3rd graders to the Montana Theatre for a dance performance, 7th grade students explore the Montana Museum of Arts and Culture…
Whether it is dance, music, exhibits, or theatrical productions, we believe that every student should have the opportunity to experience the rich, cultural offerings of our creative community. SPARK! ensures free access and transportation to visual and performing arts in Missoula. In our first year, we’ve provided access to community arts performances and exhibits for over 5,000 MCPS students.
SPARK! works in collaboration with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and University of Montana’s College of Visual and Performing Arts to expand professional development that provides educators with strategies to integrate the arts with other subjects. Imagine students dancing the life cycle of a frog or using photography to understand sound waves. Watch these wonderful videos describing arts integration through dance.
[Below: ‘African Dance’ is a student-created video]
[Below: 4th Graders visit the Missoula Art Museum. Student-created video by Elementary Student newscasters]
[Below: Barriletes with 5th Graders at Paxson Elementary]
Arts for Art’s Sake
We believe that a quality, well-rounded arts education is essential. Through SPARK!, a new vision of arts education is surfacing. The Initiative is partnering with MCPS to grow a robust and sustainable program that includes visual arts, dance, theatre, and media arts for all students.
STEM to STEAM:
Science Technology Engineering Arts Math
Creativity. Innovation. Critical thinking. Problem solving. Communication. Collaboration.
These learning skills define student success in the 21st century. SPARK! understands that
access to the arts is key to creativity. Creativity ignites innovation and innovation is agreed to be a necessity for success.
Missoula joins the national movement to put the A in STEM creating rich
STEAM learning environments connecting across the district’s
Achievement for All 21st Century Model Education Plan.