Read up on SPARK! Arts In the News
Transformative Power of the Arts
September 16, 2020 – Missoulian
Sept. 13-19 marks National Arts in Education Week, a celebration designated by Congress and led by Americans for the Arts. This week recognizes the transformative power of the arts in education and to support equitable access to the arts for all students. Link to full guest collumn.
Arts and Education: Missoula class combines physics and theater
March 5, 2020 – KPAX
MISSOULA — We recently headed over to Chief Charlo Elementary School for this Arts and Education report where students were getting a unique look at a sometimes difficult subject. Link to full story!
600+ sixth graders attend special screening at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
February 20, 2020 – ABC FOX Montana
Arts and Education: A new way to learn about the weather
February 20, 2020 – KPAX
MISSOULA — We headed over to Franklin Elementary School for a different take on learning about weather for this Arts and Education report. Link to full story!
Drumming helping Missoula students learn life lessons
February 13, 2020 – KPAX
MISSOULA — We headed over to Missoula’s Rattlesnake Elementary School for this Arts and Education report where the kids there are moving to the beat of their own drum. Link to full story!
Dance and PE class come together at Missoula Middle School
February 6, 2020 – KPAX
MISSOULA — SAPRK! Art Missoula has teamed up with CS Porter Middle School for a different take on everyone’s favorite class – PE. Link to full story!
Arts and Education: Missoula students learning about filmmaking
January 30, 2020 – KPAX
MISSOULA — We headed over to CM Russell Elementary School for this Arts and Education Report where some students are using their newly acquired skills to make and star in their own movie. Link to full article and video!
Arts and Education: Teaching history through art
January 23, 2020 – KPAX
MISSOULA — MISSOULA — We’re taking a look at a class where art and history come together for this Arts and Education report. Link to full article and video!
Arts and Education: Rattlesnake students learning science through dance
December 5, 2019 – KPAX
MISSOULA — We headed over to Rattlesnake Elementary School for this Arts and Education report to see how kids are learning science through dance. Link to full article.
‘Tell Us Something’ teaches middle schoolers empathy through storytelling
November 27, 2019 – Missoulian
MISSOULA — Everyone has a story to tell, but it’s the way it’s told that makes listeners follow along and feel like they’re a part of it. Link to full article.
Arts and Education: Supaman bring unique message to Missoula
October 17, 2019 – KPAX
MISSOULA — This edition of Arts and Education takes a look at a special event where kids are learning all about art, diversity and culture in Missoula. Link to full article.
Arts and Education: MCPS marks Arts Appreciate Week
October 10, 2019 – KPAX
MISSOULA — Arts Appreciate Week in Missoula wanted to acknowledge more than just art and theatre. For the actors who visited Missoula from around the country, it was about fostering a love of expression that should begin at a young age.Link to full article.
Arts and Education: A new way to look at science
October 3, 2019 – KPAX
MISSOULA — We headed over to Lewis and Clark Elementary School for this Arts and Education report where they are focusing in a whole new way on science. Link to full article.
Arts and Education: A look at the SPARK! Arts initiative
September 26, 2019 – KPAX
MISSOULA — This marks the first installment of our school year segment Arts and Education. It’s a time where we take you behind the scenes to show you just how the arts are being used to further education in our schools. Link to Full Article
Math, science and dance come together at a local Missoula Elementary School.
May 27, 2019 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – Students at Paxson Elementary School are learning that math, science and dance all go hand in hand.” Link to Full Article
May 16, 2019 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We headed over to Paxson Elementary School in this week’s Arts and Education to get a look at their unique ways of learning a second language.” Link to Full Article
May 9, 2019 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We headed over the Missoula’s Franklin Elementary School for this Arts and Education report where the sciences are being learned — but not in the usual way.” Link to Full Article
April 25, 2019 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We headed over to Hawthorne Elementary School for this Arts and Education report where kids are learning math in some very unique ways.” Link to Full Article
April 18, 2019 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We headed over to Rattlesnake Elementary School for this Arts & Education report where students are learning science through dance.” Link to Full Article
April 11, 2019 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We headed over to Rattlesnake Elementary School for this week’s Arts and Education report where students are learning to move with the beat.” Link to Full Article
April 9, 2019 – Missoulian
“A Salish contemporary artist, a retiring schools superintendent, a storytelling advocate, an arts philanthropist and a theater educator were all honored on Tuesday.” Link to Full Article
April 4, 2019 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We headed over to Meadow Hill Middle School for this Arts and Education report where the seventh grade class is working on a project that will get them in front of the big screen.” Link to Full Article
March 21, 2019 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We headed over to Paxson Elementary School where the kindergarten class is learning some very valuable lessons in a unique way.” Link to Full Article
March 14, 2019 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We headed over to Jeannette Rankin Elementary School for this Arts and Education report where students there are learning that laughter really is the best medicine.” Link to Full Article
February 20, 2019 – KTMF
“MISSOULA – The 16th Annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival saw a boost in attendance Tuesday, when hundreds of 6th graders took over MCT.” Link to Full Article
January 2019 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We headed over to CS Porter Middle School for this Arts and Education report where kids here are taking a special class to help them swing into the new year.” Link to Full Article
December, 2018 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We headed over to Chief Charlo Elementary School for this Arts and Education report where educators are using drama to teach life lessons.” Link to Full Article
November, 2018 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We head out to Chief Charlo School in Missoula for this Arts and Education report where a new learning style is helping math to come alive.
Karen Kaufmann a visual and performing arts professor at the University of Montana is in the process of creating a certification program for local dance teachers.” Link to Full Article
October, 2018 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – Have you ever thought about using art as a way to learn science? Or maybe using dance to solve a math problem?
Well, unique learning habits is what SPARK! Ignite Missoula is all about. It’s an initiative from the John F. Kennedy Center for the performing arts in Washington, DC — and they basically have one goal.” Link to Full Article
Barrieletes with Paxon 5th Grade Video
Fall 2018 -The Roxy Theater
May, 2018 – Missoula Community Media Resource
May, 2018 – The Roxy Theater
May 9, 2018 – Missoula Current
“Sienna Solberg will serve as the new executive director of the SPARK! arts program in Missoula, beginning on June 1. Tom Bensen, executive director of Arts Missoula, said Solberg has served as an outreach specialist and youth development coordinator for the Missoula Flagship Program, and as a behavior specialist at Washington Middle School.” Link to Full Article
May 3, 2018 – KPAX
May 3rd, 2018 – KXLF
“MISSOULA – This week’s Arts and Education report features SPARK! Missoula, a nationally recognized organization that’s bringing the visual arts to Western Montana.
SPARK! Missoula is one of 25 sites across the country to team up with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. to bring the Any Given Child Initiative to Missoula.” Link to Full Article
April 18, 2018 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – We headed over to Rattlesnake School for this week’s Arts and Education report where learning, fun and dance go hand-in-hand. A collaboration with SPARK! Ignite Missoula and local dance teachers is bringing the concept of fun and learning to a whole new level”. Link to Full Article
Missoula Live, MCAT, SPARK! Spring Showcase 2018
April 16, 2018 – MCAT
April 11, 2018 – FOX Montana
“MISSOULA – Students at Franklin Elementary School participated in a fun program on Tuesday using art to spark their imagination. The Spark! project brings local artists into the classroom to creatively teach school subjects.” Link to Full Article
December 31, 2017 – Missoulian
“Scrap of all kinds awaited families to be turned into art Sunday afternoon in the University Center to kick off First Night Missoula festivities.” Link to Full Article
November 2, 2017 – Pathfinder
“SEELEY LAKE – Seeley-Swan High School started incorporating the SPARK! Arts Ignite Learning program this year in Dr. Kathleen Pecora’s senior English Class. The two-hour photography lesson was incorporated with a personal essay and artifact that the students brought in that pertained to the story that was shared. While the students wished they’d had more time to practice the photography concepts they were taught, they each learned something new.” Link to Full Article
May 4, 2017 – Missoulian
“SPARK! Arts Ignite Learning will present its first annual Spring Showcase on Friday, May 5, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Wilma in downtown Missoula.
The First Friday event will feature presentations by a variety Missoula County Public Schools K-8 students. Students and SPARK! artists and organizations will be performing dance, drumming, theater and storytelling throughout the evening. You can view student-created films and a gallery of visual art works made through SPARK! residencies. This event is free to the public.” Link to full article
“Spark! officially kicked off its fourth year in Missoula classrooms with a recent reception honoring its teaching artists and welcoming director Jackalynn Snow.
Hosted by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and Missoula Community Theater, the reception also marked the start of the second full year of Spark! residencies and programs in K-5 classrooms across Missoula County Public Schools, along with the launch of Spark! in middle schools.” Link to full article
May 5, 2017 – Missoula Current
“Missoula County Public Schools students will show off the talents they’ve honed this year as part of the Spark! Arts Ignite Learning program during an evening of programs at the Wilma on Friday, May 5.
Students and Spark! artist-teachers will perform dance, drumming, theater and storytelling throughout the evening. All events are free. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
The lineup includes street performances and interactive visual arts projects outside the theater. Inside, visitors can browse the visual arts gallery; view a wide array of student-created films; hop on the dance floor for swing dancing, creative movement and African dance; and watch young thespians and storytellers showcase their skills.” Link to full article
April 28, 2017 – KPAX
“MISSOULA – Students can learn about any insect through a textbook but kindergarteners at Cold Springs School in Missoula are learning about them a little differently.
KC Sherman headed out to learn more about what’s going on in this week’s Arts and Education report.
Mr. Schaeffer’s kindergarten class at Cold Springs School is doing a unit on butterflies and their lifecycle b. But, his students aren’t just learning about butterfly metamorphosis while sitting at a desk.
Instead, Teresa Waldorf, a University of Montana theater instructor — and a teaching artist for SPARK! — joined the class to help them learn through creative drama.”Link to full article
February 24, 2017 – KRTV
“MISSOULA -While film directors may be used to a theater full of film enthusiasts and movie critics it’s not often that they screen their film to a room full of third graders.
In this week’s Arts and Education story KC Sherman headed to the Roxy Theater where Missoula third grade students got the chance to view documentaries from the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.” Link to full article
February 3, 2017 – KPAX
“Ecology is typically taught using textbooks and class notes, but one elementary class in Missoula is proving that it can be taught just as effectively through the use of acting.
MTN News visited with fifth-grade students at Chief Charlo Elementary School for this Arts in Education report to learn how they use theater arts to learn about the ecosystem.” Link to full article
December 31, 2016 – Missoulian
“Matt Tobiason, 9, saw his artwork hanging in the University Center Gallery on Saturday, and the experience astounded him.
“I’ve never had work in a gallery before, so it’s just amazing and really interesting to see it,” Tobiason said.
The fourth grader was visiting the UC on the University of Montana campus as part of First Night Missoula. Hosted by Arts Missoula, First Night bills itself as “12 hours of the best in local music, hands-on fun, family entertainment, and breathtaking performances.” Link to full article
December 31, 2016 – NBC Montana
“Missoula, Mont. – Missoulians celebrated New Years Eve early with the 23rd annual First Night Missoula Saturday afternoon.
There were more than 75 events happening around town – one being the art gallery featuring students from Chief Charlo School.
SPARK director Jackalynn Snow helped get the student’s art displayed at the University Center Gallery. She says the kids are amazed when they see their art on the wall.
“It is normal for them to have it displayed at school and have parents come see, but to have it in public in a real gallery with the beautiful lighting and everyone here, I think it is really exciting.”
SPARK’s goal is to get more art opportunities into schools for children.” Link to full article
November 21, 2016 – KPAX
“While most elementary students are taught verbs and adverbs with worksheets and whiteboards, the students at Rattlesnake Elementary School approach these subjects a little differently…” Link to full article
October 28, 2016 – KPAX
“KPAX is partnering up with Allegiance Benefit Plan Management and Missoula County Public Schools on a new program that integrates the fine arts into your child’s classroom education.
In a community so rich in arts it comes as no surprise that arts integration takes center stage in the education of nearly 9,000 students in the Missoula County Public Schools District.” Link to full article
September 18, 2016 – Missoulian
“One audition, and Jackalynn Snow was hooked.
It was in sixth grade, and Snow got the part as Clara in “The Nutcracker.” She remembers the adrenaline surging through her body as she stepped on stage. It cemented her love of theater and set her on a path to her desk today: director of SPARK! Arts Ignite Learning.
SPARK is Missoula’s arm of the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child initiative, an effort to expand arts education in grades K-8. SPARK is the only Any Given Child program in Montana, and it’s the smallest nationwide.” Link to full article
September 8, 2016 – Missoulian
“The nonprofit arts center kicked off the project two years ago. It originated with Asa Smetanka, the young son of local artist and filmmaker Andy Smetanka, who rented studio facilities at the ZACC. Asa liked drawing monsters, and came up with the idea that adults could interpret his creations.
About 12 artists participated and the next year it teamed with Missoula County Public Schools through Spark!, which helps bring arts programming to schools.” Link to full article
January 16, 2016 – Missoulian
“Chris Neely, the executive director of SPARK! Arts Ignite Learning, said the donation will be used to increase arts education at the Missoula County Public Schools’ three middle schools. SPARK! is the Missoula branch of the Kennedy Center’s nationwide Any Given Child initiative, which works to expand the potential for arts education.” Link to full article
April 27th, 2015 – Missoulian
“Arts are an “on-ramp” to math and science for students. Sometimes, though, teachers stall and become anxious when it comes to integrating the arts into their classrooms. ‘Drawing is only a tiny bit easier than doing math,’ said Seena Demmons, an instructional coach at Missoula County Public Schools.” Link to Full Article
March 31, 2015 – Make it Missoula
“In a climate nationwide where the idea of increasing rather than subtracting arts resources and staff in public schools was almost laughable, SPARK’s efforts in the first year of implementation alone (which isn’t even over yet) have reached over 5,400 students and more than 120 teachers in the district. The impact we are already seeing in the schools has encouraged MCPS to increase the amount of arts teachers in elementary schools.” Link to full article