Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from SPARK!
What would our world look like without the arts? Without music, theatre, cinema, painting, dance? It's hard to imagine because life without those things throughout the history of human existence is truly rare. Artistic creativity in education is not an added bonus - it is a critical element of human existence and the student's development as a whole person. The arts can transform student lives in ways that are unprecedented. When learning how to create, process and evaluate, students develop a sense of ownership in the action of learning then transfer those skills into the traditional academic arena."
-John Combs, MCPS Fine Arts Supervisor
SPARK! believes that a quality, well-rounded arts education is essential to the healthy growth and happiness of our children.
We feel honored to partner with a school district that understands the value of the arts and has a long tradition of wonderful arts programming.
For example, Missoula County Public Schools' music programs are legendary. Anyone who has attended a district art show at Southgate Mall is impressed with the quality of art being created. Similarly, our high school theatre programs delight audiences with their stellar performances.
SPARK! stands on the strong shoulders of those fabulous arts programs, and was formed to increase and support art for art's sake - whenever and however possible.
It is clear that the holiday season is currently upon us as soon as you walk into the door of any MCPS elementary, middle or high school. From the beautiful artwork displayed, to the sounds of music wafting through the halls our student artists, dancers and musicians are making things merry and bright.
The holiday season is synonymous with concert season. Student musicians from kindergarten to high school seniors are enjoying the richness of creating and performing beautiful sounds. In each of our schools our young musicians are learning the skills required to confidently share their music with their school and community.
Music and visual arts are not the only things booming, but dance is also an important ingredient in MCPS schools as Bare Bait Dance works with residencies at Sentinel HS this month to deepen skills in the art form of graceful movement.
Elementary art students are blossoming as well. "Look at the new color I created", "I never knew I could draw like this - I'm an Artist", and this comment from a 5th Grader at Hawthorne Elementary - " You helped me take the picture in my mind and put it on paper". Children are inherently artistic, it's our job as educators to help their artistry develop and grow. The artwork being fashioned each day validates the power of imagination, creativity and innovation.
"Without art, earth is just eh." ~unknown