Looking back at the past two years, I am astounded at how much has happened in such a short time. Never before have I been a part of such a truly collaborative initiative. The Missoula community is something special, and I know that this collective impact for arts education would be difficult to duplicate elsewhere, yet I fully believe that efforts should be made to duplicate in as many places as possible!
As I make the bittersweet journey on to new adventures, I want to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone who is a part of SPARK! To each teacher, administrator, artist, organization, donor, business, committee member, parent, and student--you have ignited my creativity and energy again and again. It has been a great honor to work with all of you, and I will carry so many lessons and sparks of joy with me.
Being the Director of SPARK! taught me many things, a few of which I would like to share in parting:
- Very little kids can grasp very big concepts when art is involved.
- People are immensely generous when they are passionate about something; I've been continually in awe of the time busy people are willing to donate.
- Visual arts are amazing for teaching problem solving skills.
- A day should never be without some music and some dance.
- Theatre rules can almost always be applied to life.
- Solid data is important, but seeing the spark in a child's eyes for oneself is better.
My next role will be teaching Theatre Arts and Drama Integration at an international school in Salvador, Brazil. I am looking forward to being in the classroom with students again, and I am excited to be immersed in a new culture, but I will certainly miss all that is SPARK! and the wonderfully unique culture of Missoula. I am confident that SPARK! will thrive under Sienna Solberg's leadership, and you can count on me to continue to support equitable access to arts education wherever I happen to be in the world.
It has been an absolute delight to work with the fine staff of Arts Missoula.
Muito obrigada to all who have shared in this journey with me.
With Love and Gratitude,