THANK YOU to our incredible Teaching Artists
Our incomparable SPARK! Arts Teaching Artists have been hard at work creating video resources for our MCPS students. We wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU to our Teaching Artists for all your hard work. Thank you for keeping us creative and making us smile!
Russell // Kindergarten
Russell // Kindergarten
Teaching Artists:
Matt Loehrke, Missoula Children's Theatre
Lizzi Juda, Turning the Wheel Missoula

SPARK! Arts teaching artists, Matt and Lizzi brought English Language Arts to life through their creative movement and drama with Russell Kindergarten classrooms via Zoom! Students were taught theatre skills, including using body language to show feelings, creating mime objects with imagination, and performing a show by listening and following story prompts. 
Lewis + Clark // All School
Lewis + Clark // All School
Teaching Artist:
Tabitha Beard / B. MartiNez

All students at Lewis and Clark Elementary were given art supplies and video instruction to create a charcoal art piece. SPARK! Arts teaching artist, Tabitha Beard, walked students through shading techniques to draw block letters with the message, “You Are Loved,” inspired by Alex Cook’s mural at the Poverello Center. Art work was collected and displayed as a collaborative art piece in the halls of the school.
Meadow Hill // All School

Meadow Hill // All School
Teaching Artists:
Rosie Ayers &
Jesse Blumenthal
Students explore the literal and figurative meaning of AMPLIFY by exploring how they can amplify their voice and strengths through creative expression. SPARK! Arts teaching artist, Rosie Ayers, is providing video resources for students that focus on this “amplify” theme using drama integration to learn social-emotional content; while SPARK! Arts teaching artist, Jesse Blumenthal, provides art kits and video resources for all Meadow Hill students to create their own industrial arts, site-specific sound sculpture.
Rattlesnake // All School
Meadow Hill // All School
Teaching Artists:
Lulu Delphine, Turning the Wheel Missoula
Matt Loehrke & Joe Martinez, Missoula Children's Theatre

This year, SPARK! Arts teaching artists, Lulu Delphine, Matt Loehrke and Joseph Martinez have teamed up with Rattlesnake specialists to provide robust arts integration lessons. Lulu Delphine is working with the school’s counselor to provide virtual resources that focus on healthy communication, empathy, self-regulation, leadership and supporting others through creative movement and movement play
3rd Grade Arts Enhancement Experience
SPARK! Arts Ignite Learning partners with the MCPS Arts Education Department to ensure students has access to a comprehensive arts education. One of the ways we increase arts education is by providing equitable access to a variety of high-quality professional arts experiences in our creative community to all K-8 students.

In March, all MCPS 3rd grade students watched a virtual dance performance by the University of Montana's College of the Arts and Media's Dance Department faculty and students. The video showed how choreography is developed and rehearsed and the many ways performing dance can bring people together to create community. By the end of the video, third grade students across the district learned a simple Movement Choir that they can perform with others and share with their families at home.
Movement Choirs are a means of bringing a larger community together through movement and creating a collective experience. Although it is a choreographed event, there is a continuous acceptance and honoring of the individual in which participants are not only spectators but also active participants in the joy of moving. Simplicity is powerful. Moving together creates meaningful connections and a common purpose.
A huge thank you to our friends at Flanagan Motors for supporting this arts experience!
4th Grade Arts Enhancement Experience
All MCPS 4th grade students were invited to this season's Youth Concert, “Carnival of the Animals” (with a Montana twist), to be presented by the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and new Music Director Julia Tai. Pianos roared like mountain lions, a cello became a swan and a clarinet turned into a cuckoo bird. The Missoula Symphony Orchestra partnered with Montana Natural History Center’s naturalists to provide a field guide for participants. 
 A huge thank you to Blackfoot Communications and the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation for supporting the Youth Concert. 
“Thank you for a great week of SPARK! I was looking forward to seeing you roll-out a performance in 4 days and you didn't let me down--wowzers you pack in a lot of content and FUN!” 
- Russell Kindergarten teacher about Matt Loehrke’s zoom lesson

“You did a great job keeping them engaged with the virtual world...your happy, smiling face and encouraging words made them feel like you were standing right in front of them!” 
- Russell Kindergarten teacher about Lizzi Juda’s zoom lesson