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All youth deserve the opportunity to experience exceptional performance arts education, regardless of their ability to pay. At SPARC, we work hard to make sure tuition costs are not a barrier to personal growth, creative expression, and community connections. Each year, as many as 1/3 of program participants can access scholarships, thanks to generous community donations.

Scholarship FAQs

SPARC’s scholarship application is currently closed. We will repost the application this summer as we prepare to open registration for 2023 – 2024 programs. In the meantime, we’ve included a list of FAQs that we hope will help you to feel prepared to apply for scholarships in the future.

Are you a teenager who needs to cover program costs on your own? If so, please call or email us to discuss how we can help you to address payments. We look forward to talking with you!

How do I get started with the scholarship process?

Please contact our office before you enroll in a program or complete the scholarship application. A member of our team will hold a spot for your child in their preferred program while you complete the scholarship forms. We’ll continue to hold that spot until your application is reviewed and an award level is determined.

What types of scholarships does SPARC provide?

SPARC’s scholarships are awarded based on expressed financial need.

Scholarships are awarded on a sliding scale and typically range from 25% to 95% discounts on the cost of programming.

Do I qualify for a scholarship?

SPARC does not have formal parameters to define who qualifies for a scholarship. We understand that financial needs vary from one family to the next and encourage anyone who feels they may benefit from some amount of assistance to apply for a scholarship.

Applicants have the option to include a personal statement along with their financial statement, if they feel it will help the scholarship committee to gain a better perspective of their family’s circumstances.

What will I need to include in my application?

The scholarship application is brief, with fewer than 15 questions. Most of these questions ask for details like names, contact information, and number of people in the household.

Toward the end of the application, you’ll need to include a statement of your family’s net monthly income (AKA “take-home pay”). Then you’ll need to attach verification of your income. We prefer to review recent documentation that best speaks to your family’s current circumstances.

Examples of acceptable income verification documents include…

  • approval of unemployment insurance claims
  • paystubs dated in the last two weeks
  • SNAP benefits statements
  • WIC benefits statements
  • TANF benefits statements
  • FAMIS enrollment statements
  • free or reduced breakfast/lunch enrollment
  • the first two pages of your most recent federal tax return (if that return is still representative of your current income)

If you do not have access to any of these types of documents, please email us at sparc@sparcrichmond.org to discuss what other options you may have.

How does SPARC review the financial information I include in my application?

Our scholarship committee uses the annual Federal Poverty Guidelines as a measurement tool for determining what amount of scholarship discount to award. These guidelines are used by many organizations to determine eligibility for federal social services. At SPARC, we use the guidelines to better understand a household’s overall financial picture.

What does my child’s scholarship cover?

Families only need to apply for a scholarship once per programmatic year (September to August).

Scholarships support a young person’s participation in one class per program per season for the year. For example, an award can support a young person’s participation in one fall training class and a production that same fall. Another young person could participate in one Live Art class for the year and participate in Spectrum for the full year, too.

In the summer, a young person can attend a maximum of two weeks of programming with scholarship support. Summer scholarships also support the cost of early arrival and extended afternoon care.


If you have questions about the scholarship application process, please contact our office at sparc@sparcrichmond.org, or call us at 804.353.3393 ext. 221.

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Email us at sparc@sparcrichmond.org or call 804.353.3393.