About Our Stages Program
SPARC’s acclaimed Stages program provides community-based performing arts training to 2nd and 3rd grade students in Richmond City and Henrico County Public Schools, including some of the most underserved populations. This in-school program brings together students, schools and communities to provide a rich experience that positively impacts academic achievement and life skills.
Stages was developed as a means of bringing performing arts education and opportunities into school systems in primarily underserved neighborhoods. Established school sites reflecting an average of 60% economic deprivation and a range of special challenges (academic, social and disabilities).
Now in its ninth year, the Stages program serves seven elementary schools, involving over 600 students each year. More than 500 hours of instruction are provided by professional, highly qualified teaching artists, along with time spent planning and conducting collaborative and evaluation meetings. In concert with classroom teachers, SPARC’s teaching artists are successfully conducting assessment of the average treatment effects of the training on each individual student. In addition to working with the public schools, SPARC also provides related, grant-funded programs with Peter Paul Development Center and St. James Children’s Center.
The Stages program is currently paused until the schools are ready to proceed. We remain in close communication with all our partner nonprofits to determine the timeline for when it is safe and beneficial for our faculty to return to their facilities.