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LIVE ART Inspires

LIVE ART is SPARC’s groundbreaking, inclusive arts education program for students with and without disabilities.

Working together in a variety of visual and performing arts classes for one year, students with a range of disabilities alongside typically developing students, rehearse their performances while building relationships and understanding of one another using SPARC’s unique ACE (acceptance, compassion, and empathy) curriculum. The program, now in its fifth year, culminates in an annual mega-show, featuring nationally and regionally recognized recording artists and performers performing with each class collectively performing visual and performing arts.



Sunday, June 11, 2017
5:00 p.m.
Richmond’s Altria Theater

VIP Tickets On Sale NOW!

General ticket sales begin April 10, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.!

LIVE ART Guest Artists Have Included…

“I’ve performed on a thousand stages and shared dressing rooms and curtain calls with legendary ensembles and superstars alike. But nowhere have I received the kind of grace and elation I did onstage with the actors, dancers, and musicians of LIVE ART. During two of the numbers I thought to myself, honored, ‘This is exactly why I wrote these songs.'”

Jason Mraz
LIVE ART Guest Artist, 2012-2016
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and SPARC alum


“As an outsider and just coming in, not knowing the language, but seeing the results is just amazing… seeing the elimination of categorization and walls and borders and the realization that we are all equal. That is just incredible and it is happening here.”

k.d. lang
LIVE ART Guest Artist, 2013
Juno- and Grammy-Award Winning Singer-Songwriter

095 Live Art Concert 06-07-15 [Tom Topinka]

René Marie
LIVE ART Guest Artist, 2013, 2015
Songwriter and jazz volcalist


“I think I must have hugged all 200 kids. I can’t even explain what that feels like. It’s just this love that kept generating throughout the whole building. …Its 9 pm , the show just finished, I just got off stage and I am feeling so overwhelmed I can hardly put it into words. That was by far my number one favorite thing I have ever been a part of in my career.”

Christina Perri
LIVE ART Guest Artist, 2013
Nationally recognized singer-songwriter

079 Live Art Concert 06-07-15 [Tom Topinka]

“LIVE ART is a great reminder that there are good people in the world doing good work. And that people show up for that. When people are contributing to their community, the community will show up. And that means so much. Then as a second year participant I was like how can I contribute more, collaborate more, hug more people in two days?”

Mona Tavakoli
LIVE ART Guest Artists, 2013, 2015
Percussionist and singer with Raining Jane


“This was the most profound live performance and creative expression that I have witnessed in a long time…maybe ever. What SPARC seems to have done, is to galvanize a community. They are in a partnership with the people of Richmond, saying we are going to lift these kids up through the arts. This is filling the cracks in my heart. We (the artists) are the lucky ones.”

Robbie Schaefer
LIVE ART Guest Artist, 2015, 2016
Singer-songwriter and founder of One Voice Community


“I sat there yesterday, it was incredible to watch. I don’t think I’ve ever been surrounded by such joy. You kind of think you’re never going to be in the middle of something like this… until you are!”

Richard Jenkins
LIVE ART Guest Artist, 2013
Academy Award-Nominated actor

… including
Keb’ Mo’
Chris Stills
Phil Wiggins
Steve Bassett
Susan Greenbaum
Robbin Thompson
Jesse Harper
Desiree Roots
Daniel Clarke
Zak Resnick
Drew Kullman
Josh Small
Samson Trinh and the Upper East Side Big Band

FROM THE WINGS Airing on PBS Stations Across the U.S.

Feature documentary film also available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting SPARC.

Learn More


“This was joyful, intriguing, high quality art that fed my heart and soul. My deep thanks to all of you who had the vision and ability to craft this gift to our community!”

“The LIVE ART experience was the best concert experience I have ever had in my life – bar none.”

“The magic created by seeing children of all abilities perform with the professional artists, and the impact the relationship had on the performances, was infectious. You could FEEL the professionals exerting their energy in support of the students.”

“I brought my Mom to the show. She was visiting from Ohio. She just turned 80 last week and she said it was the best show she has ever seen!”

“My family cannot stop thinking about the show. It was the most special thing that we can remember ever seeing or doing together. It was life-changing.


LIVE ART: All Roads Lead Here
(About Year 4)

LIVE ART: Share Your Soul
(About Year 3)

LIVE ART: Through the Artists’ Eyes
(About Year 2)

The LIVE ART Story
(About Year 1)
Winner of the 2013 PBS Online Film Festival

by LIVE ART Creator/Director
Erin Thomas-Foley’s talk
about how it all began

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