SPARC is pleased to announce that three of its teaching artists are taking on new and expanded roles in the leadership of this 34-year-old arts education nonprofit.
COURTNEY VOLLMER has been named a full-time Resident Faculty member. Courtney has taught classes for SPARC as a member of the adjunct faculty for five years and has been the program manager for SPARC’s inclusive LIVE ART program since its inception in 2012. In this new role, Courtney will add additional teaching responsibilities in both SPARC’s training classes and outreach programs. Please see Courtney Vollmer’s bio below for more information.
BRENDAN KENNEDY has been named a full-time Resident Faculty member. Brendan has taught classes and directed productions with SPARC since 2011. In this new role, Brendan will add additional teaching responsibilities in all of SPARC’s educational programs, serve as both program manager and director of SPARC’s elite Spotlight ensemble, and aid with producer responsibilities. Please see Brendan Kennedy’s bio below for more information.
KELLI PERKINS has been named part-time Early Childhood Programs Manager. In this role, Kelli will develop and teach SPARC’s new “Acting Up” series of classes in area preschools. Kelli has taught classes and led summer camps with SPARC since 2013. Kelli is developing new curriculum, serving as program manager and lead faculty for a series of 6-week classes to be offered in area preschools; she will also continue to teach in SPARC’s training programs. Please see Kelli Perkins’ bio below for more information.
Additionally, two of SPARC’s beloved staff members, Adriana Green and Kathryn Cohen, left their positions for grad school at the end of the summer term. We wish them both the best! Two outstanding administrators have been selected to succeed them:
LIZ EARNEST has been named full-time Education Coordinator. In this role, Liz supports the administration of SPARC’s educational classes and services, including training classes, in-school and after-school programs, and outreach initiatives. Please see Liz Earnest’s bio below for more information.
HANNAH RHODES has been named part-time Production Assistant. In this role, Hannah supports the management of SPARC’s season of eight productions, including Rehearsal & Production programs, Summer Stock and SummerStarz, the Spotlight ensemble, and LIVE ART. Please see Hannah Rhodes’ bio below for more information.
Courtney Vollmer graduated from Longwood University in 2010 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Performance and has always had a passion for theatre, art and dance. Courtney has been a member of the adjunct faculty since 2010, LIVE ART program manager since its inception in 2012, and a SPARC summer camp director since 2013. She loves the opportunity to share that passion in collaboration with her fellow colleagues and students at SPARC. Courtney treasures her work with SPARC and is thankful for the opportunity to work with such incredibly giving and gifted staff and students that make up the SPARC family.
A Richmond native and Shenandoah Conservatory graduate, Brendan was lucky enough to find his way back home after spending nearly a decade in New York City, where he was able to work in different capacities with fantastic companies such as The Public Theatre, Manhattan Theater Club, and Andhow Theater Company. Since returning to Richmond, he has quietly made a lovely home for himself at SPARC. Brendan has had the privilege to work within a variety of programs and classes including STAGES, LIVE ART, Rehearsal & Production, BRAVO, SummerStarz, August Adventure, Adventure Theatre, Musical Theatre for Beginners, and SPARC Plugs. From day one of finding SPARC, he knew he had found something truly special. SPARC is a place that is not only an outlet for his creativity, teaching, and directing, but for helping people find their true potential and confidence. For that, he will be forever grateful that an organization such as SPARC even exists.
Kelli Perkins holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from VCU and has been teaching children’s dance and musical theater classes for over fifteen years. Kelli is an early literacy advocate and taught in Hanover and Henrico counties as a full-time teacher and reading interventionist. She joined the SPARC faculty in June 2013 and is thrilled to have her two children participating in SPARC programs as well.
Liz holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she received the Provost Scholarship and graduated summa cum laude in 2012. She is not only a Richmond native, but a SPARC alumna and former August Adventure counselor. She’s thrilled to contribute her passion for the arts and her administrative skills to SPARC’s mission. Liz joins SPARC after two and a half years as a Creative Assistant at Planet Central, a local marketing and advertising agency. In that role, she served as primary administrative support for multiple departments while managing day-to-day details within the company. She brings a number of talents to her new role, including copywriting, project management, and creating social media content. Liz also enjoys working as an actor in the Richmond community, and has appeared in productions with Virginia Rep, TheatreLAB, Richmond Triangle Players, and 5th Wall Theatre.
Hannah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Leadership Studies from the University of Richmond, where she received the National Merit Scholarship and graduated summa cum laude in 2013. She participated in the Bonner Scholars Program, a four-year commitment that emphasizes community engagement and social justice education, and her service in the Richmond community focused on theatre and arts education. Hannah has enjoyed working with SPARC this summer as the stage manager for Hairspray, the head counselor for Summer Stock Tech Camp 2015, and a scenic artist for You Can’t Take it With You and Hairspray. She is very excited to officially join the SPARC team as the Production Assistant.