Chief Joy & Innovation Officer
“AKA” Senior Director of Education
Erin Thomas-Foley, originally from Roanoke, Virginia, holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Longwood University, a Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre Pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University and serves as an instructor for the Partners in the Arts Joan Oates Institute for higher Education at University of Richmond.
With 16 years’ experience at SPARC, Erin has been a key educator in the CORE training programs with a focus in acting and movement. As the Director of Outreach, Erin has been the major force behind SPARC’s STAGES program, taking arts education to the Richmond regions schools and youth centers. She has greatly expanded the diversity of program offerings for SPARC, and her energy and enthusiasm for the performing arts and children has inspired many.
Erin’s most recent achievement includes the creation and direction of LIVE ART, a cutting-edge, inclusive arts education program that culminates in a cross-pollinated arts concert featuring nationally recognized musicians and students from multiple arts organizations and schools in the Richmond Community.
Erin has recognized by Richmond Times Dispatch as 2016 Person of the Year, by Belle Magazine as one of Richmond’s top six Women in the Arts for 2012, the YWCA Outstanding Woman Award recipient in the Arts for 2013, one of the 2013 Virginia Lawyers Media’s Influential Women of the Year for the State of Virginia and by Style Weekly as one of Richmond’s Top Forty Under Forty in 2014. Most importantly, she is the proud mother of Sophia (6) and Daniel (4).
In addition to inspiring and co-producing the World premiere of Collected Stories, in concert with the 2010 Minds Wide Open Statewide Celebration of Women in the Arts, Erin is among Richmond’s leading acting talents and has performed at Virginia Repertory Theatre, Barksdale Theatre, Theatre IV, Firehouse Theatre as well as internationally. Credits include VA Repertory Theatre: Night Blooms, Barksdale Theatre: Circle Mirror Transformation, Proof (Catherine), To Kill a Mockingbird (Jean Louise), Cyrano de Bergerac (Roxanne), Collected Stories (Lisa), Little Foxes (Elizabeth), The Lark (Joan of Arc), Theatre IV: A Christmas Carol (Martha Cratchit), Pocahontas (Pocahontas), Little House on the Prairie (Laura), Firehouse Theatre: Anton in Show Business (Lisabette), Where’s My Money (Marcia Marie), The Heidi Chronicles (Heidi) and Mr. Marmalade (Sookie). Film credits include: Iron Jawed Angels (HBO), How the Civil War Began (Richmond’s Civil War Museum), No Retreat From Destiny and Where the River Ends.