WorldStage was pleased to support SPARC’s annual LIVE ART concert in Richmond, Virginia with lighting and video packages for the fourth consecutive year. LIVE ART: Love played to a sold-out house at Richmond’s Altria Theater where Josh Groban, Jason Mraz, Michael McDonald and other recording stars joined LIVE ART students onstage for one of the city’s favorite events. The show was aired on public television for the first time in the sprig of 2019.
Founded in 1981, the non-profit SPARC (School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community) provides transformative performing arts education to more than 3,000 students, aged 3-18, every year. SPARC’s LIVE ART program integrates a performing arts curriculum with special education to create a unique and powerful program for students of all abilities. The program culminates in a mega-concert featuring celebrity recording artists who donate their time to perform with LIVE ART students in a night of music, dance, visual art and human connection.
“We focus on using arts to enrich the lives of youth in the community, specifically allowing students with disabilities to come together with typically developing students in a series of classes which mix up all the art forms. This cross-pollination ensures that all students have a unique experience together,” explains Erin Thomas-Foley, Senior Director of Education at SPARC.
“Each year we create a concert with nationally-known artists that speaks to the theme of the year and delivers a larger message of acceptance and compassion. The artists who participate are usually recording artists. But we incorporate students’ artwork as well. WorldStage’s support of this program is enormous, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without them and Drew DeCorleto, J Wiese and Drew Scotts in particular. They’re part of the family!”
“We were delighted to support this wonderful event again this year,” says WorldStage Vice President of Broadcast Services, Drew DeCorleto. “The LIVE ART concert is a very ambitious production, and we are always glad to furnish whatever equipment and expertise we can to contribute to the success of the show. J Wiese, Sr. Production Manager, leads the charge and every year we determine the most efficient way to get this amazing program what it needs. We believe in the program and do everything we can to support SPARC”
Thomas-Foley notes that the Altria Theater has a 70-foot proscenium stage and no equipment is available to LIVE ART for its concert. “We have to bring in everything: sets, lighting, crew. This is a very big performance. In order to light the theater the plot has to be extensive and large. WorldStage is our biggest sponsor. They help us plan and provide a lighting package and a projection package for visuals and work with us to assemble all of it.
“Since we only have one day at the theater before the show, we come up to the WorldStage shop to pre-hang the truss and test the gear,” she continues. “WorldStage provides us with additional production electrician support and lends their expertise to help us implement the load-in within one day.”
WorldStage supplied a large complement of moving lights for the show, including VARI*LITE 2500 and 3000 spots, Martin MAC Aura and 101 LED washes and Claypaky Mythos2. WorldStage also furnished Chroma-Q Color Force II LEDs, conventional Source 4 ellipsoidals and an MDG Atmosphere hazer.
On the video side WorldStage provided an Epson 25K Pro laser projector and MacPro playback to display visuals throughout the concert that tell the students’ stories and provides some interactivity the performers onstage.
“We have a lighting designer who works with us throughout the year,” says Thomas-Foley. “Joe Doran is a former SPARC student who lives in New York but comes back to work on the show.”
SPARC is already planning LIVE ART: Family, its 2019 concert, and WorldStage plans to be there backstage. “We cannot express our gratitude to WorldStage for all their support,” says Thomas-Foley. “They’re changing the lives of these students.”
For more information on LIVE ART, visit https://vimeo.com/sparconline/livearttheenergyoflove
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