Accomplishments in 2013:
STAGES provides valuable performing arts education to socially disadvantaged youth in underserved communities and economically impacted neighborhoods, providing universal access to a vital discipline that they may not otherwise have the opportunity to explore. STAGES provides in-school performing arts education for 2nd and 3rd grade students in 8 schools in the City of Richmond and Henrico County. Two new schools identified for STAGES, Westover Hills Elementary School and Chimborazo Elementary School, reflect an average of 35% population below poverty level and a range of special challenges. STAGES integrates the experience of students, schools and communities with arts education that positively impacts academic achievement and life skills. STAGES operates on a forward funded budget of $130,000 from community contributions.
SPARC is $750,000 away from wrapping up a $6M campaign to set the trajectory for its future impact in the community. This campaign will provide for the permanent ownership of the SPARC Center, the addition of several instructional spaces accessible to people with disabilities.
Operating Support – Almost 60% of SPARC’s budget comes from contributions for purposes including outreach programs and financial aid.
Ryan T. Ripperton has served as SPARC’s executive director since March 2010. His selection for this position resulted from a nine-month nationwide search. Since his arrival, participation in SPARC's enrollment-based classes has risen by 70%.
Prior to moving to Richmond to work for SPARC, Ripperton was executive director of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, the nationwide men’s music fraternity, headquartered in Evansville, Indiana. He also served as chief operating officer of the Fraternity’s related foundation, the Sinfonia Educational Foundation. Through 11 years of service to these organizations, he advanced the operational, financial and governance practices, increased the quality of print and electronic communications, and heavily influenced several successful programs, including the expansion and retreat programs. He was instrumental in the reformation of the Foundation’s name and mission, and participated heavily in reshaping the Fraternity’s vision and strategic plan as it regained its footing as America’s premier music fraternity.
Ripperton holds a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the University of Southern Indiana and a Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.Ed.) from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Since relocating to Richmond, he has become involved in the area arts community, including the CenterStage Resident Company Association and the Alliance for the Performing Arts.
SPARC operates classes during school hours, after school, and on weekends. Many classes are held at the SPARC Center on N. Hamilton Street, as well as at satellite locations around the Richmond area. We generally follow the schedules of area school semesters.
Classes are for youth aged 3 to 18 and include the following:
SPARC offers full- and part-day camps and programs throughout the summer for ages 5 to 18:
SPARC’s in-school outreach enrichment classes serve almost 1,000 students each year in 8 schools and community centers. Classes allow area children throughout Richmond the opportunity to try their hand at performing arts. These readiness classes allow young people to develop socialization skills while learning basic performer skills. Thanks to generous foundation, corporate, government and individual support, STAGES programs are offered free to participants in underserved neighborhoods.
The acclaimed New Voices for the Theater program expands SPARC’s reach statewide. This program accepts submissions of one-act plays from high school students throughout Virginia, providing them professional adjudication and inviting the top eight student playwrights to Richmond for a two-week residency. During the residency, the students work with a professional playwright to hone their skills and then work with a professional team of directors and actors to have their plays read in front of a live audience.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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