Produced by KQED Public Television, this series is about Bay Area artists and arts organizations/ It is a weekly television show, an educational outreach program and a website. More than a showcase for art objects and the artists who make them, SPARK* takes the audience inside the creative process to witness the challenges, opportunities and rewards of making art.
Kitka, May, Arts and the Economy (#707H) Duration: 28:07 STEREO TVG
* For 30 years, the all-female vocal group Kitka has performed music rooted in Eastern European musical traditions. In a recent trip to rural Ukraine, they studied Slavic folk songs that previously only existed in the memories of the old women who live there. Spark joins Kitka as they rehearse and perform a new performance based on the songs and stories that were passed down to them.
* Next, the mixed-media work of Santa Cruz artist Victoria May is inspired by the intricate process of custom dress-making. A former seamstress by trade, May now makes sculptural textile pieces that blend traditional hand sewing techniques with evocative and unexpected materials.
* Then, in a special collaboration with PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, we investigate how the current economy is affecting artists in the Bay Area. How are they coping with the economic downturn? Some scholars and activists think hope lies in government support. What can we learn from the historic WPA programs that provided employment for 8.5 Million Americans during the 1930's?
Culture Creates Community (#901H) Duration: 27:30 STEREO TVG
A Spark Special: Culture Creates Community
Go inside the Mill Valley comedy night that's a local institution and a haven for stars like Dana Carvey and Robin Williams. In San Jose, hundreds of professionals and students perform in a show that mixes traditional Chinese dance, music and martial arts with Western ballet. Follow local bluegrass legend Laurie Lewis as she performs and works to mentor new artists. And watch as Ed Drew revives the art of the tin-type while making images of at-risk youth on an organic garden project that's seeking to redefine the image of farming for African Americans.
The New American Landscape (#403) Duration: 28:11 STEREO TVG
Spark meets artists who've become part of the long tradition of artists who have made landscape their subject, but with a contemporary twist.
* Encounter the small-scale, yet familiar, buildings of Tracey Snelling's process-driven sculptures.
* Paul Madonna hits the streets looking for cityscape inspiration of which to draw for his weekly San Francisco Chronicle comic, "All Over Coffee."
* Camp out with photographer Trevor Paglen as he surveys the desert's hidden elements.
* See San Francisco as you've never seen it before: as a jiggling kaleidoscope of Jell-O in sculptures molded by Liz Hickok.
Think Globally (#404) Duration: 28:02 STEREO TVG
With an eye on global influence, Spark meets artists who take creative cues from tradition, history and cultural intersections.
* Follow two groups as they compete for a chance to perform in this year's Ethnic Dance Festival.
* Wanderlust photographer Lisa Kristine focuses on the world's myriad indigenous populations.
*Filipino artist Michael Arcega uses history (and Manila paper) as source material to critique and comment.
* San Francisco's newest art and cultural institution, the Museum of the African Diaspora, enlightens viewers with exhibitions centered on the African American experience.
In Respect of Nature (#408) Duration: 28:19 STEREO TVG
Our natural world provides lots of artistic inspiration. Spark visits artists who work in respect of nature.
* Photographer Roman Loranc has spent years documenting the Central Valley landscape with a loving eye.
* Li Huayi from the first generation of Chinese Cultural Revolution artists, reinvigorates Chinese landscape painting with his modern abstract vision.
* Bill Dan, also known as "The Rock Man of Crissy Field," balances rocks for all to contemplate.
* Then Gregory Gavin builds temporary creeks in public spaces called "Riveropolis."
Chitresh Das Dance Company, Mark Jackson, Midori (#509H) Duration: 27:51 STEREO TVG
* Learn kathak, an ancient Indian dance form, from master Pandit Chitresh Das.
* Go behind the scenes with director and playwright Mark Jackson on his production of "American $uicide."
* Meet violinist Midori for a one- night appearance at San Francisco Performances.