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.
Bhangra, CJM, and Crooked Jades (#704H) Duration: 28:20 STEREO TVG
Spark goes inside the world of Bhangra, a traditional Indian dance that's been revitalized by a generation of young Indian-Americans. Teams of Bhangra lovers merge time-honored moves with hip-hop beats, and travel around the country to battle it out at heated competitions. Then, visit the Contemporary Jewish Museum, dedicated to exploring Jewish art and culture, in its new building. The current exhibition asks artists from various backgrounds to make objects inspired by the ceremonial Seder plate. Next, the music of The Crooked Jades harkens back to an "Old Time" musical era infused with a decidedly modern attitude.
A Room of One's Own (#114) Duration: 25:23 STEREO TVG
Places where artists' can live, work, and play together.
* Headlands Center for the Arts - Nestled in the coastal wilderness of the Marin Headlands are historic military buildings that house Headlands Center for the Arts, a nationally-acclaimed residency program that provides artists from around the world with the scarce resources of time and space to pursue further develop of their work. Resident artists introduce SPARK to the rhythm of life at the Center and explain why the program represents a rare opportunity for experimentation and interaction among the lucky few chosen to participate.
* Creative Growth Art Center - Working miracles with artists with developmental, emotional or physical disabilities, giving them the tools and guidance they need to find their creative voices and support themselves through their artwork.
* ArtShip - one of the Bay Area's most innovative and offbeat art spaces goes in search of a new home.
Frontiers of Dance (#205H) Duration: 25:59 STEREO TVG
Spark explores the frontiers of the dance world with some of the Bay Area's most innovative choreographers and performers.
* Butoh artist Ledoh - The Bay Area has become a flourishing center for butoh, a modern dance of darkness that originated in post-war Japan. Spark goes into rehearsals with veteran butoh dancer Ledoh, as he uses this contemporary Japanese form to explore the ancient, agrarian roots of his Ka-Ren ancestry in Burma.
* AXIS Dance Company's Dust - AXIS Dance Company has a long history of delivering performances that stun and delight, combining the work of dancers with and without physical disabilities. This season marks the world premiere of a new work by well-known choreographer Victoria Marks called Dust, a provocative choreo-portrait of AXIS that challenges the viewer's assumptions about each of the performers. Spark is backstage throughout the process, from first tentative improvisation to opening night.
* The Art of Poi - At the Crucible, an industrial arts center in Oakland, dance teacher Belva Stone instructs her students in the art of poi, an ancient fire dance first practiced by the Maori people of New Zealand. Swinging fiery balls on cords, students struggle to overcome their fears and spin fire.
Playwright Philip Kan Gotanda, and Other Stories (#507H) Duration: 27:46 STEREO TVG
* Explore the relationship between jazz and the Japanese American internment with playwright Philip Kan Gotanda and A.C.T.
* See why choreographer and dance educator Janice Garrett is attracting the best local dancers and critical acclaim in the Bay Area dance scene.
* Meet Jess Curtis and his company Gravity as they work on "Under the Radar."
The Next Generation Speaks (#107) Duration: 25:44 STEREO TVG
Especially in these turbulent times, young people have a lot on their minds, as this episode demonstrates. We see how several innovative programs give young people powerful and eloquent ways to express themselves through the arts at venues such as the Youth Speaks Poetry Slam, the East Palo Alto Mural Art Project, and Oakland's Destiny Arts Center.
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Playwright Carlos Baron, and Other Stories (#508H) Duration: 28:24 STEREO TVG
* Head to Chile with playwright Carlos Baron along with his cast of actors, dancers and musicians from "Poeta Pan."
* Visit Yosemite where Julia Parker is helping to revive the art form of basket weaving.
* Get a deeper look at the haunting drawings of Josephine Taylor.
FYCO, McCormick, and Guerrero (#706H) Duration: 27:00 STEREO TVG
* San Jose's Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra offers Chinese-American kids a chance to learn to play the traditional instruments from their ancestral homeland. This spring, the100 member orchestra will accompany the famed Shaolin Monks with a new composition.
* Next, follow environmental artist Daniel McCormick as he creates and installs a new site-specific, temporary sculpture in the wilds of West Marin. McCormick's biodegradable woven forms are helping to rehabilitate threatened watersheds and prevent creek bed erosion.
* Then, artist Jaime Guerrero translates imagery from his Mexican heritage into blown glass.
Kitka, May, Arts and the Economy (#707H) Duration: 28:08 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?