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Meet the Sparc Team

The Sparc team is an integral part of the community development work at Valleys Kids and we work with young people in a variety of settings. Using creative techniques the children and young people explore different areas of their lives and the lives of others in a positive way. All of our staff share a passion for igniting creativity in young people.

Miranda Ballin

I’m Miranda Ballin, the Artistic Director of Sparc I arrived in 1990 when I was working for Theatr Powys as an actor and felt completely at home at Valleys Kids. I decided it was time to put down roots after years of touring theatre in schools and communities as a professional actor and theatre director.

In 1998 the amazing staff at Valleys Kids worked with me to put in a lottery application to set up a youth arts project and Sparc was created.

Young people and students who discovered a passion for the arts working alongside the Sparc team now run the project and I love that! The Valleys is my home I want to support young people from here to discover their potential on their terms. Sparc is completely inclusive and anyone can join in our work. I love to work collaboratively with inspirational people and organisations and I am so proud that our staff and young people have worked internationally with people from different cultures and backgrounds and continued to learn from each other.

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Rachel Clement

I'm Rachel Clement. I have been a member of the team since 2010. I’m a local valley’s girl who just loves to be creative! It was at university that I first heard about Sparc and volunteered to work with the drama groups. I was excited about the work that was happening in the valleys and instantly wanted to get involved.

I am passionate about the young people I work with and creating theatre and film. I have written and directed plays/films with and for young people. I have a keen interest in immersive theatre and creating fictional worlds for people to learn through the arts.

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Gemma Fraser-Jones

I have been part of Valleys Kids since a child, and after graduating from the University of South Wales I joined the youth arts team in 2009, launching the Flight Wings 16-25 creative programme. I love working with people from all backgrounds and abilities and creating stories through theatre and movement.

Completing my PGCE has allowed me to mentor and support a lot of young people within Valleys Kids and encourage people to enter into further education and training. I love being part of such an inclusive, dynamic and accessible project where everyone is welcome to participate and express themselves in a creative way.

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Claire Hathway

I'm Claire Hathway, a local woman, born and raised in the South Wales Valleys. Growing up in the Valleys, the Arts played a massive role in inspiring me to pursue a passion for Theatre Making.

Before joining the Sparc team, I spent several years working professionally as a freelance Actress, touring Educational Theatre to schools through out the UK and Internationally. My 6 years with Sparc has been really special to me, a time that has allowed me to be a Theatre Maker and create exciting, thought provoking and meaningful work with the most supportive, talented and exceptional young people.

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