What We Do
Want to make a difference? Join our 16+ Sparc Plus programme, we offer mentoring and support, the chance to volunteer on all aspects of Youth Theatre productions as well as creating your own projects.
We also run a 16+ integrated group called Flight Wings working with disabled young people in Rhydyfelin. We offer work placements to schools, colleges and Universities.
Each week we run Drama Workshops in our Valleys Kids centres in Penygraig, Rhydyfelin, Dinas and Penyrenglyn for children and young people aged between 7 and 13 — see events for more details.
We run a dance programme at the Soar Centre in Penygraig. We support creative dance workshops for smaller children Jiggers aged 4-7 years and Groovers for 8-12 year olds run by Afon Community Dance. We also run a peer-led street dance programme for young people.
We run Youth Theatres and workshops for 14+ in Rhydyfelin, Dinas, Penyrenglyn and Penygraig where you can devise and create your own theatre work with the support of theatre directors and Youth Arts workers. You can get involved with creative writing, performing, directing, set design, costume and prop making, technical work and marketing.
Theatre and Arts Events
We run a programme of professional theatre and arts events at the Soar Centre offering young people and families the chance to see high quality professional productions at affordable prices.
We have club scheme for young people from all our Valleys Kids centres. They usually pay a £1 (or under) to see a performance — in this way we can be as inclusive as possible and as a result our productions are always well attended.
We run regular film nights thanks to a grant from BFI and Moviola we have a cinema kit that can tour to all of our centres so young people and families can watch a variety of films. On cinema nights we often have themed events, with visits from Santa or afternoon teas, live music, popcorn and treats to create a special environment and make it a night to remember.
We think it is important that young people from the Valleys have a chance to discover different cultural experiences and meet people from across the world. Sparc has run international projects in Barcelona, Botswana, Poland, Jordan and South Africa and New Zealand these have been life changing experiences for young people. Taking such a huge step encouraged many of our participants to venture into further education and University when they returned something they had never considered before.
Collaboration and Partnerships
We are Sparc — we always see something special in the young people we work with even when at times they struggle with this themselves. We nurture and support young people especially when they face challenges in their life and are always there for them. We are always aspirational and want the very best for young people in the Valleys so we work in partnership, locally, nationally, UK wide and Internationally to offer the most inspiring and engaging opportunities available.
We are an associate of Tate Exchange — the first in Wales. In Easter 2017 our young people performed to over 4,000 visitors at Tate Modern.
In partnership with Trivallis Social Housing and Artes Mundi we received an Ideas People and Places grant from the Arts Council of Wales to work with local communities in Penygraig and Trebanog on an arts based regeneration programme, an awe inspiring experience where young people worked alongside international artists and had their say about how to make changes in their communities.
We work in partnership with the Wales Millennium Centre, our young have performed on the main stage theatre, participated in part in huge outdoor events Ar Waith Ar Daith and Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected, they regularly attend theatre events and workshops and for the last two years Valleys Kids have worked alongside staff at the Centre to develop a strategic partnership linking the organisations this is about to ignite - creating a cauldron of opportunities and events for young people and shining a light on the Valleys.
Sparc in Schools
Sparc works closely with our local cluster schools in all our key areas.
We run arts projects in schools including film, theatre and photography to work creatively with pupils. These include workshops, residentials, and projects with vulnerable pupils that happen over years supporting them on a journey to reach their potential. We provide links for young people between their schools, community and home creating a safety net where they are fully supported to return to mainstream education, seek employment and find suitable training. We offer short and long term placements. Teachers are so supportive of our work and often amazed when pupils who struggled at school find their "sparc" and move on. Many of our young people have been the first in their family to attend university and wouldn’t have considered this without their involvement in the project. Sparc also supports local schools to put on their own productions at the Soar Centre assisting them with technical support and enabling them to produce high quality productions.