SPARK! Programming

Success Story: Camellia Gets Creative With Clay

At SPARK! we measure the success of a student’s visit in two ways:

  1. Did we help increase their self-definition as a creative individual?
  2. Did they begin to understand and use the creative process as we define it? (Inspiration with Iteration and Collaboration leads to Innovation.)

During her second consecutive week in our summer camp program, Camellia (or Cam), took another shot at sculpting. We are so thrilled to hear about her new understanding of creativity because of it. Here’s her story.

Name: Camellia

Age: 13

What school do you go to? J.L. Long Middle School

What sort of creative activities do you do at school? I’m not in art class anymore. The only creative thing I do is doodle on the sides of my papers.

Do you wish there were more opportunities to be creative at school? Yes. I’d like to work more with clay since I don’t buy it and I don’t have a kiln or any tools.Summer-Camp-Success-Story2

Tell me about your experience with sculpting clay at SPARK! for a second time this week. I did a wolf head. Ms. Raines gave me tools that helped me make the fur. I didn’t know I had to hollow things out. I like sculpting now because it is satisfying to do whatever you want with it and see at the end how beautiful it is. Clay is fun to use because it’s squishy.

Do you think it’s important to try things twice? Yes. I went all out the second time and did something I wanted to do instead. I finished in two days. It took some patience.

Did you improve? Yes.

How did you use iteration during your second sculpting experience? When I was doing the snout I noticed it was too long so I had to cut off different parts to see if it looked normal. The ears were hard because I had to put the back of them on first and then the curving inside. One ear looked kind of weird. I didn’t know if I should leave a part of it missing. I eventually made it look like it was cut off a little bit half way down. I definitely had a problem with the eyes. I couldn’t figure out how to do it with them open so I decided to do it with them closed. For the mouth, I just did lines to signify where it was. I wanted jowls to look more obvious so I had to add more clay to it.

Summer-Camp-Success-Story1Are you proud of yourself after seeing the final product? Yes. It looks better than what I thought it would. It does at least look like some sort of dog. Not a cat or anything. The fur actually looks like fur not just clay and triangles. It looks like a wolf.

Did you consider yourself creative before you came to SPARK! for camp? Yes.

At SPARK! we try to help kids understand that creativity isn’t just fine arts. Do you feel like you have a better sense of that now? I still identify creativity with art but now I see how it can relate to other things such as writing, ideas and stories.

What’s the most important thing about being creative? The most important thing is being able to do what you want. Putting whatever you think of onto paper.

Dallas Art Fair Partners with SPARK!

In April, over 100 high school students experienced total creative immersion and engaged in an in-depth creative project at SPARK! To kick off World Creativity and Innovation Week, SPARK! partnered with the Dallas Art Fair & Neiman Marcus to execute the Slot Art Collaboration Project, leading these students through the creative process and guiding them in the discovery of their unique creative abilities.

For this project, the high schoolers were asked to illustrate an answer to the question: “What inspires you?” The result was a collaborative sculpture connecting each student’s individual creation. The inspirations depicted by the students are proof of their creative minds coming to life while immersed in the SPARK! environment. “Dallas is fortunate to have SPARK!” said Autumn Hill, Learning Coordinator at Dallas Contemporary. “It was delightful to see so many smiles and such unrestrained creativity coming from our student group – a combination that I greatly attribute to this welcoming facility and its warm staff.”

A huge THANK YOU to the Dallas Art Fair and Neiman Marcus for making this possible! Come see the sculpture for yourself when you visit SPARK! this summer. Starting June 4, we’ll be open every Saturday from 10am – 4pm! In the meantime, check out these pictures of their inspiring creations!



New Toys at SPARK!

Giant Light Bright

Brace yourself for a blast from the past. We’re certain you’ll feel nostalgic when you get your hands on the bigger than life-size version of this beloved toy. While attending an IAAPA conference in Orlando, Florida, the SPARK! team decided a Giant Light Bright was a great way to engage kids in fun, creative play. With more than five colors to choose from, guests can create words and images with sidewalk chalk-sized pegs. You can even black out spaces with black-colored pegs! The Giant Light Bright is available during all public events as well as scheduled group visits.



Web-Enabled Photo Kiosk

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words – and we believe you’ll have LOTS to say about SPARK! Check out the kiosk, strike a pose in front of the green screen and select from several SPARK! themed backdrops to get those creative juices flowing behind (and in front of) the lens. Be your own photographer and jump in front of scenes including the capsized ship and multi-colored mermaid. Throw a party or event at SPARK! and you’ll receive printing privileges for these special, hand-held memories. Customized backdrops with company logos or names are available for private events.



Spend Your Birthday At SPARK!

Looking for a unique twist on birthday parties?

Celebrate at SPARK! and let your guests explore their creativity in our fully-immersive, creative environment. Get lost in the 6,000-square-foot Climb, Crawl, Slide Sculpture or join a creative, instructor-led activity. All before you cut the cake.

Why is creativity so important to us? Because kids who identify as creative individuals are more likely to receive higher test scores, finish high school, go to college, get good jobs and become contributing members of society. Sure beats a goody bag, right?

SPARK! birthday parties are not only an opportunity for friends and families to create and play together, but a chance to teach kids how to give back, even on a day that’s about them. All the proceeds from parties benefit our programs and support our mission to ignite the spark of creativity inherent in all children.

Find more information on our birthday party packages here.

Stop Motion Video – All the Rage

Stop Motion Video
Stop Motion Video was unveiled at SPARK! this Saturday. SPARK! explores and ignites creativity by introducing children and families to a number of different disciplines. Instructor Lynn Raines created a wide assortment of props taking visitors from the streets of Dallas to the waves of the bay. Check out the fun on our You Tube Video
is now taking reservations for group visits, check out our calendar of events and join the creative movement.

SPARK! Opens To Children

SPARK! opened Tuesday.


It’s been a rewarding week as three groups of children from Communities in Schools, third graders, middle school and high school students experienced SPARK!  They loved our Climb, Crawl, Slide sculpture and customized programming.

This young lady was our very first “second time visitor.”  From Lady Bird Johnson Middle school, she visited first in April during World Creativity and Innovation week and painted this hubcap to be installed at SPARK!  This week she returned to find her hubcap affixed to the SPARK! wavy bridge.  Her emotions, a combination of excitement and pride were a thrill to witness.  Our mission: To ignite the spark of creativity inherent in all children is manifested through experiences such as this.

Programming for the summer is off to a great start with over 300 children scheduled through August.  We look forward to working with these children, immersing them in creativity and helping them develop their own craetive works.  We have opportunities for more groups. We serve children second grade through high school and take reservations for groups of 24 or more children.  Sign up soon and make sure the kids you love get to experience SPARK! before they go back to school.

Communities In Schools Visit

Thank you to our friends at Communities in Schools for sharing your creativity with us yesterday! We had a great time painting recycled hubcaps to be creative installations in our ProtoSPARK! space.

Communities In Schools is an organization that surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Their evidence-based approach, adapted to meet each community’s unique needs, is the basis for their success.

We look forward to partnering with you again as programming begins this summer!

CISDR Group Photo