SPARK! In White Lake, a cultural collaborative program between the Arts Council of White Lake-Nuveen Center and the Playhouse at White Lake is offered free of charge, twice a month to people with memory loss and their care partners. Our local program, started in October 2020, is the first SPARK! program in Michigan and is led by facilitator Nancy Armitage who worked and trained at the original SPARK! program in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - www.sparkprograms.org. We are able to offer this unique and vital program free to community members because of financial support from Muskegon County Senior Millage, the White Lake Lothmann Family Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, the White Lake Community Center Fund and the Cheryl Whelan Family.
The goal of SPARK! is to bring participants together for safe and stimulating social engagement focused on the arts. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our format so far has been limited to online sessions but since our launch in October, we have held four programs and engaged over twenty people. In our sessions, we have discussed the art of self-portraits, including those of famous artists Van Gogh and Picasso, and gained insight into the art-making process of several local artists who display work in the ACWL-Nuveen gallery. The Playhouse at White Lake sessions have included a virtual tour of the theatre by Executive Director Beth Beaman and a talk with local actors about “getting into character”. We also engaged in a “story writing” program called Timeslips https://www.timeslips.org/ and made time for some hands-on art making.
Moving into 2021, we are excited about the upcoming sessions from the ACWL-Nuveen, which will include thematic take-home art kits and a closer look into the beautiful prints of John James Audubon, a history of valentines, investigating Monet’s gardens and the art of weaving. Sessions from the Playhouse will include presentations on setting the scene in theater with sound, light and set building and SPARK! participants will use this new-found information to write an original one-act play.
SPARK! In White Lake is offered the second and fourth Wednesday of every month with the first session of 2021 starting on January 13. For more information and to sign-up for a Zoom session, please contact Nancy Armitage: firstname.lastname@example.org or (231) 893-2524