Monday January 28th, 2019
Through a wide range of art openings, site specific installations, film and video screenings, open mics and
live performances, as well as panels, lectures, classes and workshops, SPARK Contemporary Art Space
has committed to serving artists and the wider community by offering a cool place for creative exchange.
While functioning as a local, community-based cultural center committed to nurturing the development
and presentation of new work from artists and designers of all disciplines, the non profit facility has been
managed on a purely volunteer basis, with each generation of key holders doing their best to keep afloat.
After a year of celebrating it’s 20th anniversary as an independent art space on the City’s east side, while
also restructuring its’ operating model and physical layout, SPARK is offering the Syracuse public a way
to create a formal “association” between those who use, or would like to use, the venue on a regular basis.
Thus, in an effort to help stabilize the finances, to formalize the process of utilizing the facility, to develop
a pattern of regular cultural programming, and to provide an opportunity for participatory co-management
of its current and future schedules, itinerary, feel and vibe, it is launching a MEMBERSHIP CAMPAIGN.
Membership will be open to all and will provide critical ideas, energy and infrastructure needed to keep
the space open, organized and active. Members will work by team, or committee, to support and sustain
the thought-provoking exhibitions, events and the wide-ranging cultural programming it offers the region
all year round. It will also work to support SPARK’s ongoing participation in conversations and critical
dialogues about the role(s) the arts, and art spaces, play in our civic lives, our economy, and our future.
Founded in 1999 by a small, dedicated group of SU VPA students, SPARK has played a profound role in
the development of the independent contemporary art scene in Syracuse by creating an open, affordable
and accessible space for numerous amateur, emerging and prominent artists to present their new works.
Today, SPARK offers multiple areas available for public and private use. With additional presentation and
workshop space available, a lounge and locally branded cafe, a cultural media center, a movement area, as
well as a revised show room, complete with retracting walls, professional stage, sound system, recording
booth, film screen, etc., the venue’s new design allows for the facilitation of a larger range of uses and
form of expression, all while providing the artists, and their audience, a unique, one-of-a-kind experience.
With the input of its Members and advisors, therefore, SPARK’s near-term objectives are as follows:
> To evolve the space from a vanilla box, bare bones “room-to-rent” into a full-time, day and eve
performance venue, art gallery, media center, and a small coop café / lounge. Additionally, it aims to
broaden the types of use to include dance, movement, yoga, meditation, rehearsals, black box theatre, etc.
> To advocate for the rights of artists; specifically, it aims to create space for Indigenous, nontraditional,
non-mainstream, and rising artists working in all emerging disciplines and medias;
> To take a leadership role in the interface between artists and it’s greater community, and to foster more
dialogue between contemporary artists from diverse cultural / political perspectives;
> To develop dynamic artist / producer / audience engagement that appeals to a wide range of community
members, from all backgrounds, on a local, regional, and national platform;
> To serve as an inspirational, educational resource center and opportunity hub for professional
development of artists, musicians, writers, poets, dancers, designers & creatives in the region.
The Membership campaign, accordingly, is an initial attempt to create an inclusive, organizing body that
wishes to co-utilize the community-based art space to nurture skills, exhibit works and provide a better
connection to area patrons and lovers of visual, performing and healing arts, reinforcing that everyone has
a role to play and that one’s philosophy, preference and taste doesn’t deny them a chance to participate.
Among some of the initial perks of Membership are that they will receive an e-newsletter subscription,
regular invitations to openings, workshops, and professional development activities, they will also have
access to the SPARK online media center and its archived files, will be listed and linked on the SPARK
website, and will receive discounted rates on all space rental, equipment or other professional services.
Furthermore, on behalf of its Members, SPARK will create and distribute press releases or media alerts
for events and exhibitions organized by Membership through traditional media outlets, it’s website, as
well as it’s own social media channels, as well, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, etc.
Lastly, as an active Member, you will also have the power to shape the character of the venue, and it’s
organization, as a voting Committee Member, and a voting participant at its’ Annual Ownership Meeting.
All Non Members are always welcome to visit, attend, book and exhibit at SPARK. It is the hope of the
initiative to incentivize regular use and patronage with Membership. To learn more, meet the ownership
and take a tour, attend the first Membership Meet Up at Spark on Sunday February, 03 2019 (3p – 5p).