We’re a Telluride, Colorado, non-profit. We take on local, social issues through the creative performing lens, in whichever medium suits our purpose. It could be theater, film, music or dance and maybe more. We believe that by engaging audiences through the arts creates stronger communities.
We’ve been around as a local non-profit since 1999, when we first produced SOFT SMOKE, AIDS in the RURAL WEST. Then we were two mothers who wanted to educate young people about the disease. The film has been shown all over the country in film festivals and Health Departments.
Next we produced The Ballad of Arthur Muldoon, with Terry Jones of Monty Python. In this award- winning children’s film over 100 local children participated.
Then for ten years we produced The Telluride Playwrights Festival. We finished this run in 2016 with an original production called THE HISPANIC WOMEN’S PROJECT. Through this play we raised and continue to raise money to send local Latinas to college. To date we have four young women who we support financially and through an ongoing mentoring program to ensure their success.
Our latest production will be in the summer of 2020 where we will produce an original dance/theater production at the Bob Sanders theater in Telluride with Valerie Madonia and Jennie Franks.
Jennie Franks is an English actor, playwright and lyricist. She has performed on the London stage and on television and film. In New York she performed her one woman show STUCK and Dr. Freeman and Hilda. In 2016 she wrote The Hispanic Women’s Project in order to shine awareness on the lives of local, Hispanic women in the community. Through the production The SPARKy Latina Scholarship Fund was created.
Valerie Madonia has had a 20-year professional dancing career. She has also performed throughout the Rocky Mountains + Southwestern Colorado with her own project based company, Alpine Dance. She has appeared in six PBS Dance in America Specials and is featured in four dance books. In 1998 she founded the Telluride Dance Academy, now Palm Arts Dance.
The Sparky Board
Rachel Shaw Bowers | President
Alan Towbin | Treasurer
Jennie Franks | Artistic Director
Lisa Andrews | Secretary
Ashley Williamson | Student Mentor Advisor
The Hispanic Women's Project
For the final Telluride Playwrights Festival in 2016, SPARKy produced a play about the lives of local Hispanic women who live in the Telluride region. The sold-out play was directed by Yury Urnov. It was performed by a diverse, local cast and shone a light on the difficulties of having to emigrate and start again in a new country with a new language. The stories were both uplifting and heartbreaking. “ To celebrate the honesty and bravery of the women whose stories I wrote about, SPARKy Productions decided to create a scholarship fund in their honor” says Artistic Director, Jennie Franks.
To date SPARKy has sent four girls to college and is committed to continuing to help young Latinas go to college by supporting them throughout their college years in all ways.
Please consider donating to SPARKy...
...so we can keep producing relevant, extraordinary theater and keep sending young Latinas off to college. The SPARKy Latina Scholarship Fund is managed by The Telluride Foundation. If you would like to be involved in these amazing young women’s lives by helping and mentoring them, please contact us.
The Latina Scholarship Fund
The SPARKy Latina Scholarship Fund aims to honor promising, young Latinas and raise awareness of the contributions of Hispanic women in the Telluride region, by providing scholarships to Latina graduates of Telluride and Norwood High Schools.
Please consider donating to SPARKy..
PasT Recipient's Stories
I wanted to thank each and every one of you for helping me every step of the way. You have inspired me to keep pushing and follow my dreams. I am about to be the first in my family to graduate from college! I am a young Hispanic female graduating in December. It brings tears to my eyes because I never thought I would financially be able to be here but with your help, you have helped me succeed and be able to finish school. No words could ever say thank you enough because truly I am grateful for everything y’all have done for me.
I would like to thank you and the organization for giving me the opportunity of continuing my studies. It has shown me I can grow as a person and student. Thank you for supporting me.