SparQ in Schools features Spiral Q’s 9ᵗʰ annual partnership with Blankenburg Elementary School and the art carried in the school’s 7th parade. In 2020 and 2021, the pandemic interrupted the parade, but in 2022 and 2023, Blankenburg students were back in action out in the streets of their school’s neighborhood parading for the public, bringing students, staff, teachers, parents and surrounding community out to celebrate their work.
Spiral Q is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that promotes social and political change through giant puppetry, pageantry, and direct action. Founded in 1996, Spiral Q has become recognized locally and nationally for its originality, capacity to inspire individuals of all ages and backgrounds, and its ability to creatively invigorate communities. Working with around 3,500 individuals each year, Spiral Q brings its public work to estimated audiences of 30,000 annually. Their mission is to build strong and equitable communities characterized by creativity, joy, can-do attitudes, and the courage to act on their convictions.
Spiral Q’s art education residencies use a sequential project-based engagement methodology to unleash the power of art to connect people, actions, values, neighborhoods, and movements to each other and to their collective creative force for change.
Teaching artists lead participants through a collaborative artmaking process that centers storytelling, transforming life experiences shared in story circles into large-scale artwork to be presented to the public in celebratory parades. More of Spiral Q’s work can be found in the exhibition Spiral Q: The Parade in the Domestic Arts Building along with an original song and music video produced in the 2021 academic year in lieu of the parade.
Spiral Q: The Parade is made possible by major support from Marjorie Ogilvie and Miller Parker (PNAA Foundation) and The Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Brooke Barrie Art Fund, Drs. Umesh and Sunanda Gaur, Holman, NRG, and PSE&G. Support is provided in part by the Atlantic Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel & Tourism, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.