Listen: Emma Mullings interviews SPARC co-ordinator Jessica Le Clerc
If you’re a spiritually-minded artist, musician, DJ, film maker, designer or entertainer – in fact if your vocation is creative in any way at all – then take a look at SPARC.
It’s an annual conference for Christians working in the arts arena, both within the church and outside of it, in August.
SPARC’s event director this year is Jessica Le Clerc, a visual artist who was a finalist in this year’s Archibald Prize.
She told Hope 103.2’s Emma Mullings that had put her hand up to run this year’s conference because she had been so deeply inspired as a delegate herself.
“It’s a really amazing community,” she said.
“The first time I went to SPARC two years ago I thought, “how does everyone not know this exists?”
“As a creative, to sit in a room full of people like that, was a life-changing moment for my heart. And I didn’t realise two years later I would have my hand up to help coordinate it.”
So What Does SPARC Stand For?
In case you were wondering, SPARC is an acronym that stands for Spirituality, Art and Culture.
Jessica described the event as a gathering of “like-minded imagineers, innovators, creatives, whatever you would like to call them”.
“Basically they’re people who are really hungry for story, to tell brilliant stories, but also to be challenged creatively too,” she said.
Jessica said SPARC conference is very hands-on.
“It’s not just sitting and listening to speakers,” she said; “there’s stacks of participation.”
“Because it’s breaking new ground it’s hard to explain in a sentence, but basically if you come along you can expect a room full of people who are from all different places and walks of life.
“It is definitely a mixed bag, but we have one thing in common and that is the redemptive story. And these are people who are not just on Christian platforms, but in all different industries doing the best they can… at telling brilliant, creative stories that turn people towards a hope in God.
“We have spoken word poetry, live art, media, short films, we have moments where everyone is silent together where we learn to be still, we might have a DJ playing while we do a liturgical prayer… it’s odd but wonderful.”
She said the conference was a great chance to meet other people in the arts and culture industry, and people willing to break norms and stereotypes.
“These are people who are very forward-thinking, challenging, maybe even controversial sometimes,” she said.
SPARC is on August 7 and 8 at Hillsong Church’s Alexandria venue.
– Tickets and further details are available at SPARC.org.au
– Connect to the creative arts community through the SPARC Facebook page.