Lindsay Sparagana has taught in the Continuing Studies and Pre-College programs at the University of the Arts. She continues to teach in the undergraduate department while pursuing an M. Ed with a certificate in Community Art at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Sparagana works with both traditional and digital photographic processes. Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally.
Though her passion and formal training are rooted in photography, Sparagana enjoys teaching in alternative classroom settings throughout the Philadelphia area in order to facilitate social change in the city through art making. She works collaboratively with several arts organizations and with students ranging in age from 3-80. In 2010, Sparagana was a panelist for "The Arts for All Ages: A Creative Conversation" sponsored by the Creative Arts and Aging Network. In 2008 and 2009, she was the recipient of the New Courtland Artist Fellowship through the Center for Emerging Visual Artists.
Images from La Carpio, 2010
La Carpio is a slum outside of San Jose, Costa Rica, where roughly 40,000 people inhabit 145 square miles of government owned land. Over half of the population, mostly Nicaraguan immigrants, live below the poverty line and have no formal employment. La Carpio is surrounded by two rivers and one landfill that receives over 700 tons of waste daily. It often spills into the community. The dirt roads weave between houses made of corrugated sheet metal and there is barely any electricity. The only running water I saw was flowing through an exposed pipe in the ground. La Carpio is often portrayed by the media as one of the most feared and repudiated areas of Costa Rica.
I spent two weeks in La Carpio volunteering in a church and teaching art to the children. To me, La Carpio represents everlasting faith and strength because without faith, the soul of this community would cease to exist. The Pastor and his wife were the most selfless people that I have ever met. Felipe and Xiomara dedicate their lives to helping the children prosper under the most strenuous circumstances, and always with a smile on their faces. They live in the one room church with their 3-year-old daughter and open their doors everyday to teach neighborhood children English and let them play in a safe environment. I was inspired by their tireless effort to maintain a soup kitchen twice a week that attracted 60-70 children as well as adults. Though one bag of rice can feed all of those children for quite awhile, they had recently only been able to afford to hold Saturday soup kitchens.
I walked to the bus with Felipe on my last day in La Carpio. I didn't want to leave this place where I learned so many valuable lessons about life and about myself. I had developed such admiration for the Pastor and his wife, I would miss their optimism and kindness. They had just given us a generous afternoon snack of oranges with salt – a welcome treat on a stifling hot day. As the bus pulled away, I thought about the mural that the kids and I painted on the exterior of the church earlier that week. Felipe gave me a verse from the Bible to incorporate into the mural and I will always think of it as his mantra, as it was quietly demonstrated in front of me often. "Jesus said, I am the light of the world, those who continue on with me will not walk in the dark but embrace the light of life."
Class Schedule, Fall 2016
|M||04:00PM - 09:50PM||Community Engagement - Photo|
|T||01:00PM - 05:20PM||Cllab:Art Stories/Kid Stories|