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‘Sparks Fly’ Event Ignites Creativity and Community Spirit in West Hartford

Courtesy photo

The ‘Sparks Fly’ fundraiser involved students from West Hartford’s Conard and hall high schools.


The inaugural “Sparks Fly” fundraising event, held in April, was a resounding success, bringing together the vibrant talents of arts students from West Hartford’s Conard and Hall high schools.

This unique collaboration, aligning with the week of Earth Day, showcased the intersection of visual arts and music while raising significant funds for The Nature Conservancy.

“Sparks Fly” was the creation of music educator Alfredo Grado and visual arts Educator Pam Murphy, designed to provide a platform for student artists and musicians to display their talents and to cultivate community. The event featured live performances by guitar students and an exhibition of artwork by visual arts students, creating an immersive and inspiring experience for all attendees.

“We wanted to create an event that not only highlights the incredible talent of our arts students but also connects our community in a meaningful way,” said Murphy. “Aligning with Earth Day allowed us to emphasize the importance of environmental conservation and support a worthy cause like The Nature Conservancy,” Grado added.

“This was not only about school, it connected to everyone in the community!” Nani Medina shared.

The Nature Conservancy, a leading environmental organization, was the beneficiary of the donations collected during the event. The funds raised will contribute to their ongoing efforts to protect and restore vital ecosystems around the globe.

The event drew a diverse crowd, including students, families, and community members, all eager to support the cause and celebrate the artistic achievements of the young performers and artists. Featured in the above photo are (from left to right) are Superintendent of Schools Paul Vicinus, music educator Alfredo Grado, student representative Nani Medina, Nature Conservancy Major Gifts Officer James Kramer, student Sophia Chen, Visual Arts Department Supervisor and educator Pam Murphy, and student Isabella Mantilla.

“We are incredibly proud of our students for their hard work and dedication in making this event a success,” said Grado. “Their passion for the arts and commitment to making a positive impact on the environment was completely evident.” Murphy and Grado also emphasized that this effort was student-led from the start.

The success of “Sparks Fly” has set a precedent for future collaborative events, with plans already underway for next year’s fundraiser. The organizers hope to build on this momentum, continuing to showcase student talent and support important causes within the community.

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