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SpArc Services Cultural Arts Program to Receive $10,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts


January 24, 2024  Philadelphia, PA SpArc Services is pleased to announce that it has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a Challenge America award of $10,000. This grant will support the Cultural Arts Center at SpArc Services and ensure that adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have access and opportunity in the performing arts. The NEA announced the Challenge America awards as part of its first round of the fiscal year 2024 grants, which will award 257 grants for a total of $2,570,000.

“The NEA is delighted to announce this grant to SpArc Services, which is helping contribute to the strength and well-being of the arts sector and local community,” said National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD. “We are pleased to be able to support this community and help create an environment where all people have the opportunity to live artful lives.”  

Nofre Vaquer, CEO of SpArc Philadelphia, said, “It is an honor for our organization and the arts program to be recognized by the NEA in this way. This grant will go a long way in helping adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities gain access and opportunities to participate in the arts community in a direct and meaningful way.”

The grant will fund a project providing an educational and performance series that will connect participants with opportunities to make artistic choices, enhance their self-worth, build their relationships with local artists, and showcase their talents and newly-developed skills. This goal mirrors our overarching organizational missions of empowering participants through the arts, fostering inclusion through public performances, and building awareness of the talents of people with disabilities.

For more information on other projects included in the NEA’s grant announcement, visit

About SpArc Services

SpArc Services is a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a mission to support people with disabilities by providing programs that encourage inclusion, independence, and personal achievement.

The Cultural Arts program realizes this mission by connecting participants, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), with arts programming that promotes creative expression, self-esteem, and independent decision-making. Local artists teach classes in visual arts, dance, theater, music, ceramics, and film. These opportunities lead to performing and arts engagements and partnerships, helping the wider community experience the potential of people with IDD.

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