Artists in Schools Directory

   

The Space Painter (J. Thomas Sparough)

Artist's Narrative

The Space Painter (J. Thomas Sparough) J. Thomas Sparough has been enlightening audiences with his inspirational juggling for more than 30 years. By juggling everything from Tic Tac candies to beanbag chairs, he figuratively addresses the challenges of life, school and friendship. He teaches juggling and life skills to students of all ages and has performed across the United States and Europe. The name "Space Painter" came from a small child's imaginative description of the art form. Besides his work as a performance artist, Mr. Sparough is a former reporter and newspaper editor. He holds a masters degree in psychology from the University of Cincinnati where he has researched motor skill acquisition and self esteem. He is also an appreciative inquiry consultant.

Video
Excerpts from the programs Do Your Best (below), Tolerance, It's In The Air, and A Juggler's Christmas Carol.

Is YouTube unavailable at your school? View the video on SchoolTube here.



Availability

Upon request.
Fees listed are for Columbus-area schools. This artist is based in Cincinnati.

Programs Available

Tolerance, It's In The Air (Grade Levels 1-12)
This show could be described as an upbeat look at how good citizenship is lived out in life. It¹s filled with creative, playful ways to address the serious topics of bullying and diversity. The show focuses on the three Rs of tolerance: Respect self and others. Respond to unfair situations. And restrain ourselves from being unkind. The primary message of the show is that any one person can make a world of difference. The combination of an important, interesting topic presented through derby hats, rubber vampire bats, and beanbag chair juggling is spellbinding.

View a video excerpt of this program here.

Note: It is best to do two performances of this show at the elementary level, so that each performance will be age specific. 

See You Can Do Anything program descriptions for information on all-day and two-day options.
Activity Options:
Tolerance Assembly
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Fees: $425/ $225 each addt'l, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: Max 400 students
Tolerance - Full Day
  • Duration: 45 min. show + repeated 20-45 min. workshops
  • Fees: $800/ $175 each addt'l show, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: Large open space for workshop. Up to 80 students per workshop.
Tolerance - Two Day
  • Duration: 45 min. show + repeated 20-45 min. workshops
  • Fees: $1200/ $175 each addt'l show, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: Large open space for workshop. Up to 80 students per workshop.

Do Your Best: A Test-Preparation Pep Assembly (Grade levels 3-12)
This is a tool to help students do well on proficiency testing. It's a high-energy, comedy juggling show designed to motivate students to do their best. Attitude makes the difference between doing your best and not. Creative juggling analogies are used throughout the show. Juggling is all about test taking. The test is can you catch what you throw? Six strategies of test taking are highlighted using spinning plates and volunteers. The six are: show up, get a good nights sleep, eat a balanced breakfast, read questions carefully, answer questions completely, and check your work. Expect to see juggling of clubs, raisins, and bowling balls. To keep all students engaged and participating, there is a hands-on balancing activity for every student present.

View a video excerpt of this program here.

See You Can Do Anything program descriptions for information on all-day and two-day options.
Activity Options:
Do Your Best Assembly
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Fees: $425/ $225 each addt'l, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: 300 students maximum (because of hands-on activity)
Do Your Best - Full Day
  • Duration: 45 min. show + repeated 20-45 min. workshops
  • Fees: $800/ $175 each addt'l show, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: Large open space for workshop. Up to 80 students per workshop.
Do Your Best - Two Day
  • Duration: 45 min. show + repeated 20-45 min. workshops
  • Fees: $1200/ $175 each addt'l show, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: Large open space for workshop. Up to 80 students per workshop.

Life Skills Are A Juggling Act (Grade levels 7-12)
In this presentation, juggling is used as analogy for the multiple challenges we have in our lives. Communication, peer pressure, self-confidence, relationships, self-discipline - these are some of the areas teens are faced with juggling today. This 45-minute assembly is a unique blend of juggling, storytelling, and common sense tips on life skills. This program works well as a featured session for career days.

See You Can Do Anything program descriptions for information on all-day and two-day options.
Activity Options:
Life Skills Are A Juggling Act Assembly
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Fees: $425/ $225 each addt'l, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: 400 students maximum
Life Skills Are A Juggling Act - Full Day
  • Duration: 45 min. show + repeated 20-45 min. workshops
  • Fees: $800/ $175 each addt'l show, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: Large open space for workshop. Up to 80 students per workshop.
Life Skills Are A Juggling Act - Two Day
  • Duration: 45 min. show + repeated 20-45 min. workshops
  • Fees: $1200/ $175 each addt'l show, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: Large open space for workshop. Up to 80 students per workshop.

You Can Do Anything! Two Day Version (Grade levels K-8)
Schools with more than 550 students may prefer this program rather than the one-day version so that workshop sizes will not be so large. In this version, half the school experiences the assembly and workshops on the first day, and the other half of the school the second day.
Activity Options:
You Can Do Anything: two days
  • Duration: 45 min. show + repeated 20-45 min. workshops
  • Fees: $1200/ $175 each addt'l show, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: Large open space for workshop. Up to 80 students per workshop.

You Can Do Anything! Full Day Version (Grade levels K-8)
The entire school learns to juggle! The day begins with an all-school assembly as above, and then rather than teaching only one workshop, the Space Painter teaches students throughout the day in a series of workshops, usually separated by grade levels. You may also choose to have only selected grade levels participate in longer workshops rather than including the entire school.
Activity Options:
You Can Do Anything: full day
  • Duration: 45 min. show + repeated 20-45 min. workshops
  • Fees: $800/ $175 each addt'l show, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: Large open space for workshop. Up to 80 students per workshop.

You Can Do Anything! (Grade levels K-8)
This is a show (and workshop) about learning. An all-school assembly kicks off the program featuring a one-man juggling show. Methods of juggling are explained and demonstrated in a lively engaging style. Balls, clubs, bowling balls, hats, scarves, and spinning plates can all be part of the act. The focus of the show is to encourage persistence, concentration, and going step by step. The theme is that, with proper practice, you can learn anything. Be a life-long learner! After a short break, up to 80 students will be taught juggling using colorful, slow-falling scarves (three scarves per student will be provided). The level of the workshop is geared to students' ages. The purpose of the workshop is to improve students' self esteem through the confidence boost of learning a new skill and creating their own tricks.
Activity Options:
You Can Do Anything: assembly plus workshop
  • Duration: 45 min. show + 45 min. workshop
  • Fees: $525/ $175 each addt'l show, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: Large open space for workshop. Up to 80 students per workshop.

A Juggler's Christmas Carol (Grade levels Pre-K - 12)
This is an original, adaptation of the Charles Dicken's classic.  Set to juggling, this version is action packed.  You see Scooge is a juggler who refuses to share his tricks.  He stores them up and counts them in his room.  He won't let anyone watch.  The spooky Christmas-clown puppets of the Past, Present and Future inspire Scrooge to change his ways.  This is a one-man, one-audience show (there is lots of participation).

View a video excerpt of this program here.
Activity Options:
A Juggler's Christmas Carol
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Fees: $425/ $225 each addt'l, plus $75 travel fee (from Cincinnati)
  • Requirements: Available in December only; 300 students maximum.