About Us

The Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) was founded in 1976 by Chicana Muralist/UCLA Professor, Judith Baca, painter Christina Schlesinger, and filmmaker Donna Deitch. Debra J.T. Padilla has served as Executive Director since 1993.  Our mission is to examine what we choose to memorialize through public art, to devise and innovate excellent art pieces; and ultimately, to provide empowerment through participatory processes to residents and communities excluded from civic debate. Our cornerstone artwork, The Great Wall of Los Angeles mural, is a ½ mile visual narrative that depicts the histories of minority communities both locally and globally. The Great Wall is recognized internationally not only for its scale but also for its innovative methodology, which fostered collaboration between artists, scholars, community members, and over 400 at-risk youth. Over the past 40 years, SPARC has continued to refine the methodology of The Great Wall to create public artworks that engage and amplify the voices of diverse communities. The SPARC arts education program builds on a rich history and practice of working with community members and youth to advocate for social justice through art.