About US

The South Pasadena Arts Council, SPARC, provides interactive art projects, visual

and performing arts programs, and collaborations with local businesses, the South Pasadena Unified School District and community organizations.

The South Pasadena Arts Council believes that the arts enrich our lives and are vital to the social, educational and economic well-being of South Pasadena.

SPARC is open to all artists, actors, musicians, playwrights, directors, producers, set designers, costume designers, dancers, singers, storytellers, writers, art lovers, art patrons, and anyone who wants to help the arts survive and thrive in South Pasadena.


SPARC advocates for and promotes the arts in order to recognize local artists as a rich resource within our city and build appreciation and understanding of the value of the arts within the community.

SPARC Advisory Board

Jeffrey Thomas (J.T.) Burke is a digital artist who creates unique image compositions that have been exhibited in Europe, New York City and throughout California. He currently serves on a number of non-profit boards and committees, including chair of the Board of Trustees of Brooks Institute (Ventura, CA), a board member and trustee of the South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Finance Committee of the City of South Pasadena. 

Previously, Burke was an advertising photographer, commercial director and stock photo agent. He was the CEO of PictureArts Corporation, President of the Picture Archive Council of America, and was the co-founder and chair of the PLUS Coalition, an international trade association for image licensing. 

Burke earned a BA in Design at UCLA, was awarded an Hon MS in Photography from Brooks Institute of Photography and has a Certificate in Management from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Steve Fjeldsted has been the City Librarian for South Pasadena for more than 8 years. He graduated from San Jose State with a Master’s in Library Science in 1980 and is one of the few to have ever served as a Library Director in Southern, Central, and Northern California. He was accorded the Mayor’s Image Award by the City of South Pasadena in 2010. In addition, Steve is co-editor and contributor, along with nationally-known poets Molly Fisk and Steve Sanfield, of the 2007 anthology “Open to All: What the Library Means to Me.” Fjeldsted is on the Advisory Committee of the California Chapter of Poets & Writers, Inc. and has served on the Literature Alive! Board. As a Library Director, Steve has spearheaded projects to honor Ray Bradbury, John Steinbeck, and Jack London, as well as South Pasadena’s William Holden, Joel McCrea, and Nelbert Chouinard. In all, he has coordinated and publicized more than 200 well-attended major events for the South Pasadena Public Library.

Dr. Marina Khubesrian, M.D. was elected to the South Pasadena City Council in November 2011. She currently serves as Mayor for the 2013 term.

Mayor Khubesrian values teamwork and works closely with her talented and dedicated colleagues on the City Council, Staff, Commissions and members of the community to preserve and enhance the quality of life for South Pasadena families and plan for a healthy and sustainable future for the City.

Mayor Khubesrian is a Board Certified Family Physician, a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and a Medical Board of CA licensed Physician and Surgeon. She is a double alumnus of UCLA receiving both a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and her Medical Doctorate.

Dr. Michele Kipke has served on the Governing Board since 2008. She was the Board President in 2010-2011, and the District Liaison to the City of South Pasadena's Youth Commission in 2006. From 2006-2008, she served on the Board of Trustees of the South Pasadena Educational Foundation. Since 2004, she has been a Court-Appointed Special Advocate and an educational guardian for children under the jurisdiction of the Department of Children and Family Services. Michele is a Professor of Pediatrics and Preventative Medicine at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, and Vice-Chair of Research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. A longtime resident of South Pasadena, Michele is the proud mother of five children.

David Plenn was a full time musician/songwriter, with a track recorded that included 2 platinum and 2 gold records, as a songwriter, as well as television soundtracks and concerts. After his son was born, he opened up a toy and bookstore, The Dinosaur Farm, in 1994.  Playing music is still his first love, but now he does it for fun - which of course, was why he started playing guitar in the first place.

Jon Primuth is a local trusts and estates attorney active in the community.  He is a volunteer in numerous organizations including in AYSO, SPHS Booster Club, South Pas Chinese American Club, South Pas Chamber of Commerce (board of directors), SPHS PTSA and the South Pasadena Educational Foundation (SPEF).  He currently serves as the president of SPEF, a forty-member nonprofit raising money and providing enrichment programs to the school district.

James Reynolds is a 2-time Emmy nominee best known for his role as Abe Carver on NBC’s Days of Our Lives. He is a 40-year veteran of stage, screen and television. James is proud to have played one character, Abe Carver, longer than any African-American actor in the history of television, daytime or nighttime. James received a Special Recognition Award from the National Black Theatre Festival in 2011 for his contributions to theater, television, and film. A native of Oskaloosa, Kansas, James has been named one of that state’s 105 Greatest Citizens: a list that includes Dwight Eisenhower, Emilia Earheart, Bob Dole and Gale Sayers among other notables of the Sunflower State. A former Marine, James served as the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Spokesperson for Hospitalized Veterans from 2010 to 2012. He is the only person to have served in that position for 3 terms. James and his wife Lissa are the owners and co-artistic directors of the Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena.

Craig Watson is the Director of the California Arts Council, a position he has held since August 2011 when the Council chose him after a nationwide search. Watson started his career in the arts field at local arts agencies and arts-services organizations, and later built a career in the telecommunications industry before returning to the arts as Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach. The California Arts Council is the official state arts agency for California, the state with the largest number of artists and creative-industry workers in the nation.

SPARC Steering Committee

Kimiko Warner-Broder (Liberation Artist, Choreographer) has been involved in theatre education as a Teaching Artist (TA) and creator of programs for 23 years for major theatres in Los Angeles. She’s also a part of the TeAda, an artists’ ensemble that creates new works that speak to the needs of under-represented communities, especially those of people of color. She completed her MA at University Southern California in Applied Theatre Arts in August 2012.

For ten years, Kimiko was Educational Programs Manager for Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatres where she designed and implemented over six programs for students, teachers, and families. She also served as Project Manager at Inner City Arts for the Summer Institute offering subsidized art programs to youth ages 13-18.

Kimiko was Choreographer for the South Pasadena Unified School District/SPEF musical that brought together 70 students from three elementary schools in the District for five years. She has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts Musical Theatre Funding and Shakespeare in American Communities - NEA Arts Mid-West funding.

Leisa Collins is a native of New Zealand and resident of South Pasadena. Leisa has always had an artistic fascination with architecture.  In addition to her landscape and semi-abstract works, she has painted hundreds of homes, buildings and street scenes in New Zealand, Europe and in 40 states across the USA.   She recently launched her Leisa Collins Historic Preservation Award to give back to homeowners and individuals who work tirelessly to preserve their homes and enrich their communities.  Leisa travels extensively -- painting wherever she goes – but majorly divides her time between the east and west coasts of the USA and New Zealand.

Kathryn Compton is an accomplished and award winning event producer with more then 20 years experience in the event industry, with a history of producing events for Disney, Warner Bros. Coca-Cola, The Democratic National Convention, Comic Con and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). She is known for producing large-scale events, multi-media art installations and interactive and social media experiences. Kathryn has collaborated and delivered on spectacular events including The Grammys, The Oscars, The Olympics, The Super Bowl, The Cannes Film Festival, The Fire and Ice Ball, as well over 40 Premiere Parties and Red Carpet events. Her passion is cultural, artistic and philanthropic events that combine her artistic flair with her technical expertise. She is currently consulting with the USC Cultural Affairs Dept. and the USC Pacific Asia Museum as part of their transition team.

Scott Gandell

Anthony George is Principal of George Architecture in South Pasadena, California, practicing architecture, interior and landscape design. Founded in 2004, they have developed a diverse portfolio that explores a core set of beliefs and principles, whether residential, commercial, restaurant and retail, industrial, or mixed-use projects. Mr. George is a graduate of USC and attended the masters program at Cal Poly Pomona. He is a former Director and Executive Committee member of the Pasadena/Foothill AIA, and former Design Review Board Chair and current Chair of the Planning Commission for the City of South Pasadena. In his spare time he enjoys pen-and-ink drawing, guitar, and tennis.

Steve Inunza is co-owner, with his wife Jamie, of Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta. Before retiring from “Corporate America”, Steve worked in Finance at six industry-leading Fortune 500 Companies. Steve is a former member of the Board of Governors for the LA County Economic Development Corporation, the 2010 South Pasadena American Cancer Society- Relay for Life Co-Chair, and the South Pasadena Kiwanis 90 year anniversary event chairperson.

Steve is a speaker for at-risk high schools and volunteers for school and local community committees. He is passionate about improving the quality of life in LA County by supporting and driving job growth and advocating improvements in education that includes the arts.

Waynna Kato is an artist, arts administrator and community activist. Waynna’s art education began with childhood classes at the original Pasadena Art Museum and resulted in a Master of Fine Art degree from Otis Art Institute. She has shown her work at numerous local institutions including Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, California State University Los Angeles and Asia Pacific Museum.  Her career in Art Administration spanned 25 years, serving as Registrar, Dean of Admissions and Financial, Dean of Students at Otis Art Institute and Operations Director at The Armory Center for the Arts.

A Community Activist, Waynna is a dedicated Freeway Fighter with Citizens United to Save South Pasadena and No 710 Action Committee. She is Treasurer of the South Pasadena Democratic Club, a founding member of WISPPA, Women Involved in South Pasadena Political Action and served on the South Pasadena City Council’s Mission Street Specific Plan Ad Hoc Committee.

Sandy Kitto has enjoyed a successful career in the textile industry for over thirty years. Her endeavors have been creative – merchandising, marketing, fabric design & development as well as administrative – sale, production, purchasing & management. Happilyshe has been a South Pasadena resident for the past eleven years and enjoyed the vibrant, creative, and family friendly culture unique to South Pas.  Her two children came to South Pas in their early teens and have benefitted from the diverse artistic experiences afforded them here before leaving the nest as adults.

Her household now consists of a husband, three dogs, and herself.  This nearly empty nest has provided her with opportunities to explore new creative outlets, such as her current passion for the past three years – designing and creating jewelry. She looks forward to building on this creative energy to support the multifaceted artistic community of South Pasadena.

Anna Proulx has a background in arts and higher education management.  Anna managed the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program for 5 years, creatively working and supporting international documentaries.  She comes from a family of artists, dancers and musicians.  Her passion rises from her two children to provide arts education and arts exposure. She and her family are residents of South Pasadena.

Lissa Reynolds, Founding Director is an actress, President of the California Performing Arts Centre, and Co-Artistic Director of the Fremont Centre Theatre. Lissa was a recent 29th District Congressional Woman of the Year, has received a Gold Crown Award from the Pasadena Arts Council, recognition awards from Women At Work, Women In Theatre, two PTSA Distinguished service awards and, most recently, an Image Award from the Mayor of South Pasadena. She received Senator Carol Liu's 2014 Women Mean Business Award Recipient that honors local women whose endeavors and contributions have enhanced the economic vitality, diversity, and quality of life in the 25th Senate District. 

Dominique Romero

Howard Spector, Director is a consultant for non-profit organizations on program assessment, planning and arts education and with artists on projects and exhibitions. He has also served as the Executive Director of P.S. Arts in Los Angeles; Director of Education at the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Maryland; Vice President for Education at Americans for the Arts in Washington D.C.; Cultural Arts Manager for the City of Manhattan Beach; and Executive Director of two non-profit photography organizations, The Light Factory in Charlotte North Carolina; and the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies.

He has been a consultant and grant panelist to several organizations and cultural agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for the Arts, North Carolina, California, and Maryland State Arts Councils, Getty Research Institute, Southern Arts Federation, U.S. Department of Education, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the City of Los Angeles.

Howard has exhibited both nationally and internationally and his work is included in numerous public and private collections. His first book of digital images, Dialog Box, a collaboration with poet Jay Brecker, was published in 2012, by Thistle and Weed Press.

Carl Weintraub began his professional acting career at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in 1974. A graduate of U.C.L.A., Carl studied improvisation with Lou Palter and has performed at such theatres as The Mark Taper Forum, and the L. A. Theatre Company and starred in a few television series (e.g. as Barry Bostwick's fellow father on "Dads," Cagney's blue-collar boyfriend on "Cagney & Lacy,” and mob boss, Vincent Maroni on “Days Of Our Lives.") along with countless other roles on stage and tube. Carl was the first recipient of the Los Angeles PASA Award for life achievement in professional artistry in schools and was the first actual artist ever to receive the Los Angeles Music Center’s Bravo Award for achievement in the arts education. He founded We Tell Stories, a story-type theatre company that has been performing across America since 1981. In parallel lives Carl has been a probation officer and a social worker, a mushroom farmer and a mason.  He's taught school, cleaned latrines, played guitar and sung the blues in bars for money. Some say he passed through the town of Hamlin once, but that’s just gossip.  His own children are aged 24, 38, 45 and 48 with 4 grandkids.  He's broken his back three times and his nose five.  You can bet he has some good stories.

drawing by Liz Reday