sPARKs 2015

Ballroom, House of Hospitality
Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 4:30pm - Friday, January 20, 2012 - 4:00pm


sPARKs is back to explore and advance ambitious 2015 Centennial planning for Balboa Park! Join Balboa Park and regional civic and cultural leaders for a day of innovation and collaboration. Free.


Program Description
The Balboa Park Learning Institute presents
sPARKs a dynamic, innovative event to explore and advance ambitious 2015 Centennial planning! sPARKs will build upon the planning currently taking place in Balboa Park and bring together interdisciplinary teams to explore major themes—Innovation, 365 Days of Music, “Greening” Balboa Park, STEAM (the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) and more to identify opportunities for broad collaboration. Participants will have the opportunity to share ideas for 2015, connect with organizations across the region to create innovative partnerships, and imagine large-scale collaborative events.

Click here for additional information about planning to date and current themes.

As a result of participating in sPARKs, attendees will:

  • Learn about Balboa Park 2015 planning that has taken place to date.
  • Share their own ideas to further brainstorm and build upon current planning.
  • Connect with individuals and organizations both within Balboa Park and the greater San Diego community.

Who should participate in sPARKs?
We are seeking creative cultural and civic leaders from across San Diego with many different skills—from education to design to marketing to technology—to join in the energy and creative work of
sPARKs. Plus, a select cohort of emerging leaders will be selected to serve as an advisory council for future Learning Institute programming.

Friday, January 20 - Workshop Agenda
8:00-8:30 a.m.      Check In & Breakfast

8:30-9:30 a.m.      Introductions and Opening Presentations
9:30-10:30 a.m.   
Theme Organization
10:30-11:30 p.m.  Themes Speed Dating Activity
11:30-12:15 p.m.  Lunch (provided)
12:30 p.m.  Refocus
12:30-2:00 p.m.    Focused Group Work
2:00-3:00 p.m.      Theme Showcase (Bookends)
3:00-4:00 p.m.      Reflection & Wrap Up

The Thursday reception, Friday workshop, and showcase will all be held in the Ballroom at the House of Hospitality near the Prado Restaurant and Visitor Center.

Alexis Dixon is a Harvard-trained mediator with a background in humanistic psychotherapy. He has worked as a professional mediator for over 15 years both here and internationally in government and corporate settings including the social service sector. Alexis co-teaches a “mediation in police work” course and lectures on “conflict and culture” at San Diego State University. Alexis has facilitated several community-based dialogues, including discussions on race relations for San Diego’s Race Human Relations Commission.

Within the corporate sector, Alexis works with boards, leadership teams and staff in managing and strategizing their mission, organizational and departmental objectives. He examines the corporate culture to clarify areas of misunderstanding and conflict, encouraging all members of the team to work synergistically together on a focused, shared mission, further maximizing the organization’s resources and efficiency.

sPARKs is
free thanks to generous support from the James Irvine Foundation!


Register by email to with "sPARKs Registration" in the subject line. Include your name, title and organization, as well as which timeframes you wish to attend:

  • The Entire Experience (Thursday 4:30-6:30pm & Friday 8:00am-4:00pm), or
  • Bookends (Thursday Reception 4:30-6:30pm & Friday Showcase 2:00-4:00pm)

Visit the
sPARKs Audience Engagement website from March 2011 to learn more about the procedures and outcomes of our inaugural sPARKs. Contact Paige Simpson or Amanda Lincoln at the Balboa Park Learning Institute at or 619.232.7502.


The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership is the collaborative body and collective voice for 26 diverse arts, science and cultural institutions in Balboa Park. This program is brought to you by the Parntership's Balboa Park Learning Institute with support from the James Irvine Foundation. Balboa Park Learning Institute is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership serves as the collaborative body and collective voice for 28 arts, science, and cultural institutions in Balboa Park. Together we achieve greater effectiveness, innovation, and excellence and contribute to the vitality and sustainability of Balboa Park. Our collective 500 trustees, 7,000 volunteers, and 3,500 staff serve more than 6.2 million visitors annually.