Carolina Performing Arts is kicking off its 2020-2021 season with a performance that's new territory for them: a livestream interview series.
The upcoming virtual series, “The Spark,” is being hosted by Grammy-nominated musician Tift Merritt, a UNC alum. It will be an extension of a collaboration between Merritt and Marfa Public Radio in Marfa, Texas, which consisted of a collection of interviews between Merritt and other artists.
She began this endeavor in an effort to satiate her never-ending hunger for the insight of other artists' experiences. Her efforts were halted after five years of its initial run because of the burden of simultaneously producing a one-woman show and touring.
"I love how organic it was, but I took it as far as I could by myself," Merritt said. "It needed a team to grow, and at CPA, it found a beautiful one."
After the initial series concluded, Merritt moved back to North Carolina and established an ongoing professional relationship with Carolina Performing Arts, where she was featured in multiple series over the years. Eventually, she would find what she had been looking for after reconnecting with CPA’s programming director, Amy Russell, and relaunching her series on an entirely new format.