Before Spark Central, there were two organizations: Spark Center and INK Art Space.
The seeds of the original Spark Center were planted in Summer 2014 when local community leaders Jim and Joe Frank, Greenstone Homes, Ben Stuckart, Spokane City Council President, Vinny Alfonso, Gonzaga University Dean of Education and Debra Park, Kendall Yards resident, gathered to talk about library and education needs in the West Central Community. Conversations led to the formation of a group of stakeholders invested in improving the community through innovative education and library services. The idea was, and continues to be, that better education and access to learning opportunities leads to better jobs, better health, better communities and better life and that a tight-knit community can improve a person’s chance of success. Greenstone Homes and Greenstone Foundation made a commitment to move forward with plans to create a “library of the future” for West Central community and beyond.
In January 2015, Greenstone Homes began collaborating with INK Art Space, a youth arts education program founded by Spokane novelist Jess Walter and artist/developer Dan Spalding. INK Artspace, founded in 2014, was an all-volunteer nonprofit organization founded in March 2014 with the mission of “creating a vibrant arts culture through collaboration, youth education and the power of imagination.” Mischa Jakupcak, an award winning writer, director and film producer and INK board president, became an active member of the stakeholder group. INK Art Space moved from its downtown home to the Spark Center in May 2015. Spark Center opened to the public in August 2015 with creative programs, a lending library, and technology resources in a welcoming community gathering space for all ages.
These two mighty organizations, Spark Center and INK Art Space, merged to form Spark Central in July 2016 with a renewed focus on igniting the creativity, innovation, and imagination necessary for people to forge the path to their best future.