Last year we launched Spark Salon, our annual fundraiser and paddle raise, to much success. It is a chance for us to share our mission with you while enjoying delicious food, wine, live music, and inspiring conversation. Every year, one of our co-founders, New York Times Best-Selling author and Spokanite Jess Walter, sits down with inspiring and innovative guests with Inland Northwest roots in order to raise funds to keep our youth programming, community events, and membership available at no cost.

Our 2018 event will bring video game developers Rand and Robyn Miller of Cyan Worlds back to their hometown of Spokane. They will sit down with Jess to share the story of creating their first big video game, Myst (which was the single best-selling PC game for a decade) and it’s sequel Riven, as well as their new ventures into Virtual Reality. Guests will be presented with the chance to hear how Rand and Robyn forged their path to a creative life, including the trials and joys along the way. Spark Central youth patrons will also have a chance to present video games pitches to the video game supergiants! 

During the night, we also highlight one of the key areas of our mission: keeping youth programs available at no cost to participants. To do this, every year we will share with you some of the awe-inspiring, big-dreaming kids who participate in our programs. Last year one of the Girls Rock Lab bands rocked our ears and hearts and we’re excited to invite another band to perform at this coming year’s event.

Sponsoring the Salon is a great way to promote your business to a select audience while supporting Spokane's youth as they forge their paths to brighter futures. For more information, download our Sponsorship Packet. Please contact our development coordinator Kate Reed with any questions.  509-688-7240 or 

This year we will be adding a small, select silent auction and Raffle and Prize Package. We rely on in-kind donations from businesses and individuals to make the event the best it can be, so donations are gratefully accepted. If you are interested in donating, please email for more information.

While you're waiting for details, check out the highlights below from last year and don't forget to JOIN OUR MAILING LIST to stay abreast of opportunities like this one.

Highlights from Last Years Event with Julia Sweeney & Maria Semple

We're so pleased to share that in the paddle raise, you raised $22,375, blowing away our goal of $15,000, for a total of $35,221. 

Thank you for helping close the opportunity gap by removing barriers to the experiences that ignite innovation, imagination, and creativity for everyone. 

For the first event, Jess sat down with Spokane-born-and-raised former SNL star and best-selling author Julia Sweeney and Seattle-based TV and novelist Maria Semple as they talked about their creative origins. It was a hilarious insight into the many roads we can take to find our creative power.Take a moment to peruse these photos taken by Hamilton Studios. It looks like everyone is having a good time!


Special thanks to our generous sponsors from 2017's event:


JULIA SWEENEY is an actress, comedian, and author known for her stint on Saturday Night Live and her powerful solo shows. A native of Spokane, Washington, Sweeney went to Hollywood in the 1980’s with aspirations of being a business executive at the studios before realizing that acting was her true calling. Her latest book is If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother, on parenting and being parented.

MARIA SEMPLE is the author of This One Is Mine and Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which has been translated into eighteen languages, and most recently, Today Will Be Different. A veteran Hollywood writer, she has written for celebrated TV shows like Arrested Development and Mad About You. She lives in Seattle.

JESS WALTER is the author of eight books. He’s been a #1 New York Times bestseller, finalist for the 2006 National Book Award and the PEN/ USA Literary prize in both fiction and nonfiction, and won the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe Award. His work has been published in 30 languages and his short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Harpers, McSweeney’s, Esquire and more. He is also president of the Spark Central Board of Directors.