Last year we launched Spark Salon, our annual fundraiser and paddle raise, to much success. We can't wait to share our 2018 plans! Stay tuned for a date and an announcement of special guests.

Spark Salon is a chance for us to share our mission with you, our supporters,  while enjoying delicious food, wine, and lively 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. 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 beginnings. It was a hilarious insight into the many roads we can take to find our creative power.

This night is also chance to 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 one of our flagship programs and the awe-inspiring, big-dreaming kids who participate in them. Last year one of the Girls Rock Lab bands rocked our ears and hearts!

Sponsorships Information.  Sponsoring this event 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 (coming soon). Please contact Kate Reed, Development Coordinator, with any questions.  509-688-7240 or 

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

While you're waiting for details, check out highlights 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. 

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.