"More West Central families will be served thanks to $100k grant awarded to Spark Central"
We are so thrilled to announce that Spark Central has been awarded a $100,000 grant from Washington Women's Foundation. That means that more West Central families will have access to the creative enrichment programming that leads to brighter futures! We are beyond thrilled to continue to do this work.
A little about the award: Established in 1995, WA Women’s Foundation pools funds from 475 members and awards grants to nonprofit organizations that serve in the areas of Arts and Culture, Education, Environment, Health, and Human Services. Spark Central is the second Spokane-based nonprofit to receive a grant from the Seattle-based WA Women’s Foundation in its 24-year history.
The WA Women’s Foundation grant committee expressed admiration at how much Spark Central was able to accomplish with only one full-time staff and three part-time staff. Since 2016, Spark Central has grown to over 2,600 members, and station doors were open 255 days. In addition, the organization delivered over 100 hours of unique programming, and 256 volunteers provided over 4,000 hours of service. Spark Central’s current space is donated by Greenstone Homes, allowing Spark Central to leverage donations and grants for programming.
“We knew redevelopment was underway in the West Central neighborhood,” says Mari Jalbing, a member of the WA Women’s Foundation grant committee, of her site visit in May, “but we did not expect what greeted us: a space that can only be described as Candyland, plus many structured workshops and drop-in classes led by experts in the field.”
The grant will be awarded over three years and will be used by Spark Central to increase staff capacity to build partnerships with organizations in West Central and lay a foundation for sustainability.
“We’ve had to say ‘no’ or ‘not yet’ to too many opportunities to serve West Central youth, teens, and even adults,” says Brooke Matson, Executive Director of Spark Central. “With this funding, we will be able to say ‘yes,’ to more children and families.”
Matson sees Spark Central as an important part of combatting the pay-to-play culture that bars young people from partaking in creative learning and enrichment opportunities. The services of the organization are in high demand, especially as school funding is cut to after-school programs, art classes, and other experiential opportunities.
Read more about the award and Washington Women's Foundation here.
Thank you for being a part of this journey! Onward!