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Join us for a night of laughter, entertainment, and giving as bestselling author Jess Walter banters with author, journalist, and social commentator Sarah Vowell and Black Lens founder and journalist Sandy Williams about how they found the path to their creative passion. Younger stars of the evening include a smashing Girls Rock Lab band and inquisitive journalists from Spark Central’s West Central Express newspaper program.

Raise your paddle to help Spark Central tear down the barriers that stand in the way of youth forging their paths to brighter futures. Help us keep powerful youth programs and membership available at no cost.

Last year we added a fun and successful dessert dash to the night, featuring desserts from local sweet-makers. We rely on in-kind donations from businesses and individuals to make the event the best it can be, and donations from local organizations make this a roaring success. If you are interested in donating, please email for more information.

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 


SARAH VOWELL is the author of seven nonfiction books, including Assassination Vacation and Lafayette in the Somewhat United States.  She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and has been a guest of talk show hosts Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, and Jon Stewart.

SANDY WILLIAMS is a community organizer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur with a decades-long background focusing on discrimination, equity, and social justice. She is currently the Publisher and Editor of The Black Lens, the only African American focused newspaper in Eastern Washington, and is also a consultant offering workshops, training and Board Development to businesses and non-profit organizations.

JESS WALTER is the author of eight books and a #1 New York Times bestseller as well as a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award and the PEN/ USA Literary prize in both fiction and nonfiction. He is also president of the Spark Central Board of Directors.

Highlights from 2018's Event with Robyn and Rand Miller

Huge and heartfelt thanks to everyone who came to Spark Salon! What a fun and inspiring night full of Girls Rock Lab rockstars, future video game makers, and stimulating conversation with Robyn and Rand. You raised $46,033 in profit (far exceeding our goal of $40,000), ensuring that we are able to make sure cost is not a barrier to people discovering the creativity needed to forge the path to their best future. On behalf of all our patrons and program participants, thank you for making Spokane a place where people can imagine bright futures and have access to the experiences that lead them there.

Take a moment to peruse the beautiful images by Hamilton Studios, our in-kind sponsor, available on our Facebook page. While you're at it, follow the page to stay abreast of new and exciting programs!

Still want to know more about this event? Take a moment to peruse these photos from our 2017 event with Julia Sweeney and Maria Semple, taken by Hamilton Studios. It looks like everyone is having a good time!

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


And thanks to the Community Building Foundation for a $2,000 Paddle Raise Match grant!