Friday, July 29, 2016

Creative nonprofits INK Artspace, Spark Center merge to become Spark Central

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 4:45 PM

click to enlarge The Kendall Yards learning center now bears Spark Central's new logo, which pays homage to our region's rail heritage. - CHEY SCOTT
  • Chey Scott
  • The Kendall Yards learning center now bears Spark Central's new logo, which pays homage to our region's rail heritage.

Today was the big reveal.

The creative hub located in the heart of Kendall Yards — on the edge of both downtown Spokane and the West Central neighborhood — that was formerly home to two learning-centric entities, Spark Center and INK Artspace, is now home to just one: Spark Central.

The marriage of the two growing organizations brings both of their similarly aligned arts, literary and education missions under one umbrella. The new Spark Central name not only maintains the community's nickname of "Spark" for the actual venue, but the replacement of "Center" with "Central" is an appropriate nod to its home in the West Central neighborhood, which its programs and resources seek to serve. A new logo of train tracks fading into a sunburst on the horizon also pays homage to the Inland Northwest's rail town history. 

"Spark Central's mission, which is sort of a merging of the other two, is to ignite the creativity, innovation and imagination necessary for people to forge the path to their best future," explains the nonprofit's Executive Director Brooke Matson. 

"So that could be growing as an artist, having access to technology to learn coding so they can get a job – we're an access point," she continues.

click to enlarge Spark Central celebrated its rebranding with a community event on Friday, July 29. - CHEY SCOTT
  • Chey Scott
  • Spark Central celebrated its rebranding with a community event on Friday, July 29.
The new branding and merging of Spark and INK — including a unification of each nonprofit's board of directors — is also the culmination of the past two year's worth of experimentation in the types of programs and workshops offered by its predecessors, she says. 

Programming offered through Spark Central won't change much, though. Staff and guest workshop facilitators will continue to develop classes and workshops that seek to foster creativity in all ages. 

"We do so much with the literary arts and arts and technology, I think we're sort of just having a renewed focus," Matson says. "We have the 'creative crossing' sign, with the idea that a lot of the programs we do are this junction of two things."

She then lists off how the Girls Rock program (offered at the end of August) is a combination of women's empowerment and music, and the coding classes Spark regularly offers are about both being creative and learning technology. 

Stay tuned for lots more workshops coming to Spark Central's schedule this fall, Matson says, when people settle back into more regular routines. The schedule of classes, workshops and regularly held drop-in events can all be found online at the same website, now just rebranded: sparkwestcentral.org.
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