Four Organizations Around the State Receive Summer Spark Grants

Innovative programs in Seattle, Spokane, Bellingham and Omak are set to inspire community building, dialogue and conversation after receiving Humanities Washington Spark Grants.

Guests at World Cafe, a program this spring funded by a Spark Grant, engage in lively conversation.

Guests at World Cafe, a program this past spring funded by a Spark Grant, engage in lively conversation. Spark Grants are designed to support this type of community discussion and exchange.

Humanities Washington has awarded $28,500 during the summer round of its recently revamped Spark Grants program. The awards went to four innovative programs aimed at encouraging community dialogue: Read/Write at Short Run Small Press Fest, KYRS-Thin Air Community Radio, Whatcom Reads! 2014 and Mourning Dove Symposium and Celebration, all detailed below.

Humanities Washington recently refocused its project grants to support programs that fit with our mission of sparking conversation and critical thinking to help nurture informed, engaged communities across our state. The recipients of Spark Grants for Summer 2013, detailed below, all exemplify this commitment to critical thinking and dialogue using the humanities as a tool.

“This round of Spark grants was quite competitive,” said Julie Ziegler, executive director of Humanities Washington. “The projects that were ultimately awarded funding share a strong commitment to engaging local communities in dialogue.”

Grant recipients will be rolling out their programs over the next several months. All of these programs are open to the public. Look for more information, as details become available, on Humanities Washington’s online calendar.

The recently revamped Spark Grants review is a multitiered, competitive process in which applications are vetted by Humanities Washington board members, community representatives and humanities scholars. In the face of government cutbacks, Humanities Washington has ramped up its fundraising efforts to keep its grants program robust.

Organizations throughout Washington are invited to apply for a Fall 2013 Spark Grant; letters of interest are due Sept. 6, with full applications due Oct. 11. For more information on the Spark Grants program, please visit the Spark Grants section of Humanities Washington’s website, which includes guidelines, application tips and more.

Note: Organizations may only apply for a Spark Grant once in a calendar year, so please plan accordingly.


Short Run – Seattle
Short Run logoRead/Write at Short Run Small Press Fest

Read/Write is a free annual small press festival in Seattle that showcases makers of comics, art books, zines and literary works, focusing on regional artists, limited editions and handmade books. The first day, Read/Write uses performances, collaborative creations, panels and discussions to contemplate many topics, including the value of comics and zines, the role craft plays in the digital age and the gender gap in comics. The second day hosts a book fair highlighting 120 writers and artists.

Thin Air Community Radio – Spokane
KYRS-Thin Air Community Radio

kyrslogoThin Air Community Radio convenes a series of three public forums on the role that humanities-based education and critical thinking play in society. Thin Air Community Radio will film these conversations and provide a live stream for those who can’t attend in person to participate through live chat.

Whatcom County Library Foundation – Bellingham
Whatcom READS! 2014

Whatcom County Library FoundationThis program challenges Whatcom County residents to read and discuss the same book, providing a unique catalyst for developing community through the power of literature. This year brings the first nonfiction title, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, which provides numerous opportunities to spark critical thinking, nurture creativity and promote dialog.

Wenatchee Valley College at Omak – Omak
Mourning Dove Symposium and Celebration

Wenatchee Valley CollegeMourning Dove was the pen name of Christine Quintasket (1888-1936), an Okanogan Indian author from the Colville Reservation. The Mourning Dove Symposium and Celebration examines and honors the life and work of Mourning Dove, including the intercultural issues raised by her work, the historical period and place in which she lived, contemporary Native American literature and present-day tribal issues.

2 thoughts on “Four Organizations Around the State Receive Summer Spark Grants”

  1. Alf Langland says:

    Please include me on your regular email lists.

  2. Abby Rhinehart says:

    Sure thing, Alf! I have signed you up.

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