Spark Grants were micro-grants to individuals designed to bring people-powered ideas and dreams to life in Pierce County.
Spark Grants emerged as a follow up to GTCF’s Be the Spark event in 2011, which included an inspirational visit to Tacoma by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and world-renowned activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu. More than 15,000 people attended the event where Archbishop Tutu encouraged them to “Be the Spark” for the positive change they wanted to see in their communities.
“If you’re struggling with a problem, there are likely others who have struggled with that same problem. So, if you take the initiative to try to solve it, not only will you help others, but those same people who’ve had that problem will often help you fix it; and there are lots of other people who will be willing to get involved as well.” – Caleb Kamalu, Spark Grant Recipient
With an award of up to $1,500 Spark Grants were intended to spark positive social and neighborhood change through the efforts of grass-roots leadership. Many recipients were able to use the funds as starting point to build momentum for their projects and garner additional support from community and other funding sources.
“It’s hard to quantify the impact of that $1500. We’ve leveraged it into at least three times as much. But, the impact is immeasurable for the girl who took her first boat ride on Puget Sound or hiked in the rain for the first time with her sisters – making memories.” – T’wina Nobles, Spark Grant Recipient
From dance groups to literary journals, and culture-infused health programs to large-scale festivals, Spark Grant recipients helped build a thriving Pierce County in unique ways.
“I thought if I couldn’t find events that celebrate my culture then I would just create it on my own” – Clarissa Grace Gines, Spark Grant Recipient
Spark Grant News
LAUGHTER AND FOOD BUILD COMMUNITY AT KAIN TAYO! FILIPINO FIESTA (August 7, 2019)
CHALK ART BUILDS COMMUNITY ON THEA FOSS WATERWAY (August 8, 2018)
SPARK GRANTS: CREATIVE SOLUTIONS FROM GRASSROOTS LEADERS (July 11, 2018)