by Alex Baker

The Spark Center, located in Kendall Yards, is a space designated to cultivating creativity and connecting with the West Central neighborhood and the greater Spokane community. Located at 1214 Summit Parkway, Spark Center is open daily for public use. Beyond their abundance of resources— including a library, technology, and space for creative work—Spark puts on multiple events throughout the month, including lectures, skill shops, and workshops aimed at all ages. In the month of March, Spark is hosting some excellent events that Get Lit! is thrilled to highlight. The Taproot Speaker Series continues with Melissa Cole and Ric Gendron Thursday, March 10 at 7:00pm. This series provides inspiring personal anecdotes presented in a creative way by local artists and leaders. Cole and Gendron will entertain their audience with stories of how they came to be current artists. There will be a Q&A to follow. This event is free and open to the public. For more information on the event head to Spark’s website here.

Artist Melissa Cole finds her inspiration from snorkeling with a variety of aquatic animals, creating vivid, colorful sculptures and paintings depicting her experiences. Her work is shown in multiple galleries in the Pacific Northwest, and is currently featured in the solo show “Under the Influence… of Nature” at the Marmot Art Space in Kendall Yards. For a better look in Cole’s art work visit her website.

Ric Gendron is a Spokane artist and a member of the Colville and Umatilla tribes. Gendron is recognized for his vibrant paintings that comment on politics, racial tensions, and more. In an insightful piece by Deanna Pan from The Inlander, Gendron comments on his career, noting that he isn’t in this profession for the money. “Even if I wasn’t making a dime,” he says, “I would still have to paint”.

static1.squarespace.comWhat is poetry? Why do people write poetry? Why do people read it? If you’re asking yourself these questions and answering within the realm of “I don’t know, but I sure want too,” then Spark’s Poetry for Non-Poets event is designed just for you.

Poetry for Non-Poets with Thom Caraway will be held Saturday, March 12 from 4-6pm. This skill shop is designed for the person who wants to understand what all the fuss around poetry is about. Thom will discuss poems and ways to understand them, while also touching on the common objections to contemporary poetry and major trends in poetry today. This skill shop is free and requires no reservation. For more information, the event visit Spark Center website here.

Thom Caraway was Spokane’s first Poet Laureate. Caraway wanted to connect new audiences to the great range of literary events available in Spokane. Caraway is professor of creative writing at Whitworth University, editor of the literary journal Rock & Sling, and publisher of Railtown Almanac, a Spokane Poetry Anthology.

WritingThe Inklings Teen Writers Groups was designed by established local writers to engage with high-school students interested in creative writing looking to refine their skills and still have fun doing it. The Inklings focuses on taking young writers skills to the next level by partnering them with published local authors. This group hopes to grow together in a creative, encouraging environment while searching for publication opportunities for the young writers. The next meeting will be at on March 19th from 3-5PM and will continue every third Saturday of the month until July. Register and find more information for this fantastic event here.