igniting the SPARK! of creativity inherent in all children
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SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE 3
A MESSAGE FROM OUR TEAM
Most years we like to talk of the good we did in the community. We talk of the children we served, and the impact our programs had on them. Happily, the year started off like those in the past...SPARK! was booked up fully, with a combination of field trips, birthday parties, Scout groups, and upcoming camps. Family memberships were on the rise and weekend attendance was up. As had happened in the past, the spring was almost completely booked and due to capacity restraints, we’d started turning kids away.
You know the rest......
2020 – a year none of us will forget. We were forced to close once the pandemic took hold. A “new reality” that lasted beyond the year’s end, and forced us to rethink how to keep our mission alive in our community.
2020 – a year we pivoted. SPARK! the epitome of a hands-on, immersive facility and suddenly we were producing video instructions for children to engage their creativity at home.
2020 – a year that tried our endurance, strained our already tight budgets and took its toll on our staff.
So, rather than dwell on the past – we want to share bright news for the future. The SPARK! Board of Directors unanimously voted to seek out a new and much larger home. SPARK! is ready to expand our services to reach more of the north Texas community. We hope to share news of our future site very soon.
As we look to the future and the planned reopening of SPARK! in June of 2021, we’re excited to welcome the kids back to full creative immersion. With what they’ve lived through, they need the release that only physical engagement and creativity bring, now more than ever.
Thanks for being on this journey with us.
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE 4
IGNITING THE SPARK!
OUR MISSION To ignite the SPARK! of creativity inherent in all children.
SPARK! VISION Our vision is to offer a unique environment that, combined with creative programming, inspires minds, builds confidence and shapes the future for all children.
Unique Environment : Total Creative Immersion 6,000 linear foot Climb, Crawl, Slide Sculpture Unique and interactive displays and installations
Hands-On Creative Programming Programs teach the creative process, defined as: Inspiration, with Iteration and Collaboration, leads to Innovation Programs include: field trips, camps, SPARK!Shops, Scouts, Pop-Up Artist/Creator led activities and weekend open hours for families
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE 5
WHY WE DO IT
Creativity is crucial. Building future problem solvers & innovators THE FACTS As children grow older, they become less confident in their creative
Arts education increases the likelihood that youth will:
abilities. This is compounded by the fact that there is a significant
Graduate from high school
drop-off in creative educational opportunities in public schools
Attend and obtain a college degree
beyond the 6th grade. By the age of 16, children either define themselves as “creative” or “not creative.” Children who define
Register to vote Be active in arts and culture Serve as volunteers in their communities
themselves as creative have higher self-esteem and better problem solving skills, leading to better performance in school and
Low-income residents with more access to cultural resources experience better
on the job.
education, security and health outcomes, including: 14% decrease in cases of child abuse 18% decrease in serious crime
OUR SOLUTION The hands-on learning and total creative immersive environment of
18% increase in the number of students scoring at the highest level on standardized math and English tests
SPARK! provides students with individualized learning that helps them embrace their full creative potential. By giving students the
CEOs rate creativity and collaboration as two of the most critical skills for an
confidence to be creative, access to creative programming, and
employee’s future success. Studies show that demand for creative skills will only
educating them in the creative process, SPARK! will lead the way in helping more students acquire creative skills to excel in school and
increase as the job market evolves and adapts to ongoing advancements. The ability to think through to a solution and envision new possibilities will continue to drive the world in which our children will live.
compete in the workforce.
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE 6
An independent study by data researchers at QREM, set out to determine if visiting SPARK! on singular and multiple visits impacted youth participating in our programs, and how they were impacted. The preliminary findings were impressive, indicating that even a SINGLE visit can impact self-esteem and problem solving.
Based on seven principle constructs; Engagement with learning, Constructive risk taking, Creative learning, Exploration of physical environment, Self-esteem, Attention span, and Self-learning; a series of pre- and posttest surveys were developed to measure each.
"Expected results from a one-day visit for school-aged children would be in the single digits. Double-digit gains speak to the impact the experience has on the children." “Gains were made in each of the seven constructs evaluated. These findings suggest that SPARK! serves as a catalyst piquing students’ creative interests, and providing an educational environment for maximizing students’ learning.” “It is very apparent students are learning at SPARK! … they are becoming stronger explorers, and their engagement with learning increased at statistically significant levels.”
-Didi Fahey, QREM Research Team
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE SEVEN
85% of Americans believe investing in creativity increases employee productivity 71% of Americans believe that creativity is being stifled by our education system
CEO's rate creativity as the
#1 leadership skill
DISD students do not
of the future
Creativity promotes risk taking
programming in school
7 is the age
crea cts a f y t t i i v i t vity a e r c fa
when engagement in the creative process to create an outcome begins
107,827 DFW kids each year decide "I AM" or "I AM NOT" creative
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE EIGHT
STEPPING UP IN A TIME OF CRISIS
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SPARK! has been temporarily closed to the public since March 16, 2020. Although we are not able to provide kids, whether through Family Days programming, Field Trips, or Camps, with the unique environment depicted in our vision statement, new virtual and socially distanced programs have been developed to continue engaging our community in creative learning programs.
Online programs launched following closure are quite robust, and include:
SPARK! Creative at Home - an online series of video tutorials that walk kids through creative activities they can do with items commonly found around the home. This series launched 1 week after shut down, with a video a week being produced. SPARK! Creative to Go - a program in partnership with City Square to deliver at-home creativity kits to homeless youth and families SPARK!TV – a video series that interviews local creative organizations and artists, and highlights how creativity and the creative process have led real-world, everyday people to build thriving careers. The series has recently been funded by the Office of Arts & Culture, and continues to produce content and post. Learning Partners Creative Series - An activity driven, online series produced for school districts and homeschoolers who have no access to field trips currently. The series launched in April 2021, and is offered online through Learning Partners through the summer months.
ram min m m a g r g o r p d i v o c
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE NINE
While these online programs were able to continue the work of our mission, the loss of in person programs resulted in a significant setback in funding during 2020. In a normal year, SPARK! typically earns revenue covering 40% of our annual expenses.
Without our robust schedule of field trips, birthday parties, special events, and public days to help support staff and daily operations, we had to make significant budget and staffing cuts to ensure that SPARK! would be financially able and ready to re-open when it is safe to do so.
Our estimated revenue loss in 2020 due to the pandemic totals more than $440,000. However, we were able to reduce our expenses by 50%, and keep the SPARK! alive until we are able to reopen and get back on mission and in person!
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE TEN
FINANCIALS Areas of Expense
Income by Source
Total Expenses $697,942
Total Income by Source $540,287 $60,374
Other Earned Revenue $308,199
$45,596 Programming Fees
8% 57% $50,573
Pre-Covid $509,498 Programming
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE ELEVEN
READY TO EXPAND! WE HAD TO TURN AWAY
OVER 5500 STUDENTS due
5000 in 2018.
This established cap on our growth opens the door for future EXPANSION plans to reach all kids (and schools)
SEARCH FOR NEW LOCATION BEGINS! Committees are being formed and fundraising planning has commenced to move to a larger location in 2023.
REOPENING IN JUNE 2021! Summer Camp is planned and open for registration for 2021, along with plans to reopen to the public in the Summer of '21. We are rehiring staff, and looking forward to booking field trips and events at SPARK! once again.
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 TWELVE
Chair Ted Stafford
Don Allen Founder & CEO, Core Innovative
Director, Alix Partners Lance Buxkemper
Incoming Chair Michelle Jackson
SVP, Commercial Real Estate Banking, Bank of America Financial Center
Sr. Dir. Recruitment & Retention Marketing, Vizient Olesja Lukjanova Cormney
Managing Counsel, Toyota Motor North America
Chris Holland CFO & COO, VolunteerNow
Justin Cox President, Cox Partners, Inc.
Secretary Lindsay Hedrick Partner Jones Day Reavis & Pogue
Eric Inboden, PhD Teacher, The Hockaday School
FOUNDING MEMBERS BEVERLY DAVIS PRESIDENT & CEO, SPARK!
DEVON DAVIS SOFTWARE ENGINEER, HARMANN INTERNATIONAL
Angela Reed-Shellene Partner, The Reeds Public Relations Corp
Robert Steffler VP Marketing Technology, Neiman Marcus
AMY HITE SR. MARKETING WRITER, STEALTH MONITORING
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE THIRTEEN
Bobby Abtahi Lawyer, Dallas Parks & Recreation Board Chair
Dana Gerard Chairman, M.B. & Edna Zale Foundation
Dennis Kratz Dean, School of Arts & Humanities, University of Texas at Dallas
Jack H. Matthews President, Matthews Southwest
Jamie G. Williams Regional Grants Director, Moody Foundation
Teri Isaacs Executive Director, Salesmanship Club
Margaret Keliher Retired Judge, Practicing Attorney
Sarah Losinger Chair, McCune Charitable Foundation
Bill Wallace Founder, Success North Dallas
Lily Weiss Executive Director, Dallas Arts District
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE FOURTEEN
AmazonSmile Foundation The Block Family Charitable Fund Berry R Cox Family Foundation The Patricia B Dedman Family Foundation Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation Fund Graham and Carolyn Holloway Family Foundation The M. R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation The Keliher Family Foundation The Lougée Family Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas Moody Foundation PepsiCo Foundation The Inez L Stafford Trust M. B. & Edna Zale Foundation Anonymous Donor
Alix Partners Bank of America Capital One Dallas City of Learning Home Tax Solutions Kennedy Capital Management, Inc. Marsha Clark & Associates Neiman Marcus Group Origin Bank PepsiCo Toyota Motor North America
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE FIFTEEN
Julie and Mark Brown Debra Burns Lance and Michelle Buxkemper Marsha and Michael Byers Paula Calise and Bill Reed
Doug & Susan Cassel Aparna Cavaturu Meah Chachere Susan Chizeck
Andrew and Elise Aberg Monserrat Agredano Mucio Ahumada Allison and Don Allen Mark Anderson and Wendi Day Stephanie Anderson Jennifer and William Barker Shelbi Barnhouse Anna Benefiel and John McKenzie Arlene and Barry Berlin Tom and Dianna Bowen Kevin Bridenbaugh Donna Brown
Erin Choi Maryann Christman Penny and David Cook Olesja and Tim Cormney Justin and Molly Cox Harlan and Kathy Crow Adam and Liz Curfman Tracy Dalton Michela Dandrea Barbara Daniels Beverly and Devon Davis Jennie Davis Andrew Devlieger Daniel Draney
Laura Jane and Jeff Durfee Lindsay and Brent Duty Tammy Dwomo Dena Eichhorst Kathleen Engels Kemi Fasheyide Brooke Fesperman Dave and Deb Finley Jose Flores Allen Foss Mark and Angela Frederiksen Sarah and Jay Friedman Kathryn Gallaway Lisa and Todd Gammon Hector Garcia and Craig Holcomb Kate Garcia Britaney Garrett Carol and Dave Gerard Denise Glasco
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE SIXTEEN
Heather and Kevin Pauzer
Jamison Pendergrass and Garrett Schwab
Cameron and Chandler Pham
Ryan and Lauren Lamb
Barbara and Dave Lau
Scott and Allie Ramirez
Angela and John Shellene
Kirby and Johanna Lord
Linda and Phil Loveless
Dale Saville and Joe Gallegos
Eileen and Sandy Short
Karron and Bubba Sikes
Ted and Michelle Stafford
Charlene & Mac McMenamy
Wilson and Diane Stafford
Sandy and Michael Stansbury
Dan and MaryBeth Norburg
Ann and Robert Steffler
Rajal and Aarin Patel
Kevin Glasscock Lee Groom and Cheryl Stafford Alisha and Chris Gummer Charles and Cindy Gummer Ryan and Michelle Gummer Lindsay Hedrick and Damon Galose Sharon Hensley Chris Holland Eric and Lydia Inboden Teri Isaacs Michelle and Doug Jackson Lynda Karez John Kelly Chuck Kettlewell and Mary Jane Thornton
SPARK! ANNUAL REPORT 2020 PAGE SEVENTEEN
DONORS Tara and Tara Thornberry Marjorie Thornton
Valerie Torres Ekpedeme Udoh Charlotte Vowan-Wiles Teri Walker Angela Wallace Rachel Weatherington and Travis Owsley James and Cathy Webb Wade and Debbie Wickman Kelly Wierzbinski Asia Wilson Raquel Wilson Lisa and Jim Windlinger Bryan and Marna Wohlfeld Allison Yoder and Stephen Rogers Danielle Zanzalari Velouette Zavadil Anonymous Donor
HOW YOU CAN HELP DONATE
SPARK! continues our
Whether it's our annual
VOLUNTEER Do creativity and kids make
message of Igniting the
fundraiser; Cocktails &
SPARK! of Creativity with the
Carnival, or our super popular
generous support of our
Student Creativity Showcase,
there is always room for
your heart sing? Then you should consider volunteering at SPARK! We are looking for folks with unique talents, who contributions, community
sponsors! Not only does a want to help make the world a
business donations, grants
sponsorship provide a chance better place by mentoring
and individual supporters.
to help IGINITE the SPARK! of kids in the creative process.
To help ignite imagination
creativity, but it also comes Whether you can give an
and cultivate creativity for
with additional benefits, such
even more kids, we need
as logo placement and a
everyone’s support. These
shout out on our successful
funds will go directly towards
social media platforms (and
hour, a few weeks, or a month, volunteering at SPARK! is creatively conducive to putting a smile helping our community's kids
you get to feel great about on your face!
maximize their potential.
your tax deductible
Please make a donation
through our website. Your contribution is tax deductible.