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Event features 12 artists, 12 stories, 12 ideas


October 19, 2016

The Snohomish County Arts Commission is hosting Spark!, a modern-day salon intended to exchange ideas from Snohomish County arts and culture thought-leaders.

Think of it as an art-focused TEDx conference designed to ignite creativity.

Spark! will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Snohomish County Public Utility District Auditorium and feature 12 speakers. Each talk is about five minutes.

“It’s going to have 12 artists, 12 stories and 12 ideas,” said Christine Awad Schmalz, a Snohomish County Arts commissioner from Mukilteo. “We asked people from all over this area to come speak to us about their ideas. It’s like a Ted Talk, but it’s for the arts.”

An eclectic mix of artists, educators, and cultural advocates will be represented, and they intend to bring about social change through their personal narratives.

As a series of short talks with big impact, Spark! will present concise and personal exchanges from 12 makers, doers, tellers and visionaries.

“The Arts Commission wants to find innovative and enlightening ways to spark conversations,” said Wendy Poischbeg, cultural and economic development manager for Snohomish County. “Our presenters are charged with the task of inspiring, provoking, and engaging in only five minutes.”

The following are the 12 Spark! speakers scheduled for the Oct. 20 event:

Snohomish mayor Karen Guzak, entertainer Tim Noah, artist Chad Alice Hagen, artist Robert Fairfax, AMTEC (Everett Community College) Dean Sheila Dunn, artist Shannon Danks, entertainer Komplex Kai, poet Brandon Pitts, art advocate Sarah Arney, artist Fred Wong and art advocate Steven Graham and emcee Phil Klein.

“The opportunity to have some of our creative thought leaders spark conversations in Snohomish County is the very essence of a vibrant community,” said Dave Somers, Snohomish County Executive.

“Events like Spark! generate excitement for innovation and allow us to entertain new ideas for revitalization and the future of our community.”

Spark! will be held at the PUD Auditorium, 2320 California Ave., Everett. Tickets are free but reservations are encouraged through Eventbrite.

For more information on the programs developed by the Snohomish County Arts Commission, call Wendy Poischbeg at 425-388.3186 or email her at Or visit


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