Being the Spark

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UW Tacoma alumnus Jacob Nau and SIAS lecturer Abby Murray are among the recipients of local Spark Grants.

The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation (GTCF) recently announced the recipients of this year’s Spark Grants. Among those receiving funding were UW Tacoma alumnus Jacob Nau and Abby Murray, a lecturer in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences.

The grant program started in 2012 on the heels of the Foundation’s Be the Spark campaign. “Spark grants are a continuation of this idea that individuals can ignite change in their community,” said Foundation Communications Specialist Joe Hunich.

Nau created One Person’s Trash to showcase work by members of the homeless community. The journal is largely self-funded. Nau says the grant will help him pay for a year’s worth of "We're a small journal but if we can get people to view homelessness differently then that will make a real difference," UW Tacoma alumnus Jacob Nau.printing. “We’ve applied for four grants but this is the first one we’ve received,” said Nau. “We’re very grateful for the support from Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.” Murray co-founded Collateral a few years ago. The online literary journal focuses on the military experience.

Spark Grants have helped fund a variety of projects over the past six years. Past recipients include a plan to help transgender people in Pierce County, a program that connects dads with fatherless youth, the Tacoma Tool Library and the Tacoma Refugee Choir. “This is for members of the community and helping them find ways to address needs they see,” said Hunich.

GTCF awards grants twice a year.  The grants are funded by a number of organizations including Rotary Club of Tacoma #8 and South Sound Together. UW Tacoma is part of South Sound Together. The local organization promotes life in the Southern Puget Sound region. The deadline for the next round of funding is Friday, March 9. Applicants must either live or work in Pierce County to be considered.

Written by: 
Eric Wilson-Edge / February 23, 2018