Pop City reporter Marty Levine attended the Spark Network Launch event on Monday, April 16 and filed a summary report on the Spark program:

Kids+Creativity has long been a resource for Pittsburghers whose work is at the intersection of technology, learning and play. Now, with the Kids+Creativity network newly placed under the direction of Spark — the Sprout Fund’s effort to foster new ideas for learning using digital media and the arts — the enthusiasm among K+C members is obvious…

Pittsburgh is now “uniquely poised to excel” at the juncture of high-tech and children’s educational needs, “given the history of innovation and the size of the market,” noted Sprout Executive Director Cathy Lewis Long when she and her staff spoke in a quieter moment about the changes at Kids+Creativity. Spark will be an intermediary between early childhood learning experts, with a hope “to spur conversations and try to connect these things in a strategic fashion, [remaining] broad enough that it would reach out to as many organizations and educational institutions as possible,” said Sprout’s deputy director, Matt Hannigan.

The network has had approximately 100 active members and another 200 on the periphery, up to now. Spark expects to add hundreds more and bring them all to the fore — and to each other — thanks to the breadth and variety of companies, agencies, start-ups and other organizations they’ve been working with over the past three years. In relaunching Kids+Creativity, “we want to open the gates and get a better sense to folks about how to engage,” said Hannigan.

Stay tuned for more great news from Spark in the weeks and months to come. Keep up to date by visiting sparkpgh.org.