Meet the Committee Selecting the Next Winners of Our $100,000 Spark Prize!
Pictured: 2019 Spark Prize winners Red Hook Community Justice Center at the Spark Breakfast
We are pleased to announce the members of 2019-2020 Spark Prize Committee!
Each year, the Spark Prize Committee leads a comprehensive review process to select 20 finalists and ultimately five Brooklyn-based organizations to receive the $100,000 Spark Prize.
Made up of 35 members all hailing from Brooklyn, the Committee includes local business owners Jackie Cusana (Ample Hills Creamery), Andrew Tarlow (Marlow & Sons, Diner, Roman's) and Kai Avent-deLeon (Sincerely, Tommy), comedic actress Ana Gasteyer, civic leaders NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Assistant Commissioner Dr. Torian Easterling and Brooklyn Navy Yard Chair Hank Gutman, and social activists De’Ara Balenger and Darnell Moore.
The Spark Prize Committee not only allows us to collaborate with Brooklyn leaders, it also exposes Committee members to an incredibly diverse range of high impact nonprofits across Brooklyn.
To date, the Spark Prize has awarded more than $1.8 million to Brooklyn nonprofits and continues to support organizations that are committed to racial and social justice.
Each spring, we open the Spark Prize application to organizations across Brooklyn. Applications are read and reviewed throughout the summer by the Spark Prize Committee members, who then meet in the Fall to narrow the pool of applicants. Twenty finalists are determined based on four primary criteria: a history of service to Brooklyn’s communities, a commitment to racial and social justice, a vision for the future of their work, and strong, articulated values. The Committee then interviews each finalist to choose the five winners.
The next Spark Prize recipients will be announced in January 2020—stay tuned!