Areas of Focus
Improving Utah. Lightspark’s co-founders have a collective century-long history in Utah (most specifically Salt Lake City), so naturally the Foundation cares about making it a better place to live. In particular, Lightspark focuses on local initiatives that address homelessness and food insecurity; racial justice, social equity, and civil rights; and environmental sustainability. Ideally, the projects, initiatives, and organizations we support in Utah can ameliorate some of the thorniest issues of the day with solutions that scale to other places as well.
Strengthening Democracy in the US. The world’s oldest modern democracy has a crumbling foundation, under attack by misinformation and disinformation campaigns, the erosion of voting rights, a disengaged (and increasingly disenfranchised) citizenry, and corrosion by dark-money special interests. Lightspark supports nonpartisan efforts to bolster the ramparts of our democracy in the United States. Initially, our focus is on combatting misinformation and disinformation, depolarizing the electorate, and supporting trusted sources of—particularly long-form—journalism and news.
The Nourish to Flourish Initiative (2020-2021) addressed the critical issue of food insecurity in Salt Lake City while simultaneously providing a badly needed boost to the local restaurant industry. Our dual vision was to eliminate food insecurity while revitalizing our restaurant industry in the Salt Lake City area.
The Impact Guild (est. 2019) is a network of several hundred individuals who use media, entertainment, and other forms of storytelling for social good and healthy democracies in the United States and around the world. The Guild is committed to connecting, supporting, and advocating for people who use their position, platform, or power in storytelling for social change. In 2021, the Impact Guild left the auspices of Lightspark to become an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles.
The Lightspark Media Summit (2017-2018) was the premier cross-industry event in film/TV, music, social media, AR/VR, and video gaming in the Intermountain West. Across two years, the Summit assembled over 600 creative professionals, financiers, artists, businesspeople, lawyers, and students to explore developing trends in the entertainment space seeking to facilitate new collaborations and participation in growing the entertainment industry in Utah.