SPARS Trade Association Dissolution FAQ

Why are you shutting down SPARS?

There are currently two separate SPARS organizations – the original 501(c)6 trade association and the 501(c)3 foundation. We are only shutting down the trade association. The SPARS Foundation will continue the mentoring work that SPARS is known for.

What happens to my membership?

Members that have paid for membership after July 1, 2016 will continue to receive the same support and service from the SPARS Foundation until their membership year is over. Moving forward, SPARS Foundation will operate without members, i.e. instead of membership dues, it will rely on donations and contributions (more information will be announced regarding this at a later date).  Because SPARS Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization, some or all of the contributions will become tax deductible as a charitable contribution.

What does a “Yes” vote on the dissolution mean?

You are agreeing to allow the 501(c)6 trade association to wind down operations and transfer any assets to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, namely the SPARS Foundation and the University of North Texas Foundation (archival records only).  If approved, the trade association will close their books on June 30, 2017, which is the end of their fiscal year, and go through the steps of the nonprofit organization dissolution process with the state of Pennsylvania where it is registered.

What assets are being transferred?

SPARS is a very lean organization. The cash it has will go toward paying all of our obligations to vendors and suppliers on or before June 30.  We anticipate very little remaining. Any residual amounts will be donated to the SPARS Foundation.  The remaining assets it owns are mostly in the form of intellectual property such as video content (interviews with past members and industry luminaries), the SPARS test, Time Code Primer and various organization records.  Please refer to the chart below.

Why donate SPARS archival materials to the University of North Texas (UNT) Foundation?

The University of North Texas Foundation supports the university’s library, which includes their Music Library, home to more than 100 special collections (including Duke Ellington recordings & Stan Kenton manuscripts).  They are a designated Federal Depository Library, making government publications freely available to the public. They also operate one of the nation’s most comprehensive digital repositories of materials related to Texas History.  Because of the functions they serve, they have the facilities and resources to preserve, store and make available SPARS’ 38 years worth of historical records to researchers and historians.

What will happen to SPARS?

The SPARS Foundation will continue to mentor students, graduates and new audio engineers entering or working in the industry. As a 501(c)3 organization, the SPARS Foundation will be able to apply for grants to fund some of its mentoring activities in the future. The SPARS Foundation will be back at the AES Show taking place in New York this October.