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Spokane City Forum ends 16-year run

Spokane City Forum, a long-running speaker series sponsored by downtown Spokane’s First Presbyterian Church, is ending.

The series will finish its 16th season with an address Wednesday by Spokane Public Schools Superintendent Shelley Redinger.

City Forum was launched to present ideas from business, government and nonprofit leaders around the theme, “What makes a good city?” The monthly talks charged a small admission fee and included lunch.

Meg Stewart, coordinator of the series, said a combination of factors is to blame for the series’ demise. The forum has had trouble attracting board members, she said, and attendance has fallen from an average of 125 to 150 for the monthly talks a decade ago to 80 to 100 or so now.

Plus, “there are so many nonprofits out there now,” Stewart said. “It’s a good thing — everybody is really working on making a difference. But when you’re asking the same pool of businesses (for support), that money isn’t going to go as far.”