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Press Release 5/25/17


Northern Spark Opening Ceremony

Mayor Hodges with the Creative City Challenge winner and performers launch Northern Spark 2017 in Minneapolis’ The Commons park on June 10 at 8:30 pm.

The Opening Ceremony for Northern Spark 2017 launches at Portland Ave and 4th Street in The Commons park, the western-most edge of the festival and downtown Minneapolis’s new green space. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Beginning at 8:30 pm, the Opening Ceremony will feature the MacPhail Community Youth Choir and Minneapolis’ Mayor Hodges introducing ORBACLES by MINN_LAB, this year’s multi-sensory Creative City Challenge winner.

Under this year’s Northern Spark theme of Climate Chaos | People Rising, ORBACLES connects directly with visitors about climate change through the story of birds and the language of our senses. Its orb structures communicate the recorded and the anticipated shift of birds due to species loss/species migration related to climate effects, and the interconnected transformation of land and water environments.

MINN_LAB is a collaborative design studio comprised of Ross Altheimer, Kirk Davis, Robert Hunter, Daniel Keefe, Katie Loecken, Andrea Johnson, Seth Johnson, Mike McGrath, Patrick Moe, Maura Rockcastle, Marc Swackhamer, and Aaron Wittkamper.

This year marks the fifth annual Creative City Challenge. The Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy Program of the City of Minneapolis collaborates in the Creative City Challenge with The Commons and Northern and the Northern Spark festival.

The Opening Ceremony will also include a performance by the MacPhail Community Youth Choir, a brief poetry reading, and remarks by Northern Spark’s co-directors Steve Dietz and Sarah Peters.

The Opening Ceremony is presented by Northern Spark and the City of Minneapolis.

Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy
Leverages the creative sector toward social and economic growth in the City of Minneapolis. Coordinates arts and creative economy activities; works with the Minneapolis Arts Commission; collaborates with City departments on eliminating racial disparities; and develops arts, culture and creative industry policies and programs for the City of Minneapolis.

Northern Spark 2017
From sunset on June 10 to sunrise on June 11, Northern Spark 2017 is a free all-night art festival exploring the effects of climate change through participatory projects.

Festival Background
Since 2011 thousands of Minnesotans and visitors have enjoyed Northern Spark, an annual all-night arts festival illuminating public spaces and streets of Minneapolis and Saint Paul with video projections, temporary installations and experimental performances. Memorable projects from past Northern Spark festivals include Chris Larson’s Celebration/Love/Loss, Jim Campbell’s Scattered Light, Luke Savisky’s Ex-MN, Pramila Vasudevan’s In Habit, and countless other projects from artists such as: Works Progress, Piotr Szyhalski, HOTTEA, Cloud Cult and Futures North’s Phase Change, which won SxSW’s design award in 2016.

Northern Spark is produced by Northern, a Twin Cities arts organization whose work ranges from large-scale public art platforms like Northern Spark to Art(ists) On the Verge, a year­long mentorship program for 5 emerging artists working with innovative uses of technology. We support artists in the creation and presentation of art in the public sphere, such as at Saint Paul’s Union Depot (Amateur Intelligence Radio), “choir karaoke” at the Minnesota State Fair (Giant Sing Along) and most recently Words For Winter, programming poetry into the construction landscape along Nicollet Mall. Through projects such as Ruination: City of Dust, a location-­based environmental mystery game played on bicycles along Minnehaha Creek, and the monthly climate conversation series, Anthropocene Awareness Association, our work helps audiences explore expanded possibilities for civic engagement through art.

Click here to view Northern Spark 2017’s Funders & Sponsors.

Amy Danielson, 612.245.2020,
Steve Dietz, 952.994.4118,
Twitter: @NL_mn
Instagram: @Northern
#northernspark #ClimateCCR