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How to Experience Northern Spark 2019

How to Experience Northern Spark 2019

Plan two nights of free public art on June 14 and 15 in the American Indian Cultural Corridor of Minneapolis, The Commons in downtown Minneapolis, and the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul

(Minneapolis, MN) June 4, 2019 — The annual free Northern Spark festival will illuminate public spaces in three neighborhoods in Minneapolis and St. Paul on the nights of June 14 and 15. Learn more about what art to experience, what to eat, transportation, and more at the festival. For full details about the festival and ongoing updates, visit

Explore Art Projects

Your experience starts with 31 dynamic art projects exploring the theme We Are Here! Visit our art and events page to learn more about each of the projects. This year’s festival features the Creative City Challenge Winner, Radical Playground in The Commons.

* * * * * * * * Locations * * * * * * * *

The venues for Northern Spark 2019:

American Indian Cultural Corridor —  Minneapolis

  • All My Relations Arts, 1414 E. Franklin Ave.

  • Franklin Library, 1314 E Franklin Ave.

The Commons — Minneapolis

  • The Commons, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis

Rondo Neighborhood — St. Paul

  • Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, 270 N Kent St.

  • Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 Dale St. N.


Find Northern Spark art, food, info tents, and bathrooms on our interactive map:

Dates and Times

For the second year in a row Northern Spark will take place over two nights, the third weekend in June until 2 am each night:

  • Friday, June 14, from 9 pm to 2 am

  • Saturday, June 15, from 9 pm to 2 am

Programming is the same on Friday and Saturday unless noted on each project description. Plan your night(s) using these tools or just wander and discover!

My Night

Customize your list of art projects to see, including times and locations, with the My Night feature. Click on My Night in the sidebar menu and simply log in with your email address to start building your schedule. Or click the hearts next to each project listing. This website is mobile ready and holds all the information you need on the go – project listingsmaps, and more.

Social Media

Connect with us for the latest #NorthernSpark news and updates:



Twitter: @nl_mn

Information Tents

Northern Spark Information Tents are a great way to get essential questions answered. Info Tents have maps, night-of festival updates, first aid supplies, and large print maps. Stop by and chat with a friendly volunteer. On each festival night, look for a red or white tent with lights in these places:

  • On Franklin Ave. near the Many Rivers East building in Minneapolis

  • In front of Hallie Q. Brown Community Center in St. Paul

  • On the west side of The Commons in downtown Minneapolis

Look for the Red Flags

Once you’re at a festival venue, all projects are marked by tall signs with red Northern Spark flags. Inside Hallie Q. Brown Community Center look for additional wayfinding and project signs.

ADA Accessibility

The wheelchair symbols on the project listings mean that the core activity of a project is accessible to wheelchair users. All festival venues are ADA accessible. Some projects are in unconventional spaces and may not have easy ADA access. Other accessibility resources include:

  • ASL interpretation of the 2019 Creative City Challenge Launch on Friday, June 14 at 8:30 pm.

  • Large print festival maps; find at a Northern Spark Information Tent.

Transportation to and around Northern Spark

Northern Spark takes place in three areas—the American Indian Cultural Corridor in Minneapolis, The Commons in downtown Minneapolis, and the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul. Travel to Northern Spark by train, bus, bike, or foot and then walk, shuttle or bike between venues. 

Metro Transit

Ride Metro Transit free to Northern Spark! Download a free pass for each night.

Metro Light Rail stations nearest to festival venues:

  • St. Paul: Dale St. outside of Rondo Community Library.

  • Minneapolis: U.S. Bank Stadium (Blue and Green Lines) and Franklin (Blue Line).

Plan your trip:

612-373-333, TTY 651-291-0904

Metro routes end at varying times. Check schedules. Regular fares apply, unless you download a free pass.

Rondo Shuttle Bus and Story Ride

Ride between Rondo Community Library and Hallie Q. Brown Community Center and learn Rondo stories on the way! Two routes run each festival night:

  • a 10 minute direct route

  • a 30 minute history and story tour led by community members

Visit the Rondo Story Ride page for more information. Sponsored by Minnesota Historical Society.


Bicycling is a great way to travel to and between festival sites. There are Bike racks in each festival area.

In Minneapolis, take Nice Ride between The Commons and American Indian Cultural Corridor. Nice Ride bike valets are available at Park Ave & 4th Street S and E Franklin Ave & Bloomington Ave S stations. Find other Nice Ride stations in Minneapolis at or download the Nice Ride app.

Street Closures

In Minneapolis, Portland Ave. between 4th and 5th Streets and Franklin Ave. between Bloomington and 13th Ave. will be closed to traffic from 6pm to 3am on June 14 and June 15.


Vehicle parking will be challenging particularly in Downtown East and the American Indian Cultural Corridor in Minneapolis. Here are parking options in each festival area:

  • The Commons / Downtown East, Minneapolis
    – 424 S 4th St – Jeffrey Haaf Memorial Parking Ramp, enter on South 3rd Street at S 5th Ave
    – Parking meters on S 4t Street, 8-hr limit
    – Parking meters on Chicago Ave in front of US Bank Stadium, 2-hr limit
    – Parking meters on S 6th Street, 8-hr limit
    – Parking meters on Park Ave, 8-hr limit
    – 247 Chicago Ave – Impark Chicago Ave Lot #176

  • American Indian Cultural Corridor
    Free street parking in the surrounding neighborhood. Please be respectful of neighbors. Minneapolis American Indian Center has a very small, free parking lot at 1530 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

  • Rondo
    – Free street parking in the surrounding neighborhood. Please be respectful of neighbors.
    – Hallie Q. Brown Community Center has a mid-sized, free surface parking lot at 270 N Kent St, St Paul, MN 55102
    – Rondo Community Outreach Library has a small, free, indoor parking ramp at 461 Dale St N, St Paul, MN 55103

PLEASE NOTE: the Rondo Library parking ramp will close to incoming traffic at 1:30 am each festival night. Vehicles already parked inside will have to exit by 2 am. The ramp will not be open on Saturday, June 15 until 9 pm.

Where to eat and drink

  • Food trucks and restaurants. Check out the many food truck vendors at Northern Spark!
  • Fulton Tent
    Serving Fulton Beer from 9pm - midnight in The Commons.

Weather Updates

Northern Spark happens rain or (star) shine. Bring a jacket for later in the night as the temperature cools off. Visit and follow us on social media for night-of changes due to weather.

Pro Tips for Having a Great Night(s)

  • Wear comfortable shoes.

  • Bring weather appropriate gear and layers of clothing.

  • Download your Metro Transit Free Ride Pass here and ride to the festival.

  • Stay hydrated!—bring a water bottle to fill up at a fountain at the Commons.

  • Fuel up—bring snacks to eat and enjoy festival food truck offerings.

More information is available at

Northern Spark Background

Since 2011 thousands of Minnesotans and visitors have enjoyed Northern Spark, an annual arts festival illuminating public spaces in Minneapolis and St. Paul. In early June, tens of thousands of people gather to explore giant video projections, play in temporary installations in the streets, and enjoy experimental performances in green spaces. Late into the night the city surprises you: friendly crowds, glowing groups of cyclists, an unexpected path through the urban landscape, the magic of sunrise after a night of amazing art and experiences.

Northern Spark began as a dusk-to-dawn event. In 2018 we introduced a new model for attendees to experience the artful magic of Northern Spark for two nights in a row until 2 am.

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 Census, and countless other projects from artists such as: Ananya Dance Theater, Marina Zurkow, HOTTEA, and Million Artist Movement.

Northern Spark is produced by Northern, a Twin Cities non-profit 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 digital culture. We support artists in the creation and presentation of art in the public sphere, such as at St. Paul's Union Depot (Amateur Intelligence Radio), "choir karaoke" at the Minnesota State Fair (Giant Sing Along) and Illuminate South Loop, a mini outdoor festival of nine interactive projects in Bloomington, MN’s South Loop in the days leading up to the 2018 Super Bowl. Through projects such as Aquanesia, a location-­based environmental mystery game, and large scale festivals themed around social issues, our work helps audiences explore expanded possibilities for civic engagement through art.

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