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Thursday
Jan242019

Northern Spark 2019 scheduled for June 14-15

Via a January 23 Press Release:

The two-night, free public art festival explores the theme We Are Here: Resilience, Renewal, & Regeneration in the American Indian Cultural Corridor in Minneapolis, The Commons in downtown Minneapolis and the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul

Northern Lights.mn announces the ninth annual Northern Spark, the free arts festival illuminating public spaces in the Twin Cities. This year, artists will explore the theme We Are Here: Resilience, Renewal, & Regeneration with projects in three walkable and transit-accessible locations—the American Indian Cultural Corridor in Minneapolis, The Commons in downtown Minneapolis, and the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul.

For the second year in a row, Northern Spark will take place on two nights: Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15, starting at dusk (9:02 pm) and ending at 2 am. Programming and art will be the same each night unless noted.

The venues for Northern Spark 2019 are in Minneapolis and Saint Paul:

- American Indian Cultural Corridor in Minneapolis

- The Commons in downtown Minneapolis

- Hallie Q Brown Community Center in the Rondo neighborhood of Saint Paul

We Are Here: Resilience, Renewal, & Regeneration
Every year, Northern Spark creates a theme to inspire artists’ creativity around cultural and societal issues. This year’s theme was generated through responses from people and organizational partners in the communities of Northern Spark 2019.
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Northern Lights.mn, along with the 2018-2019 Program Council (more info below), explored new ways of determining the festival theme by involving community input. Northern Lights.mn engaged with community members during neighborhood events at Hallie Q. Brown Community Center and Native American Community Development Initiative's Four Sister's Market over the summer to ask people what challenges or celebrations their communities face everyday. The various responses were molded by the Program Council into the overarching theme, We Are Here. The subthemes Resilience, Renewal & Regeneration were formed to contextualize the theme and inspire artists and audience.
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The theme also grounds this year’s Creative City Challenge, a competition for artists, architects and designers in Minnesota, a showcase for local creative talent and a tangible symbol of the complex stories that make up the many narratives within our urban landscape. The CCC commission supports an interactive artwork sited in The Commons through the end of August. Opening on the night of Northern Spark and supported by the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program of the City of Minneapolis, in partnership with Green Minneapolis, the competition winner will be announced in March.
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“We Are Here is a collectively authored call to our communities to raise their voices,” says Teeko Yang, Program Council and Projects Manager at Northern Lights.mn. “As we say in the theme document we wrote with the Program Council: ‘Claiming space is one of the most powerful actions anyone can take. For people who do not see themselves or hear voices like their own in the dominant culture around us, raising their voice can mean the difference between invisibility or resilience, renewal, and regeneration.’”
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More information will be available in February at 2019.northernspark.org. A full roster of Northern Spark artists will be announced in March. 
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