Northern Spark 2019 Neighborhoods

Teeko Yang

Northern Spark is a mobile arts festival that works within, alongside, and for communities. This year, we’re honored to celebrate and investigate the matters of our time with organizations and people from the communities that have welcomed us in. Northern Spark 2019 will be located in Rondo, and American Indian Cultural Corridor, in addition to Downtown East Minneapolis.


Rondo is a historically black community in St. Paul that was split in two by a highway in the 1950s. Hundreds of homeowners and small business owners were displaced without equitable compensation, and the community has been impacted ever since. The role of the artist will be to acknowledge the history of Rondo while communicating their vision for the future. Despite the community’s historical impact and geographical restructuring, the spirit of Rondo remains and is embodied in a variety of ways celebrating its African American heritage and new residents.

The site of Northern Spark programming will occur at Hallie Q. Brown Community Center’s indoor and outdoor spaces.

The partners working together to program activities and select artists for Northern Spark in Rondo are: Northern, Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, Visions Merging, Model Cities, and Aurora Saint Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation.

American Indian Cultural Corridor

Through the federal relocation period of the 1950’s and 60’s where the federal government encouraged thousands of American Indian people to leave their reservations and move to cities, Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis became an important gathering place for Indian people. To this day, AICC is the densest concentration of urban American Indian people in the country and features shops, restaurants, galleries, and Tribal offices.

This important history has led to many “firsts” including the development of the first urban American Indian health clinic, the first American Indian preference housing project, and the location of one of the oldest American Indian Centers in the country. In addition, Franklin Avenue is the birthplace of the American Indian Movement, a national protest movement founded in the 1970’s for American Indian civil rights.

The site of Northern Spark programming will occur along Franklin Ave between Minneapolis American Indian Center and All My Relations Gallery.

The partners working together to program activities and select artists for Northern Spark in AICC are: Native American Community Development Institute

Downtown East, Minneapolis

Downtown East is the Mill District, which contains a number of former industrial properties left over from the days when Minneapolis was the flour milling capital of the world.

The site of Northern Spark programming will occur at The Commons, a 4.2-acre public green space in downtown Minneapolis. Spanning two city blocks, the park is an active space for the public to relax and play. The Commons offers a robust lineup of free public programming including a weekly farmers market, music performances, film screenings, poetry readings, fitness classes, and children’s activities. It is also often a venue for large special events including Northern Spark in 2017 & 2018 and the X Games music concerts in July 2017. The Commons is also the site host for the Creative City Challenge.

Download the Northern Spark 2019 Call for Artists here.

To submit a proposal for Northern Spark 2019, find all submission forms here