Northern Newsletter June 1st


A Response from Northern

Climate change is science, but what do do about about it can be political. Individual changes alone, while important, will not affect what needs to be done. It is therefore disturbing news that the U.S. government has decided to abdicate any responsible role in this global crisis by withdrawing from the Paris Accord with the ironic logic of “protecting American citizens.”

Northern is committed to enhancing awareness, supporting a robust conversation, and above all encouraging immediate and ongoing actions about the effects of climate change and what we can do individually and together to mitigate and adapt to those changes. In the end, success will be as much about people rising as temperatures. We encourage you to join us and the 66 climate-themed artist projects we will be presenting with our partners at Northern Spark on June 10, and we encourage you to engage with all the systems you interact with: watershed districts, school boards, city councils, state representatives, utilities, corporate America, government bureaucrats, and the President to impart to them the depth of your concerns and the urgency to address climate change responsibly and honestly. Climate Chaos | People Rising. #act

The 2017 Northern Spark Team

Travel the festival by train, bus, bike, or foot.

Northern Spark Bike Tour 2015, photo by Shawn Orton

With 7 sites to see, we recommend planning your transportation to and around Northern Spark this year. All festival sites are walkable from METRO Green Line stations. Some contain compact programmed areas, and others are more spread out. Get ready to ride and walk!

Here are some things to do in advance to make festival navigation easy:

1. Plan your route!
Take a look at the festival areas using our zoomable maps. Make a customized list of the projects you want to visit with our My Night feature.  Or stop at any festival Info Tent and pick up a paper map!  As long as you find your way to the METRO Green Line, you’ll find the festival.

2. Download a free pass for use on all Metro Transit light rail and bus lines. 
Riding the train is easy!  Either print out the downloadable pass or be prepared to show the digital version on your smartphone to a Metro Transit operator if asked.

Free passes are viable from 8 pm – 6:30 am. Service on the METRO Green Line runs regularly until 1 am, then every half hour until 4 am.

Ticket machines are located on each train platform if you forget to download a pass or your phone runs out of juice. The Northern Spark Festival Map also functions as a free pass for the METRO Green Line ONLY.

PLEASE NOTE that only the METRO Green Line service runs 24 hours. METRO Blue Line and bus routes end at varying times. Need help planning your trip? Use Metro Transit’s Trip Planner or call 612-373-333, TTY 651-291-0904

3. Park and ride (or walk or cycle).
Drive close to the METRO Green Line, park and ride, walk or cycle your way through the festival.

Tune up your bike and get between festival sites on two wheels Don’t forget a bike lock, light and helmet. Find Nice Ride stations near some festival locations at

If you plan to drive a vehicle to the festival, be aware of these street closures: in Lowertown: Broadway St. between 4th St E and 5th St E.  In Little Africa: Sherburne Ave between Snelling Ave and N Asbury St. In Minneapolis at the Commons: Portland Ave between 4th St and 5th St.

Street closures take place beginning at 9 am on Saturday June 10th through 9 am on Sunday, June 11.

4. Charge up your phone!
Some Northern Spark projects require the use of a smartphone. Make sure yours is charged and ready to play!

5. Bring a water bottle, or if you forget…
Northern Spark food vendors will not be selling bottled water.  Fill up your reusable container or get a one-of-a-kind recycled (washed and sanitized) water bottle at festival Info Tents. Find Tap Mpls stations in Minneapolis and Anthropocene Water Stations in St. Paul.

6. Weather reminder: Northern Spark happens rain or (star) shine.
Visit and follow us on social media for night-of changes due to weather.


Get on the inside with Northern Spark at our awesome pre-fest Launch Party!

7pm-9pm Saturday, June 10 — $100/$50 — live music, great food and drinks, cool community vibe

Kick off your night at the beautiful Thresher Square building with the people who make Northern Spark happen! Eat, drink, dance and get the inside scoop on projects you won’t want to miss, all while you hang out with other people who love Northern Spark as much as you do. And the best part? Having all this fun actually makes Northern Spark happen again next year!

Along with a show from jazz-funk-soul explorers ZULUZULUU you’ll enjoy food and drinks from:

Mercy // Cafe Alma // Eastside // Red Stag Supperclub // French Meadow // Handsome Hog // Silhouette Bakery & Bistro // Cafe Latté // Fulton Brewing // Crooked Water Spirits // Barefoot Bubbly // Sociable Cider Werks // Peace Coffee

The Launch Party isn’t just a celebration of Northern Spark. It’s a celebration of the things that make our cities vibrant. During our only fundraising event of the year, we raise the support that keeps Northern glowing and the Northern Spark festival free each year. We simply can’t do it without you, so come party with us!

Get your tickets before they’re gone!:

Special thanks to our event sponsors Sherman Associates, Barbette, Bittercube, and RadissonRED for their support.

Launch Party 2016, photo by Dusty Hoskovec

Follow Us on Social Media!

Repost from artist Monira Al QadiriMizna, and the Soap Factory. Behind-the-scenes photo from Northern Spark project Alien Technology II

Postings about Northern Spark are increasing between now and the festival, and we don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun! Search the hashtag #NorthernSpark on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to find behind-the-scenes and in-progress photos from Northern Spark artists and their projects, or follow our pages for the latest festival updates and news.

Northern Spark Instagram | Northern Spark Facebook | Northern Spark Twitter

Join us on Saturday for the Opening of AOV8

Installation in-progress, Sarita Zaleha, AOV8 fellow

Join Northern and the Art(ists) On the Verge 8 fellows, Kelsey BoschJess HirschDylan RedfordFue Yang, and Sarita Zalehaon Saturday night for a celebration of the opening of their exhibition at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery.

Art(ists) On the Verge 8 Opening Reception
Saturday, June 37-11pm
Katherine E. Nash Gallery
Regis Center for Art, University of Minnesota
405 21st Avenue South

The exhibition is open now through June 15. Gallery hours: 11 am to 7 pmTuesdaythrough Saturday. A public artist talk will be held on Saturday, July 8, 2-4pm at the Nash Gallery.

Art(ists) On the Verge is generously supported by the Jerome Foundation

Northern Spark is made possible by many people…

Northern Spark 2016, photo by Jayme Halbritter

…but especially YOU! When you volunteer, when you buy tickets to the fabulous Northern Spark Launch Party, and when you show your love for art that helps us imagine a different way of being in public space, together, with a donation in any amount.

Your $10 or $20 (or $200 if you’ve got it!) is vital to keep this amazing event going year after year. If you value Northern Spark, now is the time to pitch in.