Read on for more information about locations, dates, and this year’s theme. Find the Northern Spark 2019 website here.
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
DATES AND TIMES
In 2019, Northern Spark will take place over two nights, the third weekend in June:
- Friday, June 14, from 9 pm to 2 am
- Saturday, June 15, from 9 pm to 2 am
Programming and art will be the same each night unless noted.
Northern Spark at The Commons will also be the site for a reception for the national conference of Americans for the Arts, taking place in the Twin Cities June 13-16.
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.
Northern Lights.mn, along with the 2018-2019 Program Council 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.
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.
“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.’”
Northern Spark projects presented by Northern Lights.mn:
- Beatrix* JAR, Let’s Make Some Sounds!
- Baba Jesse & Resounding Rhythms, Resounding Strength – Resilient Song
- Candida Gonzalez & Maryanne Quiroz, Radical Playground
- Al Gross and Strong Buffalo, Reusable Graffiti
- Yilma Hailu, Begena at Night: The ceremony of Ethiopian art through different mediums
- Tish Jones, co-curator and MC, Rondo Stage & Open Mic
- Kashimana, Soundscape of Stories
- Kelley Leaf, Poetry People/People Poetry: A Community Conversation
- Marcus Young, Laura Levinson, Nancy Julia Hicks, Masanari Kawahara, and the Don’t You Feel It Too? community,
What Will You Dance For? – The Exuberant Activist Body
- Joshua McGarvey, Synchronize
- Minnesota Sacred Harp Singers, Let All The Nations Know: Hymns from Indian Melodies and The Sacred Harp
- New Native Theatre, Time Elapsed, Time Immemorial
- Chris Scott, Clarence White, and Hawona Sullivan Janzen, Rondo Family Reunion: Pictures and Poems for Our People
- Rosy Simas and Heid E. Erdrich, WEave: HERE
- Miko S. Simmons, (Re) Member: A Visual Jazz Odyssey
- Solar Peace Collective, llluminate and Regenerate Rondo: Spreading Peace in our Streets
- Jonathan Thunder, Manifest’o
- Victor Yepez, The Biker