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You are browsing an archived site for a previous Northern Spark event. To visit the current site click here.


Press Release 4/28/16

For Immediate Release, April 28, 2016:
Contact: Nickey Robare, Communications Director



lights up Minneapolis on June 11, 2016


Opening Ceremony begins at the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza with
Creative City Challenge winner Wolf & Moose at 8:30 pm

Northern Spark official start & end times: 9:00 pm until 5:26 am

Mill City neighborhood / Minneapolis, MN / Free* & Open to the Public

(*except ticketed Launch Party)

On June 11th, 2016, join us for the sixth year of Northern Spark! Bringing art to the streets of Minneapolis all night, from 9:00 PM – 5:26 AM, Climate Chaos | Climate Rising explores the interconnected, evolving, long-term consequences of climate change.

Featuring work by:
<jɑː↓> • Aaron Marx • Alchemy Architects • Aniccha Arts • Beth Mercer-Taylor • Cao Fei • Cedarside 2016 Artists • Charlie Thayer • Christine Baeumler • Christopher Lutter • Coal Dorius • David Claerbout • David Pisa • Desiree Moore • Emily Johnson • Futures North • Grace Minnesota • Gregory Fitz • Heckadecimal • Heid Erdrich • Heni Savitri • Hennepin County Library Staff • Hicham Berrada • I M Harjito • Ian Knodel • Illuminated Reef Collective • Janet Lobberecht • Jason Takahashi • Joko Sutrisno • Jon Mac Cole • Joshua McGarvey • Karl Stoerzinger • Kate Flick • Keri Pickett • Kim Ford • Koby Jeschkeit-Hagen • Maggie Thompson • Marcus Young • Marina Zurkow • Michael Torsch • Midiyanto • Mike Haeg • MINN_LAB • Minnesota Sacred Harp Singers • Monica Haller • Muna Ahmed • Nic Jelinski • Nick Jordan • Nico Swenson • Olli Johnson • Pare Lorentz • Paul Tinetti • Plotform • Rachel Breen • Rachel Rose • Rebeca Mendez • Rebecca Montgomery • Rhiana Yazzie • Riley Kane • Rivane Neuenschwander • Robin Garwood • Robin Schwartzman • Roger Nieboer • Sarah Petersen • Sebastian Muellauer • Sumunar Gamelan & Dance Ensembles • Teresa Konechne • Tri Sutrisno • U of M Students from the Making Sense of Climate Change Art Science and Agency class • Valentine Cadieux • Wisnu Aji Settyo Wicaksonowith • Yes, Let’s

2016 HIGHLIGHTS include:
The evening begins at the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza with a kickoff concert and the premiere of the 2016 Creative City Challenge winner. Wolf and Moose beckons to the child in us all to play, to pedal, to wonder, and to reflect on our place as humans in the natural order. Creative City Challenge is presented by Minneapolis Convention Center, and the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy Program of the City of Minneapolis, in partnership with Northern and Meet Minneapolis. #interconnect

The night moves towards the river, where the massive, immersive dance Census will feature 100 people performing along West River Parkway from dusk til dawn in a piece created for Northern Spark by Aniccha Arts. #move

Across the street, the ice of Phase Change will be formed into an installation pulsing with infra-red light programmed with information derived from climate change data, melting the sculpture over the course of the festival. As you read this, the 12,000 pounds of ice harvested from Lake Calhoun for Phase Change by Futures North is being stored passively at Mill City, utilizing 19th century technology. #perceive

Inside The Office space at Mill City, visitors will relax in the outdoor cinema to watch Latitudes: Artists from six continents reflect on Earth’s changing environments, featuring recent works by a diverse lineup of internationally-acclaimed artists. #perceive

Around the corner, step inside the Mill City Museum Train Shed, curated by Northern in partnership with Make It. MSP with support from the McKnight Foundation. Inside, #act, #interconnect, and #nourish with a wide variety of projects, including Soil Lab, Backyard Phenology, Afterglow Garden, Wishing Well, A Bend in the River, Future Drawing Near: Future Drawing Here, and Energia. Activities in the Train Shed look to welcome all people to the festival; look for Make It. MSP’s Radical Welcomers to say hello, and share a bite of food and climate conversation as guests break the Ramadan fast at sunset at the Interfaith Iftar, organized by Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light.

Experience Virtual Reality: The New Frontier, an international selection of independent virtual reality works.  This lineup represents some of the most compelling narrative and documentary VR storytelling being independently created today. Presented in collaboration with the Walker Art Center, Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Program, and Northern #move

Look upwards at the Gold Medal Silos and you’ll see Ice Fall—Feel The Change, created by Joshua McGarvey and Heckadecimal. Suspend your body on a specially designed surface offering a sensory experience of 200,000 tons of ice falling 120 feet. #perceive

Climate Chaos | Climate Rising will continue to guide programming for the coming year between the festivals and will culminate on June 10, 2017 when Northern Spark will spread across the Twin Cities. Making the Best of It: Dandelion is a year-long series of site-specific pop-up food refuges and community dinners that will span Northern Spark 2016-2017, featuring climate-change enabled (and often unwanted) edible indicator species. At Northern Spark 2016, a custom pop-up “refuge” will offer a graphical system of information alongside free servings of dandelion, in food and beverage forms. #nourish

Read up on all the projects at

Amazing work by amazing partners:

It takes many incredible partners to light up the night at Northern Spark. We’re very excited to feature these great projects from local and national partners.

Returning for a second year, Game Bar is presented by Northern Lights.MN and Glitch, a local nonprofit working to promote the exploration of digital games as a culture, career, and creative practice. Game Bar features a curated collection of digital games from around the world exploring climate change. #move

Last year’s wildly popular Night Library, presented by the Hennepin County Library, returns. When the worst has happened, there’s nowhere to go but up. Rebuild The Night Library, rebuild the world. #interconnect

Scholars compete with artists at Nerd vs. Nerd presented by the Institute for Advanced Study at the U of M. In a fast and furious throwdown of ideas and inspiration, you decide who wins! #perceive

Sumunar, the Twin Cities Indonesian music and dance ensemble, is flying in guest artists from Indonesia and across the US to present Bimo Gugah, featuring Javanese music and shadow puppets in an all-night performance. #interconnect

Plus many more projects sponsored by our partners:
Art Institutes International MN • Glitch Gaming • Guthrie Theater • Hennepin County Library • Institute for Advanced Study • Emily Johnson / Catalyst Dances • Make It. MSP • Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light • Mill City Museum • MINN_Lab • MSP Film Society • Sacred Harp • Sumunar Gamelan • Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Program • University of Minnesota • Walker Art Center

Read up on all the projects at

Support Northern Spark and kick off your night in style at the Launch Party:  Kick off Northern Spark’s 6th year and start your adventure with artistic food curated by Marin Restaurant and Bar & Mill Valley Kitchen, Wise Acre, Black Sheep Pizza, The Third Bird, Al Vento, Eastside, Heyday, Alma and more.

Enjoy specialty beverages, including Lionheart Cider, as you listen to music from jazz hip-hop group Doks Robotiks, and special guests to be announced.

Golden Hour: 7-8 pm ($125 and $250) / Musical guest Doks Robotiks, an energetic, eight member jazz hip-hop group with special guests. Passed hors d’oeuvres and a SPARKling beverage. VIP balcony seating available.

Launch Party: 8-9 pm ($60) / Another set from Doks Robotiks and additional special guests. Artistic hors d’oeuvres and a delicious array of beverages.

Launch Party tickets are now available at

The Launch Party is presented by the Northern Spark 2016 Host Committee.

About Northern Spark: On the second Saturday of each June, this free annual dusk-to-dawn, multidisciplinary arts festival draws tens of thousands of Minnesotans each year to interact with giant outdoor projections, temporary installations and performances by local and national artists.

For more information on the festival, visit

For more information on the theme Climate Chaos | Climate Rising, visit

Northern Spark by the numbers, 2011-2015:
494 artist projects in 117 venues
188,000 attendees
Over 1,391 local and national artists and performers
230 cultural organization partners
388,248 website visits by 268,480 unique visitors

About Northern
Northern Spark is presented by Northern, a nonprofit arts organization whose vision is to transform our sense of what’s possible in public space.

Northern Spark is one night, but Northern shines throughout the year with projects that encourage public participation and artistic innovation, from the Giant-Sing-Along at the Minnesota State Fair to a permanent storytelling platform at Union Depot, to our annual year-long, intensive, mentor-based fellowship for emerging artists, Art(ists) on the Verge.

For more information visit

Steering Committee:
Christine Baeumler
Jane Marsching
Marina Zurkow

Advisory Committee:
Nora Bateman – Evaluation and Learning Officer at the McKnight Foundation
Jessica Cherry – Research Associate Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
Max Liboiron – Director, Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR)
Sonali P. McDermid, Ph.D. – Assistant Prof of Environmental Studies, NYU
Howard Silverman – Partner, Pattern Lab
Morgan Rider – Connector, Grady Britton

Northern Spark is supported by
bush foundation   make it msp

Northern programming is made possible by general operating support from

mcknight foundation

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

More images can be found in our media toolkit.