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About

Northern Spark 2012

From the creative economy to the rise of the creative class to the creative city to “the MFA is the new MBA,” we are not lacking punditry about creativity.

Northern Spark is an active celebration of the creativity of artists and the creative programming of cultural organizations. Last year, during the night of June 4, 2011, there were 50,000 visits to 100 projects by more than 200 artists in collaboration with 60 cultural organizations and sponsors at 34 venues in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Northern Spark was a one-night creative explosion.

All this creativity and energy makes one “think and wonder, wonder and think,” in the inimitable words of Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. What is it all about?

For us, Northern Spark is about transformation. It is about seeing the Twin Cities in a new light. It’s about making the place where you live a place you want to be, not where you return after being inspired somewhere else. It is about the dynamic intersection of art and science and technology and engineering and design and urban planning and nature and culture. It is about the power of artists to make us think and wonder.

One participant of Northern Spark 2011 described her revelation:

“I had so many beautiful interactions with the city and her art, but what I never expected was walking back to my car across the Stone Arch Bridge, sun rising over the smokestacks of the power plant, the city slowly waking up around me. The river was inexorably making her way to NOLA, and I stopped and recognized how amazing the little apple is. I have lived here for ten years and never experienced her in such a way before. It was our little secret—the river, the little apple, and me. A magical night!”

Northern Spark is a catalyst. See something new in the commonplace. Explore the city after hours. Visit a museum or public space for the first time. Make something for thousands of people. Join friends and fellow enthusiasts in a movable feast throughout the metropolis. Think about what to make and share next year.

Another participant declared:

“This event has tremendous opportunity to become a signature summer event for Minneapolis, much like the White Nights in St. Petersburg, Nuit Blanche in Paris, or Fête des Lumières in Lyons. There was fantastic energy on the Stone Arch Bridge—you could tell people were loving the strolling and being outside on such a beautiful night and craving artistic inspiration.”

But don’t take our word for it—or anyone else’s. We invite you to come and think and wonder and wonder and think from sunset on June 9 to sunrise on June 10. You’ll see your city differently for the rest of the year.