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In the Press

City Pages

Jessica Armbruster, Northern Spark

Brew up some strong coffee and get ready to stay up all night as Northern Spark is returning to the Twin Cities for its second year. The sprawling event will be contained to five quadrants in Minneapolis and features special performances, parties, bike rides, concerts, film screenings, outdoor art installations, and other fun happenings from sunset to sunrise.

Girls Biking to Work

Northern Spark 2012: Awesome Urban Bike Adventure

Northern Spark 2011 was my favorite urban bike adventure of last summer. Riding around feels like a scavenger hunt, with pockets of bustling creativity as the treasure.  This year, festival organizers put a specific emphasis on cycling as the best way to get around to different sites. They reached out to local cyclists in the planning process, and the Midtown Greenway Coalition got involved

The Huffington Post

Priscilla Frank, ‘The Kuramoto Model (1000 Fireflies)’ To Coordinate Citywide Synchronized LED Light Network via Bicycle (INTERVIEW)

Fireflies are the only species in North America that can synchronize their flashing light patterns; through a new project, bicyclists are soon to be the second.

The project will perform the cooperation and unity of the urban social network, especially as it applies to the cycling community. The synchronization will highlight cycling as a system with unique patterns and effects while transforming the system momentarily through a large-scale community ride/ performance piece.

The Journal

Dylan Thomas, White Night

A white horse galloping on the Mississippi River. A cartoonist who looks like a woodsman and carries a tree-sized pen. A silent concert under the stars. Scenes from a dream? No. Call it a premonition of Northern Spark.


Juleana Enright, The Culturator: Film Noir Meets Bike Culture

Part of this weekend’s nuit blanche Northern Spark festival, project Mobile Experiential Cinema invites goers to embark on a rambling, bicycle-mounted, multi-location cinematic experience that blends bike culture with locally-bred film.

The Line

Tristan Pollock, Lighting Up the Night with Northern Spark

At the end of my white night, I was exhausted but exhilarated, and not just by the art. I realized that the importance of Northern Spark went well beyond what was on show. Our first Nuit Blanche brought people out of the comfortable confines of their homes at an odd hour for an illuminating experience of togetherness.

Mill City Times

David Tinjum, Northern Spark Launch Party (VIDEO)

Saturday June 2 was the launch of the Northern Spark Festival and the ceremonial lighting of the Stone Arch Bridge.

(Video of bridge lighting)

Minnesota Daily

Sarah Harper, The Gopher’s Guide to Northern Spark

“White nights” are celebrated all over the world, with entire communities getting together after sundown to reject typical nighttime behavior. Instead of hitting the hay, participants transform their cities into real-life dreamlands by way of the visual arts, dance, film, food and music. Last year’s inaugural Northern Spark festival lit up Minneapolis and Saint Paul from sunup to sundown.

Minnesota Monthly

Joel Schettler, Nuit Blanche: An Art All-Nighter

There’s something alluring about being in an art gallery or museum after hours. The art on display just seems to demand more of your attention. This weekend’s event takes the idea of an after-hours party to the extreme. For the second year art patrons will be able to enjoy art all night during Northern Spark. Perhaps a better descriptor than “art all night” is “art all over” as patrons will be treated to displays across Minneapolis.

Minnesota Public Radio

Marianne Combs, The reviews are in for Northern Spark

It would be practically impossible for any critic to have taken in the entire line-up of festivities for this past weekend’s Northern Spark festival. … So rather than seek out a variety of reviews in the local media, I turned to artists and art lovers to find out what they thought of the festival.

Minnesota Public Radio

Chris Roberts, European-style Twin Cities art festival to be an all-night affair

Organizers of new European-style 24-hour art festival planned for the Twin Cities say it has potential to be a huge tourist draw and international event. MPR arts reporter Chris Roberts spoke with Northern Spark organizer Steve Dietz about the event.

Minnesota Public Radio

Molly Bloom, Art Hounds: 2011 Highlights

We heard people say that it felt like Barcelon — and it did. People are still talking about it six months afterward. It was the city we deserve.

Regan Smith, White Night

Regan Smith previews Northern Lights’ all-night festival, Northern Spark: Nuit Blanche, featuring dusk-to-dawn interactive art happenings throughout the Twin Cities, with 100 projects by more than 50 regional artists and organizations, on June 4 & 5 [2011].

phenoMNal twin cities

Stephanie, Northern Spark

Get Ready! Northern Spark is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year! Explore a constellation of urban arts and discover the city in a new light.

Pioneer Press

Amy Carlson Gustafson, Northern Spark is ready to transform all of Minneapolis into a giant art adventure

After drawing more than 20,000 people to its debut last year, Northern Spark is back.

The free nighttime arts festival will take place this weekend in Minneapolis with more than 100 artists transforming the city into a giant art adventure.

Radio K

Tess Weinberg, Culture Queue: Animal Crossing

It’s a different kind of 9 to 5. Northern Spark is an all night celebration of art, technology, community and the city. Part of the goal is to create unique art experiences in normal places like galleries, but then also to put art in places that art usually isn’t.


Red Ravine

QuoinMonkey, Northern Spark 2012: Night Owl Paradise

Last year’s inaugural Northern Spark was magical. In 2011, over the course of the night, there were 50,000 visits to 100 projects by more than 200 mostly local artists at 34 venues in collaboration with 60 partner organizations and sponsors. I am looking forward to Northern Spark 2012.

Southwest Journal

Dylan Thomas, Another all-nighter

As it neared 2 a.m., the view from the open-air observation deck 30 stories up the historic Foshay Tower was of a night sky dyed orange from streetlights and of darkened skyscrapers speckled fluorescent green where the lights still glowed in empty offices. Revelers gladly joined the long line in the Foshay lobby to experience that view.

Star Tribune |

Jay Boller, This weekend: Northern Spark returns

This weekend’s second annual Northern Spark is best described as a sunset-to-sunrise, citywide explosion of creativity. If there’s an underlying purpose, it’s for citizens to view their city through a right-brain lens.


Mary Abbe, New festival provides a spark in the dark

Attention night-crawlers, avant-gardists, bikers, party crashers and insomniacs: This one’s for you.


Sara Glassman, Face Time: Spark in the Dark

The event was the brainchild of Steve Dietz, who wanted to create a “nightlife beyond bar-hopping.” The enthusiastic crowds at installations from the top of the Foshay to the Landmark Center gave every indication the event was a success.

TECH {dot} MN

Nick Nelson, New mobile app offers some local artistic guidance

This year marks the first time that participants will be able to take advantage of a dedicated mobile app to help guide them through the festivities. People can learn about the exhibits, view a heat map showing what’s most popular at any given time, and engage socially with fellow art enthusiasts. The app features Twitter integration, enabling users to tweet with specialized hashtags for each artist, and participation is encouraged by prizes that can be earned through active tweeting.

the line

Anna Pratt, Kuramoto Model (1000 Fireflies) bike-light project makes community connections visible

Close to midnight on June 9, up to 1,000 bicyclists will be outfitted with special LED lights that will create a synchronized spectacle across the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis.

The Wake, Issue 11, Spring 2012

Alex Lauer, Minneapolis Visionaries Series: Steve Dietz

Steve Dietz is the founder, president, and artistic director of Northern Spark, Minneapolis’ own Nuit Blanche festival which will hold its second annual event on June 9th and June 10th. Dietz, who is well-versed in curating contemporary and new media art, having worked extensively with the Walker, the Smithsonian of American Art Museum, and other renowned art institutions, is just the person we want in charge of it all. Interview on page 8.

Twin Cities Daily Planet

Jay Gabler, Northern Spark lights Minneapolis

Last year I decided there are two unwritten rules of the Northern Spark festival:

(1) Get a posse, don't fly solo.

(2) Stay out all night.

Take those suggestions under advisement as you plan your Northern Spark agenda.

Twin Cities Metro

Morgan Halaski, Northern Spark Arts Festival Steals the Night

Since the invention of bedtimes, man has only hypothesized what sorts of otherworldly and elusive phenomenons take place while heeding his bodily demand for sleep. Well, speculate no more.

Twin Cities Metro

Lauren Peck, Arts Go Outdoors

You’ll finally have a good excuse for staying up all night with the second annual Northern Spark festival. This all-night event celebrates art, technology and community with exhibits spanning every artistic genre in locations all around Minneapolis.

Twin Cities Metro

Brittany Trevick, Weekly Planner 06.06.12

Instead of sleeping this Saturday, think about venturing into the city and partaking in events dedicated to art, technology and the community. Inspired by European night festivals, the second Northern Spark allows visitors to revel in the magic the city offers at night. After all, everything is better in the dark.

Twin Cities Metro

Brittany Trevick, Think and Wonder, Wonder and Think

If you know what’s good for you, you’re planning on catching the Northern Sparks Festival Saturday, June 9. But with over 120 projects, 200 artists and five activity zones around Minneapolis, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed. The art, the lights, those around you—there’s nothing not to like at this shimmering celebration. So, how do you organize your evening? Just follow along.

Jahna Peloquin, Northern Spark Festival

With more than 200 artists, 120 projects and 10 food trucks spread throughout five zones in one city, this year’s Northern Spark is nothing if not ambitious.

Walker Art Center

Susannah Schouweiler, Stay up all night with Andrea Stanislav, Piotr Szyhalski, and Wing Young Huie

With more than 60 Minnesota artists contributing work and just as many local organizational partners, Northern’s upcoming “nuit blanche” is going to be a barn-burner.