June 7, 2019 (MINNEAPOLIS) Everyone is invited to the ninth annual Northern Spark to immerse themselves in the interactive public art installation “Radical Playground,” the 2019 Creative City Challenge winner, at The Commons along with 11 other “We Are the Commons” installations. The Creative City Challenge winner will remain in place through August.
Northern Spark 2019, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, The Commons, 425 Portland Ave. S.
Northern Spark returns to The Commons this summer for the third time with installations that compel festivalgoers to move their feet, make some noise and reclaim their space including:
Visitors can join dynamic duo Beatrix*Jar for a one-of-a-kind audio experience making music on vintage electronics instruments and having sonic conversations with the community: “Let’s Make Some Sounds!” People of all sonic skill levels are invited to experiment with sound without the pressure of a formal musical outcome.
Who will move their bodies in joyful protest? “What Will You Dance For? (The Exuberant Activist Body),” presented by the artist collective Don’t You Feel It Too? invites participants to dance their wild and embodied states of resilience and resistance. Visitors can try this form of mind-body training, exuberant art, flash mob and street protest.
The winner of the 2019 Creative City Challenge, “Radical Playground,” is a participatory art installation by Candida Gonzalez and Mary Anne Quiroz. Visitors can try their hands at painting an “alejibre” and dance to the beats of all-femme DJ collective Indigo Crew throughout the nights of Northern Spark. The artists invite indigenous communities and communities of color to a space where they feel free to gather, to play, to heal.
The begena, an Ethiopian harp, is an instrument that has been around for centuries. Festivalgoers who visit “Begena At Night: The ceremony of Ethiopian art through different mediums” by Yilma Hailu will experience different aspects of Ethiopian art including traditional instruments such as the begena, gesture paintings and coffee ceremonies.
Created by artist Kelly Leaf, “Poetry People/People Poetry: A Community Conversation” is about making personal statements of belonging. People can choose anthems, slogans or phrases from a selection of large word cards. The statements will be photographed, be posted to Instagram and become a line in a community poem.
And finally, artist Joshua McGarvey wants to highlight the ability of humans to “Synchronize” heartbeats. Participants are invited to wear harnesses that allow them to feel the heartbeat of the person sitting across from them, stare into their eyes, match breathing and feel the presence of another.
Find more information about Northern Spark.
The Creative City Challenge is a program of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy of the City of Minneapolis created in in collaboration with The Commons and Northern Lights.mn.