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

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


Join a kazoo band
Fri, 03 May 2013
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Perform with us at Northern Spark 2013! From sundown on June 8th to late into the night, our intrepid Kazoo Band will parade through Lowertown, waving artist-made banners and entertaining the public, all while encouraging them to support Northern Spark with donations. We’ll learn a few pop songs that relate to money and giving, and you do not need to be able to read music to participate.
Northern Spark Preview
Wed, 13 Mar 2013
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Art All Night. Community All Year.

Saint Paul, Minn. – March 12, 2013 – Northern Spark announced today the partners that will be participating in the free, dusk-to-dawn, nuit blanche, which will ignite Saint Paul’s Lowertown in an explosion of urban art. The festival will be held on Saturday (into Sunday morning), June 8, 2013 from 9:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. with the main hub at Union Depot, hosting nearly 25 projects. Performances, visual arts, projected images, interactive media, and participatory events will bring together a multitude of artists who create art projects in partnership with numerous arts organizations at multiple venues. The public is invited to join this all-night adventure to see the city in a new light.
“With the reopening of the historic Union Depot, the continuing expansion and development of Lowertown businesses and the ballpark construction underway, the Lowertown district, known for its vibrant arts culture, is only becoming more lively. This unique festival is a wonderful way to showcase our arts community in a distinctive way,” stated Mayor Chris Coleman.
This year the festival expects nearly 72 projects in collaboration with 47 cultural organizations and sponsors.
Tell us about YOUR Northern Spark
Fri, 10 Aug 2012
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Take part in our online survey
Some press links for Northern Spark 2012
Thu, 09 Aug 2012
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Sarah BrumbleDeboarah CarverMarianne CombsLightsey DarstZac FarberJay GablerTom Horgen and Mary AbbeStephanie KwongAndy LienJahna PeloquinSheila ReganJoel SchettlerBrittany TrevickJoel Zimmerman
Northern Spark videos
Wed, 08 Aug 2012
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Northern Spark channel

Northern Spark's channel on video with more than 20 videos of your favoriate venues and projects. Add new links in the comments section.
Northern Spark videos
Wed, 08 Aug 2012
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Northern Spark channel

Northern Spark's channel on video with more than 20 videos of your favoriate venues and projects. Add new links in the comments section.
Walker Art Center, Northern Spark 2012
Wed, 08 Aug 2012
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Walker Art Center, Northern Spark 2012 from Northern Spark on Vimeo.

Ben and Elizabeth Johnson, PixelTron 150, Northern Spark 2012 from Northern Spark on Vimeo.

Jackie Beckey, Psychedelic Art Parade, Northern Spark 2012 from Northern Spark on Vimeo.

Annicha Arts, In Habit: Living Patterns, Northern Spark 2012 from Northern Spark on Vimeo.

Michael Murnane, Under Ice, Northern Spark 2012
Wed, 08 Aug 2012
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Michael Murnane, Under Ice, Northern Spark 2012 from Northern Spark on Vimeo.

Rosemary Williams, Mom's Cookies, Northern Spark 2012 from Northern Spark on Vimeo.

The Foshay and Target South Tower, Northern Spark 2012 from Northern Spark on Vimeo.

Weisman Art Museum, Northern Spark 2012
Wed, 08 Aug 2012
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Weisman Art Museum, Northern Spark 2012 from Northern Spark on Vimeo.

Stone Arch Bridge and Mill Ruins Park, Northern Spark 2012 from Northern Spark on Vimeo.
Mayor Rybak kicks off Northern Spark
Wed, 08 Aug 2012
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In Habit work-in-progress
Wed, 11 Apr 2012
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Steve Dietz
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http://vimeo.com/40022061
A film about Rosemary Williams(s)
Sat, 07 Apr 2012
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Check out this Kickstarter campaign for a film by Rosemary Williams about Rosemary Williams starring Rosemary Williams. Rosemary Williams is also cooking up a storm with her Mom’s Cookies projection for Northern Spark.
The Kuramoto Model (1,000 Fireflies)
Wed, 21 Mar 2012
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The Kuramoto Model (1000 Fireflies) by David Rueter is a "synch mob" on bikes for Northern Spark. During Northern Spark, up to 1.000 bicyclists will use customized, interactive blinking LED devices outfitted with microcontrollers and radio units that allow them to mutually and observably synchronize with others, as do certain species of firefly. http://vimeo.com/38194345 Lights are available online via Kickstarter until March 31. These devices, in isolation, look similar to conventional LED cycling safety lights, but in groups exhibit an immediately noticeable phenomenon. To maximize the visual impact for all festival attendees, organizers will encourage participating cyclists to gather together in a large group to tour the various festival sites, including a "blessing of the bikes" at the Basilica of Saint Mary and a procession down Hennepin Ave.to start out the night.
Northern Lights board contributes to Northern Spark
Tue, 20 Mar 2012
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Here at Northern Lights.mn, we are blessed with a committed and active board, which can always be counted on for its invaluable insights based on years of collective experience to help build out a nimble, sustainable non-profit organization. To help support our Northern Spark nuit blanche, Elizabeth Armstrong, Neal Cuthbert, Steve Dietz, Vince Leo, and Gary Smaby are each contributing their creative talents as a reward for our Kickstarter campaign.
Star Struck on Kickstarter
Mon, 19 Mar 2012
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Ba-ba-bamp-ba-ba-ba-ba bamp-ba I wanna be sedated
Wed, 07 Mar 2012
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Andea Stanislav, I Just Want to Be Sedated

Andréa Stanislav, "I Just Want to Be Sedated," 2009, glitter, vinyl, resin, board24”x24”x1".

This unique text work by Andréa Stanislav, who created the memorable 2011 Nightmare for Northern Lights.mn is now available as a Kickstarter reward for supporting new artists' work for the 2012 Northern Spark nuit blanche Twin Cities. Stanislav's Text Works are recontextualitions of dystopic phrases and sayings from such references as: the Ramones, Sex Pistols, A Clock Work Orange, Nivana, William Burroughs, current catch phrases and video games.The text is embedded between layers of resin polymer, and appear to "float" above the glittering light activated glitter-film base. Check out other artworks available for supporting Northern Spark.
In Habit on Kickstarter
Tue, 21 Feb 2012
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Check out the new Kickstarter page for Aniccha Arts' In Habit: Living Patterns a FREE performance by Aniccha Arts that will take place at the Central Avenue Bridge underpass in conjunction with Northern Spark on June 7th, 8th and 9th, 2012.
Northern Spark open calls close Tuesday, Feb 7.
Mon, 06 Feb 2012
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Two calls for Northern Spark close on Tuesday. DataVisualization in collaboration with Eyeo Inter/National call Application form
Kickstart Northern Spark
Mon, 06 Feb 2012
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Help support Northern Spark's Kickstarter campaign. From $5 to $5,000 your support can help support the work of dozens of artists at Northern Spark. Check out the rewards, from limited edition posters to autographed photographs to home-cooked meals and designer seating. Any amount will help.
Calling all artists
Mon, 09 Jan 2012
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Northern Spark 2012 We are happy to announce a number of calls for participation in the 2012 edition of Northern Spark, which will take place June 9-10, 2012. For some background on this year's Northern Spark see here. The new website will launch later this week at northernspark.org.
Give to the Max Day
Wed, 16 Nov 2011
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http://vimeo.com/30395685 Like an art comet that blazes through the night sky once a year, Northern Spark enters the Twin Cities' orbit on Saturday, June 9, uniting two cities and bringing together a multitude of artists, art projects, arts organizations, and venues in a confluence of culture and nature. On Give To The Max Day, Wednesday, November 16th, you have a special, one-day opportunity to support a special, one-night project: Northern Spark, Minnesota's only nuit blanche. Online fundraising for Northern Spark
Northern Spark 2011
Wed, 12 Oct 2011
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Check out Brennan Vance’s mini-documentary of the 2011 Northern Spark Festival.
Northern Spark #7 on METRO 100 list
Tue, 11 Oct 2011
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Metro magazine's Top 100 list includes Northern Spark at #7

7. Northern Spark, June 4 to 5, 2011

"Modeled after nuit blanche events in Paris and St. Petersburg, the Twin Cities’ first-ever all-night art party spanned galleries and green space on both sides of the river (it even spilled into the mighty Miss via a variety show aboard an old paddleboat). The highlight? Artist Jim Campbell’sScattered Light” installation at Upper Landing Park in St. Paul: hundreds of glowing glass bulbs strung together to create Northern Spark’s unofficial nightlight. We’ve been catching lots of Z’s in preparation for next summer’s citywide sleepover, which promises to be bigger and better than the first. northernspark.org"
Save the dates: July 9-10, 2012
“We Are Working All the Time!” Wants You
Fri, 07 Oct 2011
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If you have visited with the Empty Words (so that we can do our living) performance during the Northern Spark festival on June 4-5, chances are you have walked away with one of the "We Are Working All The Time!" posters. These posters were printed during the performance and distributed to the audience. I am writing to ask you a simple favor:
Waste Not
Wed, 21 Sep 2011
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http://vimeo.com/29363027 We are still getting in final documentation of Northern Spark. There is a great photo essay of the event here. Above is video documentation of Christopher Baker's Waste Not.
Hold hands with a stranger
Tue, 23 Aug 2011
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Amanda Lovelee's Call and Answer Project was an epic success at Northern Spark.

Call and Answer at Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Northern Spark, June 4, 2011. Photo courtesy the artist.

According to Amanda,
"We reached all our goals and went far beyond. In one evening we served over 400 pieces of pie in two hours, printed 2000 books, had close to 50 amazing volunteers who did everything from bake pie, photograph, cut pie, make coffee, run a letter press, greet people at the door, read their poetry, play in the band, and call a square dance! I think about 1,500 people came through the doors of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and at least 500 strangers held hands!!!!"
Amanda is going for it again.
Battle of Everyouth
Wed, 20 Jul 2011
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http://vimeo.com/26515526
Northern Spark in some pictures
Sat, 18 Jun 2011
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Whereas…
Thu, 02 Jun 2011
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NOW, THEREFORE, WE, R.T. RYBAK, Mayor of the City of Minneapolis and CHRIS COLEMAN, Mayor of the CIty of Saint Paul do hereby jointly proclaim June 4, 2011 as: NORTHERN SPARK NIGHT IN THE CITIES OF MINNEAPOLIS AND SAINT PAUL

NOW, THEREFORE, WE, R.T. RYBAK, Mayor of the City of Minneapolis and CHRIS COLEMAN, Mayor of the CIty of Saint Paul do hereby jointly proclaim June 4, 2011 as: NORTHERN SPARK NIGHT IN THE CITIES OF MINNEAPOLIS AND SAINT PAUL

Meeting the city halfway
Fri, 27 May 2011
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Welcome to the inaugural Northern Spark, a free, all-night festival of public art and performances taking place outdoors and indoors in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul from sundown to sunrise. There is magic in the night, when the familiar, like the city skyline, becomes majestic, and a starry sky can transport the imagination. One’s senses […]
Northern Spark program guide
Thu, 26 May 2011
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The print Northern Spark program guide - 32 pages of not-to-be-missed projects and scheduled events along with essential "getting around" information - is hot off the presses and will be available at the following sites beginning on Saturday.
There's nothing typical about the newest Twin Cities arts festival. From the time it takes place -- sunset to sunrise -- to the number of local arts organizations involved -- more than 50 -- Northern Spark has potential to be a monumental arts event. Inspired by the worldly 'Nuit Blanche' movement of nighttime arts festivals that originated in Europe, Northern Spark plans to turn the urban landscapes of St. Paul and Minneapolis into one giant art gallery early next month.
Storytelling is a time-honored way to ward off the evil spirits at night - or just plain drowsiness. Laurie Hertzel has a nice blog post in On Books about the Bedtime Stories project, which is organized by the Rain Taxi Review of Books as part of the Walker Art Center's Nightshift program for Northern Spark. There are many other opportunities for storytelling at Northern Spark.
Artists of Northern Spark
Sun, 22 May 2011
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Ai Minnesota Students, Artifact Shore, Luke Axelson, Leslie Ball, Bridget Beck, Christopher Baker, Robert Bauer, Amelia Biewald, Philip Blackburn, The BodyCartography Project, Bart Buch, Jill Burchill, Calamity and the Owl, Charles Campbell, Chris Campbell, Jim Campbell, Jaime Carrera, Genevieve Chamberland, Christopher Charbonneau, Melinda Childs, Bryan Clendenen, Barbara Claussen, Como Avenue Jug Band, Corbian Visual Arts […]
Partners in Northern Spark
Sat, 21 May 2011
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With over 100 projects and performances to be presented as part of Northern Spark, we want to thank all our partners and sponsors who are doing so much to make this possible by thoughtfully adding to the rich array of offerings from sunset to sunrise on June 4-5. Thank you! All My Relations Arts, American […]
Call for Brass, Percussion, and Piccolo
Sat, 21 May 2011
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Trumpet, Trombone/Baritone/Tuba, Percussion, and Piccolo

Performance opportunity on the Stone Arch Bridge

for dawn or dusk // homeward is a 10-15 minute sound work for 100+ local musicians playing brass, percussion, piccolos and tiny whistles. The site specific performance will take place on the Stone Arch Bridge, stretching across the Mississippi playing overlapping melodies derived from the route of the river. The piece follows the route of the river south past St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans and into the Gulf of Mexico. The piece is written by Los Angeles based composer Chris Kallmyer who will come out to work with the group on June 3 + 4. If you would like to participate, please contact the event coordinator, Phil Snyder.
Provisions for an All-Night Journey
Thu, 19 May 2011
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Public Address asked Northern Spark food curator Sarah Peters to write about the culinary art of the Festival.

Mobile Food at Northern Spark

Border Tacos truck - Photo by Aaron Fenster

Border Tacos truck. Photo by Aaron Fenster

Trolling the Twin Cities all night long to experience a spectacular array of artist projects requires some stamina. You can always stop into your favorite neighborhood joint to grab a bite, but we’ve rounded up some of the best food trucks in the Twin Cities to provide sustenance along the way. Stationed in each Zone, these mobile chefs will keep you happily fed, caffeinated and recharged. Eat your way through the festival starting with a sunset dinner and ending with breakfast at dawn!
A whiskey-jonesing-bar-hopper for art
Thu, 19 May 2011
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“IN 2006, NORTHERN LIGHTS.MN founder, president, and artistic director, Steve Dietz, helped organize the first Zer01 SJ biennial, a seven day festival of art highlighting the theme of “the interactive city,” which took place in San Jose, California. The event was a huge success, featuring the work of more than 250 artists representing over 40 […]
Win big – volunteer for Northern Spark
Thu, 19 May 2011
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Be part of an amazing team; make the very first Northern Spark nuit blanche a success by volunteering. Every volunteer who commits to a three-hour shift will receive a t-shirt designed by Matthew Rezac, will have their name listed on the website, and will gain a unique and invaluable experience. Northern Spark appreciates its volunteers. […]
Your Northern Spark back up plan
Mon, 16 May 2011
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It's unlikely that with all the excitement of Northern Spark that you won't be able to stay up all night, but just in case, Le Meridien Chambers Minneapolis is offering a special Northern Spark rate for the evening, where you can crash for a power nap, if you want to.
Chris Kallmyer testing the sound properties of the site.

Chris Kallmyer testing the sound properties of the site.

Los Angeles based composer Chris Kallmyer has spent the last two days walking the Stone Arch bridge, testing survival whistles and sketching plans for new piece as part of the Northern Spark Festival on June 4th and 5th. for dawn or dusk // homeward is a 10-15 minute sound work for 100+ local musicians playing brass, percussion, piccolos and tiny whistles. Chris states “The intent of this project is to host a range of musicians involved, and create a unique opportunity for younger musicians to pair with more experienced performers outside of a classroom or traditional band setting.” The score is written considering players of all levels and experience and will give the performers the unique experience of debuting an original piece created specifically for them."
Community conversation @NorthernSpark
Thu, 12 May 2011
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All My Relations Gallery All My Relations Arts invites you to join us for a community conversation with local Native American artists Mona Smith, Bobby Wilson and Robert Two Bulls. They will be talking with guest artists Rigo 23, whose work Oglala Oyate will screen during the Northern Spark festival at AMRA. Joining them will be Tom Poor Bear from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Poor Bear worked with Rigo 23 and appears in the video. Curator and poet Heid Erdrich will moderate. Light refreshments will be served.
Mississippi Megalops tickets
Wed, 11 May 2011
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Mississippi Megalops is a floating Chautauqua featuring performances & presentations of history, art & science aboard an authentic paddle steamer riverboat. Tickets are free, but limited! To pre-book a ticket visit bit.ly/megalopstickets.
Would you like to be part of a unique musical performance? Do you like the standing above/between the banks of the Mississippi? Do you play a brass instrument or percussion? Do you like bridges? Are you free the evening of June 4th? Do you like sparklers? Do you want to be part of something you will talk about for years? Do you have friends that fit the above description too? If so…we have something you are going to love.
Support Mississippi Megalops
Fri, 25 Mar 2011
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Support MIssissippi Megalops and receive reserved tickets for one of the more than 90 highlight events of Northern Spark.
More artists selected for Northern Spark
Wed, 23 Mar 2011
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We recently juried a number of open calls, and selected an amazing group of artists to present work at Northern Spark on June 4-5. This is not a complete list, yet. These projects will join those presented by Northern Lights and our more than 40 partners, many of which are listed on the Northern Spark website. Congratulations to these artists: Emily Darnell, Molly Roth, Terese Elhard; Daniel Dean and Ben Moren; Ben Garthus; Leslie Kelman and Mark O'Brien; Osman Khan; Mina Leierwood and Mike Haeg; Norbert Lucas, Jerry Riess, Craig Mary Verhoeven; Aaron Marx; Megan Mertaugh; The Notion Collective (Andy Dayton, Jason Bahling, Michael Eckblad, Candice Heberer, Jon Wohl); Angela Olson; Stephen Rife; Carissa Samaniego and Bridget Beck; Skewed Visions (Charles Campbell, Gulgun Kayim, Sean Kelley-Pegg); Angela Sprunge, Dana Maiden , Julie Kesti , Scott Kesti, Kaara Nilsso.
Paris along the Mississippi?
Tue, 08 Mar 2011
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MPR's Chris Roberts interviews Northern Spark Artistic Director Steve Dietz. Chris did a great job of zeroing in on some of the key questions about why Northern Spark and why the Twin Cities? Ultimately, only the Festival itself can make the case, but listen here for some initial thoughts. And start "training" now to stay up all night on June 4.
url for Northern Spark submissions
Thu, 03 Mar 2011
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Post your submissions to Northern Spark here http://submissions.northern.lights.mn/northernspark Deadline March 7 midnight CST Northern Lights and our partners are sponsoring more than 20 calls for participation in the Northern Spark nuit blanche. Some are based on specific locations, some on specific media, and others are free form. The deadline for submitting proposals is March 7, […]
Imagining Northern Spark
Sun, 20 Feb 2011
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maquette and photography by Rasun Mehringer | northernspark.org

Maquette and photography by Rasun Mehringer | northernspark.org

It's always hard to imagine something new before it happens. Rasun Mehringer's fanciful photo of Northern Spark taking place on the banks of the Mississippi with the downtowns of Minneapolis and Saint Paul on either side playfully hints at the transformation planned for the Twin Cities between sunset on June 4 and sunrise on June 5. See the cardboard construction maquette from which she worked her magic.
Houseboat wanted
Sat, 19 Feb 2011
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"Lagoon," Photo Craig Simcox

"Lagoon," Photo Craig Simcox

The BodyCartography Project seeks houseboat for a performance commissioned by Northern Spark Festival. It is an intimate performance work for small audiences in a boat that travels on the Mississippi from Boom Island through the lock and dam and back again. Looking for a boat with character, electricity and a working toilet. Size of boat from 30-60 feet. The boat is needed for roughly a week, end of May until June 4th, with performances happening on one night only.
Open call for Northern Spark projects
Wed, 09 Feb 2011
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Northern Lights and our partners are sponsoring more than 20 calls for participation in the Northern Spark nuit blanche twin cities. Some are based on specific locations, some on specific media, and others are free form. The deadline for submitting proposals is March 7, 2011. Any artist – or in the case of some of […]
Northern Spark nuit blanche
Mon, 07 Feb 2011
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Northern Spark

Northern Spark homepage

For one night only, more than 60 regional and national artists together with the Twin Cities’ arts community will display new art installations at public places and unexpected locations throughout the city. Directed and produced by Northern Lights.mn and funded by the MN State Arts Board, Northern Spark takes place this summer from sunset on June 4 (8:55 p.m.) until the morning of June 5, 2011 (sunrise 5:28 a.m.).
Bring to Light
Thu, 07 Oct 2010
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nvas of light as leafy forms, birds, and other designs transformed the structure. via Hyperallergic

On October 2, 2010, the first ever nuit blanche, Bring to Light, took place in New York's Greenpoint. Hyperallergic has a nice photo essay of the event.
Northern Spark
Thu, 07 Oct 2010
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Northern Spark is a new MN Festival modeled on a nuit blanche or “white night” festival - a dusk to dawn participatory art event along the Mississippi and surrounding areas.

Save the date!

Northern Lights.mn received start up funding from the MN State Arts Board and Northern Spark will take place the evening of June 4 (sunset 8.55 pm) till the morning of June 5, 2011 (sunrise 5.28 am).