An all-night arts festival! What could be better?

Feb 03, 2015

Last year, Northrop was the host of many arts installations and activities for Northern Spark. From dusk to dawn, committed Twin Citians overcame dark and rainy skies to participate in experimental performances, giant video projections, and unique encounters with local artists and their work.

One very memorable project asked participants of Ananya Dance Theatre’s Blue Dream Journeys to write down a dream of theirs before entering our Hubbard Broadcasting Rehearsal Studio. Inside, dreamers were engulfed by a strong communal energy created through dance and live music. A cloudscape installation hovered over a tub of water in which their written dream was placed. The scene was magical.

On the fourth level of Northrop in the Best Buy Theater, Spark-goers heard a musical piece consisting of a simple theme played 840 times in succession. Simultaneously in the historic Memorial Hall, a troupe performed traditional Japanese music, permeating Northrop with meditative harmonies. One of my personal favorites was Fruit Orchestra! Through the simple action of touching an orange, banana, or other fruit, my co-workers and I created a full-on orchestra. My fascination with this exhibit may have had to do with the fact that it was 3:00 am at the time; as you can imagine, I was a little loopy.

The call for 2015 projects at Northrop is now open and information on how to submit your project for consideration is below. I encourage artists of all genres to submit a proposal to connect arts with audiences in one of Northrop’s many spaces for this year’s Northern Spark.

Call for Submissions: Northern Spark 2015

Northrop and resident partners request submissions for Northern Spark projects

All submissions are due by Monday, February 16, 2015 at 6:00 pm.

On June 13-14, 2015, the University of Minnesota East Bank will be one of five zones for the all-night Northern Spark Festival, showcasing University and community artists who will bring to life the concepts that make Northern Spark unique: nighttime, light, participation, innovative art, unique memories, and communities.

Northrop, the Institute for Advanced Study, the University Honors Program, and the College of Design Traveler’s Innovation Lab invite artists, creative minds and performing groups of all genres to submit applications for project space in Northrop and on the plaza during this year’s festival.

Projects will be selected by a panel comprised of Northrop resident departments and will be assigned a location as part of the selection. If your project requires a specific location in Northrop, please include this in your project description.

To have your project considered for inclusion in the Northern Spark activities that will take place at Northrop, please submit a proposal that includes the following information:

Project Leader Contact Name and information:

Organization/Department (if relevant):

Title of project/performance/activity:

Description of project/performance/activity (150 words):

Brief explanation of how your submission fits the missions of Northern Spark, Northrop, and/or the University of Minnesota (150 words.):

List of props, instruments, equipment or furnishings you will provide/bring into the building: 

List of props, instruments, equipment or furnishings that need to be provided on site:

Technical assistance needed to set up or run your event:

House management/ushering or crowd control needed to run your event:

Total amount of time needed to set-up your event:

Does your project have a specific start/end time? Does it run continuously?

Total amount of time needed to tear down/strike/clean-up your event:

If you require fee support to present/perform your project, please include a budget outlining your needs. [Note that, while there is a possibility of some small stipends earmarked for University of Minnesota artists, no funding is guaranteed].

Please include a diagram of your project set-up, and photos if available, and also indicate that you have read the Northrop guidelines here.

Projects selected for the Festival will be announced by March 1, 2015. Selected projects will have 10 days to submit brief descriptions for Northern Spark communications deadlines in mid-March.

Please submit all information above to Sharon Fischlowitz at by Monday, February 16, 2015 at 6:00 pm. Contact Cari Hatcher,, or Sharon Fischlowitz,, with any questions.

We look forward to reading your submissions!


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