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Festival Overview

On the second Saturday of June, tens of thousands of people gather throughout Minneapolis to explore the city’s great cultural institutions, play in temporary installations in the streets, and enjoy experimental performances in green spaces and under bridges.


All night

This is Northern Spark, an all-night art festival that lights up the night on June 13, 2015.

When the sun sets at 9:00 pm and the church bells ring (listen!), the city awakes to a new sense of possibility. For 8 hours and 26 minutes the city surprises you: friendly crowds, ambitious art projects, an unexpected path through the urban landscape, the magic of sunrise after a night of amazing experiences.


A city plaza becomes an art-arcade; people with headphones dance to the same beat everywhere you go; a fantastical bed hangs high above to capture your dreams. Northern Spark in one word is: wonder.


By foot, by bike, car, bus, rollerblade, skateboard or pedal cab—however you move is up to you.  Make your way by following your senses through multiple festival zones in Minneapolis that play host to the festival. What will you discover next? What is around the next corner? What friends will you meet or make?


See the city in a new light. Whether it’s a projection as big as the Mill City Grain Silos or a fleet of glowing bikes circling Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza, the artists of Northern Spark shine new light on familiar places. By the end of the night you’ll find yourself with an illuminated perspective of the places you thought you knew.


We seldom experience a city as a community, but for one night at Northern Spark Minneapolis is a moveable feast. The door is open to you at multiple venues. It’s an art smorgasbord catered by hundreds of artists. But it is only complete with your participation, together with thousands of others.


This year Northern Spark turns 5 and we’re reflecting on a half-decade of collective work that makes this event happen. We welcome you to wonder, wander and illuminate with us by helping to sustain Northern Spark—as an artist, volunteer, advocate or donor. Sign up for our newsletter, help out with a donation, do what you can to stay in touch and add your support to the growing community that makes Northern Spark happen each year.

Northern Spark is presented by Northern, a nonprofit arts organization with the mission to transform our sense of what’s possible in public space.

Northern Spark is one night, but Northern shines throughout the year with projects such as the Giant Sing-a-long at the Minnesota State Fair, Art(ists) On the Verge, and permanent, interactive public art for Saint Paul Union Depot. For more information visit us at

—Steve Dietz, Artistic Director and      

   Sarah Peters, Associate Director