by Northern Spark   February 25, 2013

This is an open call for up to 10 projects in any medium for Northern Spark, June 8, 2013. Deadline March 4, 2013.

What Is Northern Spark?

Northern Spark is a free, all night, multidisciplinary, multi-venue arts festival. Northern Spark is a portal to a new experience of the city. Throughout the night, we each pick a route accompanied by friends or in the companionship of familiar strangers. Together we look at art, experience community in a new way, and see the city in a new light. 

More information about Northern Spark:

Where Is Northern Spark?

We are particularly excited about bringing Northern Spark to Saint Paul’s Lowertown—home to a vibrant arts community including the newly arrived Bedlam Theater, veteran meeting spot Black Dog Cafe, Minnesota Museum of American Art’s new project space, the ever-present Mississippi River, the magnificently restored Union Depot station, and many other sites. From Union Depot and the rest of Lowertown, many journeys will take place—by train, by bus, across time and space, in our imagination, and through the creativity of a multitude of artists who will take us along for a ride specially constructed for Northern Spark: an experience that is all arts, all people, all night.

What Is the Call for Projects?

We invite you to propose a project in any medium that is sited/performed in public space, at Union Depot, or at a venue within Northern Spark’s footprint. For examples of past projects see:

The project should engage a broad public audience in that space- which can be mobile. While none of the following are strict requirements, they are each important factors in making our decisions.

  • Artistic quality. Northern Spark is committed to supporting the work of artists. The proposed work can be serious or funny, spectacular or intimate, high or low, or any combination thereof, but we are not a trade fair.
  • Participatory. Not all projects will have a direct participation component, but our goal is that a significant percentage will.
  • Mobile/Pop up. We’re interested in at least some projects that are mobile and/or have a light footprint and can be “installed” in a few locations during the night.
  • Crowded. Depending on the nature and placement of your project, there may be very large crowds to appreciate it. How does your proposal account for this?
  • Accessible. As a public arts event, there will be a broad audience and often a large audience. How does your proposal account for this?
  • Duration. One of the distinctive aspects of Northern Spark is its duration. Does your project take advantage of this?
  • Nighttime. Another distinctive aspect.
  • Feasibility. Northern Spark only lasts for 513 minutes.  Make sure your project is feasible and impactful in an 8 hr time frame and that we understand how.


Northern Spark is a celebration of Lowertown, but it is also taking place in Lowertown, and all projects should be respectful of residents and businesses in the area. Specifically, every project should:

  • Be safe
  • Not include amplified sound after 10 pm
  • Meet all necessary City laws, ordinances, and codes

If you have a question about your project, email