Today is more than just the 13th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. It is also the beginning of SPARKcon, a four-day festival in Raleigh, North Carolina that, according to Indy Week, “aims to harness and highlight the varied, robust creative energies present in the Triangle.” And by Triangle, they mean the Research Triangle, a region in North Carolina anchored by the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.
What differentiates SPARKcon from every other arts festival, writes Indy Week contributor Adrienne Johnson Martin, is that it hosts a “bottom-up [organizational] structure.” While the festival is sponsored by the Raleigh-based Visual Art Exchange non-profit, it is planned and pieced together from the ground up via a grassroots effort led by the thousands of artists (“crafters and photographers, clothing designers and tech geeks, aerialists and filmmakers”) who show up at the event to share their talents.
One question still remains: Why is it called SPARKcon? WRAL explains that that the various disciplines of art are “divided into different ‘SPARKs.'” For instance, artSPARK pertains to art, while danceSPARK pertains to dance. Each discipline (art, comedy, dance, design, film, etc.) gets its own SPARK. The whole SPARK thing is basically a semantical trick of sorts used to add flavor to the various events. Think about it; what sounds more interesting — a dance exhibition or a danceSPARK?
Regardless, SPARKCon has been occurring in downtown Raleigh since its inception in 2005. The SPARKs remain pretty much the same year after year, though elements within them change from time to time. For instance, Indy Week notes that this year’s danceSPARK “will feature Zumba Glow,” a highly popular night-time fitness routine that involves glow sticks. The cool thing is that adding new activities requires nothing more than simply getting involved with the event, which you can do through its official website.
Some of the highlights for SPARKcon 2014 include a parade on Friday, a Ballroom Dance Party on Saturday and some sort of “battle for territory” on Sunday. Keep in mind that while SPARKcon as a whole is certainly designed for children (what kid doesn’t love art!?), some aspects of it are not exactly kid-friendly. For instance, circusSPARK involves adult poetry and live body painting.
Anyway. To learn more about the event and view the SPARKcon schedule in detail, be sure to check out the event’s official website. In the meantime, check out the awesome video below to learn more about SPARKcon:
Image via [Google Images]