RALEIGH, NC, September 12, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- SPARKcon (http://www.sparkcon.com), an annual showcase of creativity and talent to celebrate the creative momentum of the Triangle region of North Carolina, has announced it will host its 7th annual event Thursday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 16 on Fayetteville Street and 17 other local venues in downtown Raleigh. The four-day series showcases local cultural richness through an open-source collaboration in creative themes such as art, music, film, fashion, geek, circus and more in activities that are free and open to the public.
This year's event will feature more than 200 shows, acts and exhibits and will involve more than 1,700 artists and performers, with an anticipated 25,000 spectators. All events are organized by passionate volunteers devoted to establishing the Triangle region of North Carolina as "The Creative Hub of the South." Using a combination of networking and open calls for participants, organizers create diverse and representative events to show off local talent and connect different creative scenes. Sarah Powers, executive director of the Visual Art Exchange, a Raleigh nonprofit organization whose main mission is to support emerging artists and connect the community to the arts, is leading the efforts for this year's events.
New to this year's festival is the first annual SPARKcon Opening Ceremony on Sept. 13 running from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the Raleigh Amphitheater at 500 S. McDowell St. The event will kick off the weekend festival with a four-hour showcase of SPARKcon talent. Featured acts include the fashionSPARK runway show and a special circusSPARK fashion show. Other SPARKs will showcase their creativity through theater, music, dance and circus performances with film previews, skateboarding feats and other SPARK tidbits sprinkled throughout the program. FashionSPARK, featuring 15 local fashion, accessory and green designers, is the largest annual fashion show in the Triangle. SPARKcon's Opening Ceremony is free and open to the public, but reserved limited sponsorship level seating is available for purchase online at http://sparkconopeningceremony.eventbrite.com/.
The festival will run from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sept. 14, with highlights including main stage music on the City Plaza, a circus performance and fire jam on Fayetteville Street, and ideaSPARK at the Architect at 108 ½ E. Hargett St. Events on Sept. 15 will take place from10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and will feature a great lineup of music performances, dancing, theater performances and street painting on Fayetteville Street as well as an art bazaar in City Plaza. A film will be shown in the evening, and local galleries will feature design, art and new media and digital work in multiple venues downtown. SPARKcon will conclude Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include an art bazaar in City Plaza, a full day's worth of musical performances, street paintings and skateboarding along Fayetteville Street.
The 2012 SPARKs and when they will run include:
artSPARK (all weekend): Approximately 700 street painters on Fayetteville Street, art galleries in various downtown venues, artPODS installations featuring five local artists and a photoSPARK booth.
bazaarSPARK (Saturday and Sunday): On-the-street bazaar of more than 40 local crafters and designers selling their latest wares.
circusSPARK (all weekend): Performances by acrobats, aerialists, face painters, fire dancers, jugglers and more, a parade and host workshops.
geekSPARK (Saturday and Sunday): New and interactive media showcased within the local game design, art, and technology community at the Fish Market Student Gallery at 133 Fayetteville St. Visitors can compete in Raleigh Wars and The JouleBug Challenge, two interactive games planned for the weekend.
danceSPARK (Saturday): Dance performances and workshops showcasing a wide variety of local dancers and styles.
designSPARK (all weekend): A juried exhibition showcasing a variety of local architecture, graphic, industrial, interior, furniture and landscape designers.
fashionSPARK (Thursday night at the opening ceremony): Runway show, featuring 15 local fashion, accessory and green designers in the largest annual fashion show in the Triangle. A jewelry trunk show will be held on Friday at the Visual Art Exchange at 309 W. Martin St.
filmSPARK (Saturday and Sunday): Local filmmakers will present their work through shorts screenings, a 48-hour film challenge and a panel discussion on local resources.
graffitiSPARK (Saturday and Sunday): Live start-to-finish creations of the skills and creativity of local graffiti artists, including painting of cars and box trucks.
ideaSPARK (Friday): Community-oriented presentations from a variety of community leaders, artists, and entrepreneurs in the fast PechaKucha format.
musicSPARK (all weekend): More than 150 musicians performing throughout the weekend on two outdoor stages and a variety of local venues, restaurants and spaces.
poetrySPARK (all weekend): Local poets, professional and amateur, featured in readings, workshops and panel discussions.
theatreSPARK (Saturday): A full day of theatre performances by local theatre groups, including NC Theatre and Burning Coal Theatre.
wheelSPARK (Saturday and Sunday): Two days of skateboarding, paired with graffiti artists and DJs covering a full block of Fayetteville Street. This will also include the live painting of a car and a box truck.
To learn more about the daily events and to see the events schedule, visit http://www.sparkcon.com/daily/. A full schedule is also available on an iPhone app.
"SPARKcon is a seven-year tradition dedicated to present the Triangle as the creative hub of the South," said Powers. "We are excited to announce this year's schedule, as the four-day series will celebrate the creative momentum of the region, put a great deal of inventive thinkers into one room, and offer them a common mission to foster a vibrant urban core featuring a diverse mix of interests, ethnicities and ages."
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SPARKcon is the annual showcase of creativity, innovation, originality, talent and artistry to feature the Triangle region of North Carolina as the creative hub of the South. Founded in 2006 by Beth and Aly Khalifa and Designbox, SPARKcon hosts hundreds of performances and exhibits in a unique arts festival created and organized by designers, artists, community organizers, and volunteers. The 2012 event, the seventh annual SPARKcon, will be held Sept. 13-16 on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, N.C. SPARKcon is designed for local artists to help educate children, encourage tourism and allow for local economies to continue to grow. It is a program of the Visual Art Exchange, a Raleigh nonprofit whose mission is to support emerging artists and connect the community to the arts. Each year, SPARKcon has more than 50 organizers, hundreds of local talents, hundreds of volunteers helping behind the scenes and thousands of attendees. It is directly aligned with the Visual Art Exchange's mission to support and provide opportunities for local artists. SPARKcon is unique because it is an event fully developed by artists and the creative community, who are encouraged to use their creative talent and insight to produce their own engaging and inspiring programs. For more information, visit http://www.sparkcon.com/
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