SPARKcon Takes Over Downtown Raleigh This Weekend

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SPARKcon Takes Over Downtown Raleigh This Weekend

Angela Gamble

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SPARKcon, a lauded creative arts showcase, returns to downtown Raleigh for its 13th straight year starting Oct. 18 through Oct. 21. It is set to take over City Plaza (between Fayetteville St and Martin St), and will be bursting with creative artists who will host audience participant activities such as circus acts, music, interactive activities for aspiring architects, film, theater, food trucks and more. All festival events are free and open to the public. 

“It’s weird, ambitious, and authentically yours,” said Brandon Cordrey, executive director of Visual Art Exchange, chief organization that produces SPARKcon.

Established in 2006 by Beth and Aly Khalifa and by artists at Designbox, SPARKcon was introduced as a grassroots strategy, enlisting the aid of local artistic leaders [SPARKs] to showcase their talent through communal collaborations. From there, the artistic proposal had evolved into an intellectual festival behemoth.

According to the festival’s website, SPARKcon has transformed 1.9 million sq. ft. of Downtown Raleigh into a public creative space by showcasing the talents thousands of artists, performers, and creative people. Over 80,000 attendees participate in free events ranging from yoga to comedy shows, pop-up theatre performances, fashion shows, aerial performances, film challenges, on demand poetry, VR experiences, and event all-day music performances.

“Want to swing from some circus aerial silks? We can arrange that,” adds Cordrey. 

More attention for the call of artists thrive as the artistic and intellectual platform progresses each year.

Kristy Breneman, independent film producer and director from Atlanta, GA is a newcomer to SPARKcon. She has worked conscientiously for the past seven months on curating community-themed short films and will make her directorial debut at the festival this weekend.

“Community engagement is key,” said Breneman, filmSPARK creative director. “I’ve made it my mission to be a voice in a room for everyone. My team and I wanted to make sure that our films represent different stories and voices.”

The organizers of SPARKcon reckons the impact SPARKcon has had over the years. 

“SPARKcon is nothing without the community,” adds Cordrey. “Festival goers like SPARKcon and they want it to continue. We vow to keep that open source to artists, entrepreneurs, and community available.”

SPARKcon caters to all no matter your creative outlet of choice. With 2,000 artistic leaders and people of all types doing their thing, the options are endless.

To learn more about SPARKcon, visit downtown Raleigh this weekend, and their website, www.sparkcon.com 

 

 

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