HomeEducationSustainability EducationClimate meets art at Northern Spark

Climate meets art at Northern Spark

From dusk till dawn on Saturday June 11th to Sunday June 12th, Minneapolis will come alive with interactive art exhibits, events, and workshops highlighting the phenomenon of climate change at the festival known as Northern Spark. This year is the first installment of the two-year, climate change focused theme, Climate Chaos | Climate Rising. The festival is free for all ages and will open Saturday evening at the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza and continue into the night at various locations across the Minneapolis Mill District.

One exhibit taking place on this amazing night is called Backyard Phenology: Tracking Nature’s Cycles in a Changing Climate, located at the Mill City Museum Train Shed. The team behind this installment includes the transdisciplinary team of University of Minnesota faculty: artist Christine Baeumler, scientists Rebecca Montgomery and Nicholas Jordan, graduate student Kate Flick and our own Sustainability Education Coordinator Beth Mercer-Taylor. The core vision behind this exhibit is to record and analyze people’s perceptions about the world around them regarding our ever-changing climate. A decked out Climate Chaser Mobile Lab will make this exhibit hard to miss. Don’t forget to pick up your Phenology “Passport” that contains a schedule of phenology workshops going on around the Twin Cities. If you are interested in attending this exciting exhibit, why not be a part of it? Volunteers are needed at various times throughout the night. More information on how to sign up can be found here.

Surrender: What are We Willing to Lose?, is another fascinating installation going on at this year’s Northern Spark event located in Mill Ruins Park . The exhibit is the result of a Grand Challenge Course offered at the University of Minnesota called, Making Sense of Climate Change: Art, Science and Agency. Participants will be challenged to answer the question of, “What am I willing to surrender to fight climate change?”, and plant a white flag to signal their individual surrendering to the future of climate change with the actions they will take to see an impact. Take time to reflect on what we have lost, and are willing to lose for the sake of our climate at this eye-opening exhibit.

If you want to witness a collision of the artistic and scholarly world, head over to the Nerd vs. Nerd exhibit on the 4th floor of the Guthrie Theater. In partnership with the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at the University of Minnesota, thirty scholars will give five minute presentations summarizing any ideas and propositions that are meant to drive and inspire the audience. Immediately following these short talks will be the responses from community artists. The audience will then vote on who, the scholar or the artist, presented the topic in the most understandable way. Learn, engage, and become inspired at the Nerd vs. Nerd exhibit. This is a showdown you won’t want to miss!

Witness Northern Spark for yourself by joining thousands of others for a night of wonder, inspiration, creativity, and fun. See climate change through the lenses of migration, nourishment, interconnectedness, perception and civic action at this empowering event. We can’t wait to see you there!


Photo Credit: Matthew Paulson, Flickr

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