Festival Overview

Northern Spark is a late-night art festival that lights up the Twin Cities.

Northern Spark art festival this summer explores the theme, “What the World Needs Now.” This year’s festival will take place along University Avenue and downtown in St. Paul, MN on Saturday, June 11, 2022 from 9 pm – 2 am. A Closing Event will follow from 2 am – 5:30 am on Raspberry Island in downtown St. Paul along the Mississippi River.

Northern Spark will return to the Rondo, Frogtown and Little Mekong neighborhoods near University Avenue and downtown in St. Paul, as well as the Mississippi River to shine a spotlight on the beauty and richness of these communities. Art projects will take many forms, including performance, hands-on and participatory art-making, and sound and sculpture installation, all responding to the theme, “What the World Needs Now.” This year’s activities will include art projects at Victoria Theater Arts Center, Springboard for the Arts, Rondo Community Library, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art, building upon ongoing partnerships with these organizations.

Returning to the one-night, all-night festival

In 2022, Northern Spark returns to the structure of its roots — a one-night, dusk to dawn festival, bringing back the beloved Northern Spark experience of greeting the dawn together, outdoors, after a night of connecting through transformative art experiences.

As our cities still grapple with the effects of COVID-19, 2022 festival curators leaned into our uncertain times to support artist projects that encourage our communities to safely connect while inspiring the kind of experimental, surprising experiences we love about Northern Spark.

We are excited to announce these artists and partners for Northern Spark 2022:

Eva Adderley
Riley Kleve and Ever Woodward
Pang Foua Xiong and Sandy Lo
Nick Knutson and Jei Harold-Zamora
Alia Jeraj
Felicia Cooper, Alex Young and Kallie Melvin
Sequoia Hauck, Chitra Vairavan and collaborators
Native Youth Arts Collective
Grupo Soap del Corazon at The Minnesota Museum of American Art
Frogtown Radio/WFNU, Saint Paul Almanac and SPNN
The 100% Campaign


Northern Spark is a collective effort. Northern Lights.mn would like to thank the following collaborators for their vision, enthusiasm and partnership. 

The 2022 Artist Council

Courtney Cochran, Hawona Sullivan Janzen, Heather C. Lou, May Lee-Yang, Dameun Strange, and Ricardo Beaird with Artist Council Manager Valerie Oliveiro. Read more about the Artist Council here.

Community Partners

Springboard for the Arts, Victoria Theater Arts Center, Rondo Community Library / St. Paul Public Libraries, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. View all festival partners here. There will be additional programming to be announced from venue partners Rondo Community Library, Springboard for the Arts and Victoria Theater Arts Center!

More details about the projects and additional artists will be announced in April.