Regular Readers know we want Northern Spark, the all night art festival that runs the length of the Green Line and focuses this year on our upcoming climate chaos, to be a significant and ongoing part of our summer Arts & Culture scene. There’s a ton of exciting programming that includes installations, art, food, and more, happening this Saturday night—and it’s all free!  

One of the big reasons that the festival stays free is the ticketed Launch Party to kick off the night. The party includes drinks, an amazing roster of food, and music from Zuluzuluu. We sent some questions to NS Launch Party Coordinator Emily Janisch to get us and you pumped up for the Launch Party.

Secrets of the City: The food is such a great party of the launch party and definitely worth the price bump in our opinion. Do you know who/what you’re having?

Emily Janisch: Mercy // Cafe Alma // Eastside // Red Stag Supperclub // French Meadow // Handsome Hog // Silhouette Bakery & Bistro // Cafe Latté // Fulton Brewing // Crooked Water Spirits // Barefoot Bubbly // Sociable Cider Werks // Peace Coffee

I know there will chocolate cake from Cafe Latte, there will be salmon rillettes from Red Stag, and Chilled Sweet Pea Soup with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and Brioche from Alma. And the specialty cocktail exclusive to the evening and event is the Spark 75, details viewable here.

This year has another packed lineup that’s literally down the line. Do you have any personal favorites for the stops for Northern Spark? (Besides Mekong Night Market?)

Awesome, yes! Local Somali artist extraordinaire Ifrah Mansour’s My Aqal where people are invited to built a traditional Somali home together; Alien Technology II by Monira Al Qadiri (presented by Mizna and The Soap Factory)—this huge sculpture is of an oil drill bit, do you know how fascinating these drill bits actually look? Definitely alien.; and Sami Pfeffer’s Phone Valet— check your phone as you would your car and explore with REAL technology like film cameras and maps

Other than attend the Launch Party, what pro tips do you have for staying awake all night at NS?

Make it a goal to see 3 projects in each of our 7 zones along the Green Line and the sun will have risen before you know it. Just keep exploring because you will stay engaged! Also, Peace Coffee at the Launch Party 😉

Do you feel like Donald Trump was personally out to get you and Northern Spark when he backed out of the Paris Climate Agreement?

I think he made the festival that much more relevant and now everyone is even more focused on coming together in harmony for a cause. Climate Chaos, People Rising!

Anything else we should mention besides Zuluzuluu?

That this is Northern Spark’s only fundraiser of the entire year, which keeps the festival FREE!

Northern Spark runs throughout Saturday night. The Launch Party goes from 7-9 PM at Thresher Square and leads right into the evening. Tickets at different support points still available.