SPARKcon Starts Today!

SPARKcon Starts Today!

September, 15, 2011, by David

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SPARKcon is one of the most unique things Raleigh has to offer.  Imagine every confrence, festival, and arts expo combined and run non-profit by volunteers, and you get SPARKcon.  The result, is a true non-commercial experience with Raleigh's creative community.  SPARKcon was founded six years ago by Beth and Aly Kahlifa of designbox and Gamila Design. Over the years more and more of the community has gotten behind supporting it.  Now the Visual Art Exchange coordinates SPARKcon and there are over 15 different 'sparks' or festival categories.  For most SPARKcon is difficult to describe, but if you think of it as the best of what our community has to offer, across disciplines, then it is easy to explain the appeal.

There are so many events and you should plan on spending the weekend on Fayetteville street bouncing from event to event.  To see everything going on check out the full schedule and see our highlights below:


Tonight  ideaSPARK, the original SPARKcon core, has two events we highly recommend:

First starting tonight at 5pm and running through the weekend at the Urban Design Center on Fayetteville Street: an interactive diarama where you can re-imagine downtown Raleigh with other participants.

Second, the Pecha Kucha event with a Raleigh theme is already sold out, but you can get on the waitlist by clicking going through the ideaSPARK page

See the details on ideaSPARK


On Saturday at 2pm, designSPARK, hosts the talk “Envisioning Living Solutions at Home – A Conversation with 5 Local Architects”  at the new Visual Art Exchange at 309 W Martin Street. More on designSPARK


artSPARK will have hundreds of poeple doing chaulk drawings on Fayetteville street, along with gallery shows and installations right on fayetteville street.  artSPARK


The biggest SPARKcon event is the Friday night fashion show- right in the heart of Fayetteville street at 8pm.  Read more: fashionSPARK  Afterwards checkout Raleigh Denim's new line, live and up close at Flanders Gallery.


3rd Annual sipSPARK shakeDOWN: bartending competition – Kings Barcade, September 17, 3-5pm


New this year, comedySPARK comes strong with a full weekend of comedy starting tonight.  More details here: comedySPARK


You will see circusSPARK all over the weekend, but the premier events are tonight at Kings after the erotic reading, the Friday night fireshow following the fashionSHOW. circusSPARK


For me the highlight of geekSPARK is the "MIT mobile fablab." - "The mobile fab lab is a trailer filled with cutting edge computer controlled fabrication and electronics equipment that embodies a basic fab lab. It will be in City Plaza where visitors will have the opportunity to learn how to use the equipment to create objects using wood, and other materials."  There is also a gaming showcase and other cool events.  geekSPARK info.


theatreSPARK has really kicked it up this year with tons of live performances on the main stage and at REP theatre on Fayetteville street.  See the line up here: theatreSPARK


PoetrySPARK is one of the largest poetry events in the south east.  Starting tonight with erotic poetry at Kings and going through the weekend with many more poetry readings and my favorite Saturday night at 10- the poetry slam. poetrySPARK


filmSPARK is a mini film festival and a 48 hour film production contest. Catch the shorts screening Saturday night or participate in the 48 hour film contest more details here: filmSPARK.


danceSPARK has dance classes, group dancing and performances all weekend.  Get the details here.


musicSPARK is the original club-based music festival in Raleigh- long before Hopscotch, musicSPARK showed this city could swell with shows.

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SPARKconVisual Art ExchangeAly Kahlifa


  • Esteban Colberto Jr
    09/15 08:31 PM

    Although this has always been a great event - the website is borderline useless. There are lists of events with titles, and, links that link to nothing. So there is a title, and no details. I am guessing that I am supposed to download a iPhone app and mess around with information on the wee-little screen in hopes the info is better? Any help anyone?

    Is there something better published in a print format somewhere? The PDF on the website has no hyperlinks either…

    THe 22yo in me loved wandering aimlessly for days in downtown environments.


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