8 reasons to stay up all night with Northern Spark

MINN_LAB's POSTography at Northern Spark 2014
MINN_LAB's POSTography project drew in visitors at Northern Spark 2014.
Courtesy of Northern Spark and Kory Lidstrom

Catch up on your sleep Friday night, because Saturday's Northern Spark festival doesn't stop 'til the sun comes up. The all-night art extravaganza kicks off at 9 p.m. on Saturday and dazzles until 5:26 a.m., with music, sculpture, theater, opera and interactive art projects spread throughout Minneapolis.

Think of it as "an art smorgasbord catered by hundreds of artists," said organizers Steve Dietz and Sarah Peters. The full schedule of events includes more than 70 activities and attractions.

Here's just a taste of what the night holds.

8 reasons to stay up all night with Northern Spark

Disco Roller Printing Party
Artist Diana Eicher's event offers two ways to use roller skates: wheel around or make prints with them.
Courtesy of Northern Spark and Diana Eicher

1) Disco Roller Printing Party | Minneapolis College of Art and Design, all night

Printmaking, roller skating and disco music aren't often used in the same sentence but here you go: There's a printmaking roller skating party at MCAD with disco music! They've set up a roller rink and will have skates to use at no charge. You can also experiment with printmaking techniques using old skates and glow-in-the-dark ink.

2) Owls and stars | Weisman Art Museum, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Let the Minnesota Astronomical Society lead you in star gazing outside the art museum. At 11 p.m., some more nocturnal friends will arrive: The Raptor Center will bring out the owls.

3) Mill City Summer Opera Next: Opera Redux | Mill City Museum, multiple presentations

Enjoy a taste of opera under the stars with the cast of the Mill City Summer Opera. They promise a "musical journey twisting classical music and popular genres into one exciting evening of music." Shows will begin at 9, 10 and 11 p.m.; each will run approximately 45 minutes.

Write Fight, Northern Spark 2013
Just keep writing: A writer tries to carry on through the distractions at Northern Spark 2013.
Courtesy of Northern Spark, Revolver and Brian Kantor

4) Write Fight III | Peavey Plaza, 9 p.m.

It will be writer vs. writer in downtown Minneapolis Saturday night. Local arts organization Revolver is hosting their third annual literary duel. Two writers at a time will face off at typewriters, trying their best to pen a mini-masterpiece in the face of disruptions and distractions. (That's not all Revolver has planned: They're also hosting Dark Room at MCAD, a room full of stories you'll need a flashlight to explore.)

5) Marketopia | Mill City Museum Train Shed, all night

The brainchild of experimental theater artist Roger Nieboer, Marketopia promises to be "part financial counseling session, part walk-through board game, part hands-on microeconomics lesson, and part flea market from another planet."

6) Tron Human Foosball | Peavey Plaza, all night

You've never played foosball like this before. You know the little plastic people on sticks you maneuver to hit the ball? Those will all be real human players. The organizing artists have built a scaled-up, 30-foot foosball court.

Bottoms up at the Water Bar
The Water Bar serves water, water and water.
Courtesy of Northern Spark and Works Progress

7) Water Bar | Northrop Plaza, all night

The Water Bar is exactly that: a bar that serves samples of local tap waters. Visitors can sip water from around the Twin Cities and learn about local water resources. The chatty bartenders are scientists, water advocates and environmental science students. Bottoms up!

8) All-Night Galleries & Terraces | Walker Art Center, all night

The lights will stay on all night at the Walker Art Center. Tour the galleries from dusk 'til dawn for free. They have a full schedule of events indoors and out, along with food trucks, live music and a chance to make art of your own.

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