SPARKcon continues month of music, art, innovation, noise in downtown Raleigh
by WNCN Staff
Artists "paint" the streets of downtown Raleigh during SPARKcon. (SPARKcon, Contributed)
RALEIGH, N.C. -
The eighth annual SPARKcon arts festival kicks off Thursday in downtown Raleigh, marking the third week of what the city calls the Raleigh M.A.I.N. Event.
The four-day festival celebrates creativity of all forms with events centered around arts, artisanship, comedy, dance, design, fashion, film, technology, music, poetry, food, theatre and circus performance.
More than 2,000 artists, performers and other creative types are expected to assemble for more than 200 shows and exhibits on Fayetteville Street, City Plaza and all around downtown Raleigh.
"SPARKcon is designed for local artists to help educate children, encourage tourism and allow for local economies to continue to grow," organizers explained. "It is a program of the Visual Art Exchange, a Raleigh nonprofit whose mission is to support emerging artists and connect the community to the arts."
This year's SPARKcon marks the third week of what the City of Raleigh has dubbed Raleigh's M.A.I.N. Event. The M.A.I.N. Event refers to a month of "music, art, innovation and noise" throughout downtown Raleigh.
"September is increasingly becoming one of the fullest months of the year in terms of major annual events in Raleigh," Mayor Nancy McFarlane said. "While each of the September events is unique and has a dedicated following, there is a thread of music, art, innovation and noise connecting them.
"It's important to connect the thread running through all of them with Raleigh M.A.I.N. Event and spread the word across all the audiences," McFarlane said.
The African American Cultural Festival marked the start of the M.A.I.N. Event on Aug. 31. It continued last week with the three-day Hopscotch Music Festival, and La Fiesta del Pueblo on Sept. 8.
Other events include the Ray Price Capital City BikeFest on Sept. 20-22, and the International Bluegrass Music Awards World of Bluegrass on Sept. 24-28.