SPARK! Festival of Creativity Set for Mesa Arts Center, 3/13-17

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spark! Mesa's Festival of Creativity is a free, five day event offering food, music, fun interactive experiences for the whole family, all providing an immersive environment to celebrate the work of amazing, creative people. The festival will take place at the Mesa Arts Center (MAC) during Spring Break, from Wednesday, March 13 through Sunday, March 17, running from noon-9pm Wednesday-Saturday, and noon-7pm on Sunday.

Each night there will be a Featured Headline Musical Act featuring popular regional artists in Country, Blues, Rock and more. Musical ensembles will perform throughout the day at the Wells Fargo Garden in the center of the Mesa Arts Center campus. To close each day, enjoy a popular headlining act while enjoying a refreshing beverage from the Beer Garden.

Featured performers include Squonk Opera with their GO Road Show, an innovative travelling stage with all kinds of fun built-in original instruments, a piano that rotates, a giant inflated puppet, and more. Each of their four daily performances begins with a parade down the Shadow Walk through the heart of the MAC. SQUONK OPERA from Pittsburgh, PA performs unique contemporary opera and theater incorporating modern, experimental and rock music and audience interaction. At spark!, they are offering four daily shows (preceded by a parade through the MAC campus!) of their new GO ROAD SHOW on the North Patio

Compagnia TPO from Italy will present Kindur: The Adventurous Life of Icelandic Sheep, in which the company crafts "paintings in movement"-immersive atmospheres for performers and audiences that are brought to life when walls and floors are touched and respond with music, colors, sounds, or images. In Kindur, Iceland's fairy tale glacial landscape is the site of discovery for daring sheep who are compelled by their own curiosity and the mysterious unfolding of the seasons to explore the impossible green of the hills, the crystalline blue of the ice, and the ethereal northern lights.

ERTH [Visual and Technical Theater] from Australia creates engaging interactive theater incorporating giant puppets, music and sound effects. At spark! they present multiple daily shows of ERTH's Dinosaur Petting Zoo on the South Lawn. An eye-popping visual experience of giant dinosaur puppets, stilt-walkers, inflatable environments, and flying creatures are only the beginning of the ERTH experience. Travel with ERTH's multi-faceted performers on a journey through prehistoric ages. Experience an amazing selection of dinosaurs and other creatures that inhabited the earth millions of years ago.

spark! will also feature a wide variety of interactive experiences, including INTONARUMORI by Urban Stew, based on the century-old work of Italian composer Luigi Russolo, with opportunities for the public to play and compose on a series of "Noise" instruments; a giant LEGO community sculpture building project from Building Bonanza; a Make-Your-Own Percussion Instrument activity and Drum Circles; a Community Art Project built out of cardboard cores; participation with a Rube Goldberg Invention created by students from the ASU College of Technology and Innovation; and more.

Interactive Art & Technology Projects will include musical, visual and theater art experiences from ASU graduate students; the Vessel Project will provide engaging atmospheric theater performances, and will feature a live VJ experience in the evening hours; Wise Fool Productions from Santa Fe, NM will entertain with stilt- walkers, giant puppets and circus performers; a 3D Chalk Mural will be created by artists Lauren Lee and Kyllan Maney throughout the festival; the Hip Hop/Spoken Word Stage programed by Phonetic Spit will feature music, hip hop dance and spoken word artists.

Beautiful and unique art will be on exhibition in the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum (MCA) galleries and the MAC Store. Original works of art will be for sale at both the Artists Cooperative Gallery and at a Mesa Arts Center Student Show outdoors. An exciting Site-Specific Art Installation by Jeff Zischke will be featured in the MCA Courtyard. There will be two Temporary Public Art Installations: "Seed Pod" by Joe O'Connell & Blessing Hancock of Creative Machines, Tucson. A sculptural delight, speak in one end and hear what happens to the sounds. At night, touch the right spot and watch the colors change. In the center of the Shadow Walk. "Reflections: Water Within" by Moira Geoffrion (an IN FLUX installation). Hanging in the Theater Building lobby by the Ikeda and Piper Theaters.

Help improve Mesa Arts Center's Urban Landscape, one stitch at a time, with the community art yarn bombing project. If you knit or crochet, or have friends and family that do, create pieces to be wrapped around trees throughout the campus. Like a page out of Dr. Seuss-enjoy the brightly colored, knitted tree sleeves!

Sign up for one-hour introductory workshops in ceramics, glass mosaic, silk painting, beading, card making, watercolor, dance, improv, and puppetry. Schedule and Registration available at the MAC's Box Office, First Floor of the North Studios Building. There is a $5 fee per person for each Studio Sampler class.

The Mesa Arts Center, owned and operated by the City of Mesa, is a unique, architecturally stunning facility located in the heart of downtown Mesa. Arizona's largest arts center is home to four theaters, five art galleries, and 14 art studios. Guests, patrons, and students come to Mesa Arts Center to enjoy the finest live entertainment and performances, world- class visual art exhibitions, and outstanding arts education classes. The Mesa Arts Center mission is to inspire people through engaging arts experiences that are diverse, accessible, and relevant. Mesa Arts Center has received numerous awards and accolades including the "2010 Arts Organization of the Year," by the Arts & Business Council of Greater Phoenix; the "2011 Best Venue to See National Acts" Best of Phoenix New Times; "2012 Best Arts Center" Critic's Choice azcentral.com, and most recently "2012 Venue of Excellence" by the International Association of Venue Managers. The 2012-2013 Performing Live Series is sponsored by Arizona Commission on the Arts. For more information, visit mesaartscenter.com.

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