SPARK! MESA'S FESTIVAL OF CREATIVITY to Feature Austin Bike Zoo and More, 3/19-23

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SPARK! MESA'S FESTIVAL OF CREATIVITY to Feature Austin Bike Zoo and More, 3/19-23

spark! Mesa's Festival of Creativity is a free, immersive event for all ages. Held during spring break and in the heart of Cactus League Spring Training month, spark! celebrates the arts, innovation and boundless creativity through participatory activities, music, original performances, interactive art, and more.

Features of the festival will include Austin Bike Zoo, an imaginative collaboration between bike-builders, puppet-makers, and performers. Animals from the Bike Zoo menagerie that will make an appearance at the festival include a giant rideable rattlesnake bike that measures 80 feet in length, many butterflies ranging in height from 10 to 18 feet, and animated bat and owl bikes.

Performances will include spoken word and hip hop performances led by Phonetic Spit, movement and stilt-walking performance by San Francisco's Carpetbag Brigade, Pop-Up performances by Mesa Arts Center's resident companies, a zoo of Weaving the Wildcharacters in detailed frog, lizard, bird and insect costumes, and a variety of popular local and regional musical acts in Western, Rock, Blues and Jazz that will take place throughout the event.

Hands-on art making activities will include a 20-foot wide Jungle Scene Color by Number mural, two giant community-built Lego Giraffes, a make your own Glow-in-the-Dark Dragonfly, Finger Knit Jungle and Beast Your Bike workshops ($5.00) wherein participants can create attachable art that will turn their bicycles into a beast!

Art exhibitions will include an outdoor, overhead installation of dozens of iridescent and solar-powered dragonflies by Arizona artist Jeff Zischke, and 5 exhibitions in the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, including the 35th Annual Contemporary Crafts Exhibition. And, like a page out of a Dr. Suess book, the campus will be covered with colorful knitted tree sleeves created by members of the community.

Interactive projects will include the Wonder Dome by Dan Fine, a 360-degree immersive dome with an interactive system for live performance; The Amyloid Project, a new steel sculpture and performance by UrbanSTEW, which will bring complex research to life through interactive sound and dance performance; and TubberKnockers by Doug Boyd, which will offer a musical playground that invites everyone to get involved in music-making. Inside MADE Garden, conceived by Megan Flod Johnson and created entirely out of recycled materials,insect performers will guide visitors on a personal tour.

New this year, spark! After Dark on Friday and Saturday nights from 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. will include the Dance Lighthouse and Digital Light Painting by Glowing Pictures; It's You, an interactive projection piece by Karolina Sobecka; Fractured Future by Moheeb Zara, an interactive DJ/VJ installation that invites participants to change image and sound on a projection-mapped installation from a built-in DJ/VJ kiosk; and fire and glow performances bycircus artists Martin Taylor and Juggler James Reid.

All festival activities and outdoor performances are free of charge with the exception of ticketed performances in the MAC's theaters, studio sampler workshops in the MAC's arts studios orBeast Your Bike Workshops led by Austin Bike Zoo artists ($5/person). For further details visit the spark! event page at MesaArtsCenter.com.

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 "2012 Best Arts Center" by Critic's Choiceazcentral.com, and the "2012 Venue of Excellence" by the International Association of Venue Managers. For more information, visit mesaartscenter.com.

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