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One Spark Opening Ceremony


One Spark 2013 officially kicks off at 6 p.m. April 17 with the opening ceremony in Hemming Plaza.

• Featured musical guest, the SUNBEARS! performs at 6 p.m.

• Jacksonville Jaguars D-Line and Roar Cheerleaders 

• Dozens of street performers and hundreds of creator projects

• The One Spark Food Village on Laura Street

• Learn about voting, the entertainment district and all things One Spark



One Spark 101

One Spark has officially started with the first creators pitching their projects at stages around Downtown, while others welcome visitors to their venues.

Here are a few things you need to know for a smooth One Spark experience.



Many parking meters downtown are bagged, so don't count on street parking. Plus several streets will be closed.

Your best bet is to park for free at the Prime Osborne Convention Center and take a free Skyway ride to Hemming Plaza. The Skyway will run until 3 a.m. on the nights of April 17-19, 8 a.m.-3 a.m. April 20 and 8 a.m.-6 p.m. April 21.

You can also park at EverBank Field and take a free shuttle to One Spark.


The Bridges

The Mathews Bridge continues to be worked on and will be closed after 7 p.m. April 17-19 and all day on April 20. It is usually open on Sundays.

The Main Street Bridge will be closed 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m April 20 for a fundraiser by The Florida Theatre, the Rock the Bridge Gala.


Download the One Spark App

Don’t forget to download the One Spark app in the App Store and Google Play Store to have all the important One Spark info at your fingertips during the festival. This is also the easiest way to vote for projects. You can also access the mobile site from any web-enabled device.



One Spark is providing all attendees with Wi-Fi to use throughout the Creator Zone and Entertainment District. They can't guarantee uptime or speeds, but the coverage will help Creators and attendees stay connected.

On your mobile phone, tablet or other Wi-Fi enabled device, search for a new network. Select “ONESPARK->FREE WIFI” and wait for the device to connect.    More


Need a Reason to Go to One Spark?

One Spark, an unprecedented crowdfunded celebration of all kinds of innovation, launches April 17.

If you haven't made plans to go at some point over the five days, read a few of my reasons to go here, with help from local artist Dolf James and One Spark Executive Director Elton Rivas.

I hope to see you there. Keep an eye on this blog for coverage of the event April 17-21.   More


Pandora's Box

Armed with brushes and paint, Chance Isbell and Morrison Pierce aim to stain a permanent mark on society.

“It is an awareness that the world is changing rapidly and headed into a very dark future unless we wake up the masses and stand together against it,” said Chance Isbell, co-creator of Pandora’s Box. “The reality is frightening, but nobody should be afraid to face it,” he said.

Isbell and Pierce will create a series of paintings that will envelop an eight-foot cube of polycarbonate mounted securely onto a wooden frame. They will be painting from inside the cube.

“I think the overall theme of the box is to bring fundamentals about our perception of the world into the open for people to be social about,” Isbell said.

Over the span of five days, this vision will come to life slowly while Isbell and Pierce manipulate their work space as densely as possible so eventually the view of them painting is going to be blocked out completely.

“When it starts, I'm assuming the two of us will be visually the reason people are stopping and watching, just ants in jar diligently working away to tell a story with pigment,” Isbell said.

But, the work itself should overtake the walls and ultimately make both creators no longer the interest to spectators, he said. There should be a point in the installation where folks are going to have to make an effort to see if the creators are even inside the box painting. 

Originally, Pierce set out with the idea to actually “live” inside of a Plexiglas cube that was locked from the outside, David Blaine style, Isbell said.  

“I suggested we could do something in that space simultaneously by bringing the walls to life with things we’re both equally passionate about,” Isbell said.

He said both artists decided the idea was best applied to the interior of the structure in reverse, similar to an animation cell and seen the …   More


Tiger Trail

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has entered One Spark with an innovative tiger exhibit.

The exhibit features a fortified trail system allowing tigers to react to their natural instincts of scent-marking and hunting, said Tony Vecchio, executive director of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

He said the new tiger trail will be the most natural habitat that zoos have ever constructed.

Vecchio said that he has seen several zoos build bigger and better exhibits for big cats, but the cats still behave like cats. Anyone who has a house cat knows that cats mostly sleep all day, he said.

In most zoos, a tiger will come out and patrol his exhibit, do a little scent-marking, and, after making sure there is no threat or food, will find a cozy and shady place to sleep all day, Vecchio said. In the wild, tigers are always on the hunt, spending a lot of time patrolling their territory and making sure there are no rivals, he said.

The invention here is two tiger exhibits with lots for the animals to do, Vecchio said.

The tiger trails feature a closed fortified system that winds through the entire exhibit, so when the tigers are put in the trail, they are able to explore and patrol their territory, he said. Rotating the animals from one exhibit to the other will give them a new habitat to scent-mark and sniff other tigers.

In addition, the exhibit is designed to allow other animals such as exotic pigs, or babirusas, to access the trail during the day, Vecchio said. Once the babirusas are back in their own exhibit, the tigers will have access to the trail to smell the prey species, enabling them to display hunting behavior.

Parts of the trail twist around other exhibits to provide olfactory, visual and auditory stimulation, allowing the tigers to display more natural behaviors than they would in other zoo exhibits, he said.

The zoo is going to start off with six to eight tigers, Vecchio said.

“We expect one of the tiger groups will be the …   More


Love Brigade

After being away from Jacksonville for more than 10 years, Alyssa Key is returning, and she's bringing her clothing line with her. Key is using One Spark to help launch the process of moving her business from Brooklyn, N.Y. Love Brigade and its creators have been on a one-year sabbatical, and Key is ready to kick back into gear.

“For me personally I really want to kick back into gear with One Spark. It is such an awesome opportunity that I have never seen in Jacksonville in my lifetime,” Key said.

A former Douglass Anderson School of the Arts student, Key went to college in England and spent the last seven years in New York City. Love Brigade had multiple stores in New York, and the products were sold around the world. This time around, Key wants to stay away from having her own stores and put the focus on collaborating with other local artists.

“I really want to curate and form a bigger fashion community. It is here, but people don’t have resources or access,” said Key.

Jacksonville models, photographers, show coordinators and make-up artists have worked with Love Brigade.

Her goal is to have a new collection up by the end of 2013. She describes the line as moving from being a little darker to fun and playful, but still very edgy. She will also add a children’s line called Baby Brigade.

“I made it kind of an internal policy when we started the company that we would only do things in Jacksonville that were charity related or supported the arts. We’ve stuck to that,” Key said.

Key describes Love Brigade’s audience as an army of passionate people. Through Love Brigade, Key strives to inspire and work with other artists who are passionate about their work. 



Tasty Cakes, Etc.

It’s cakes, mini pies and anything under the sun on Jamie McConnell Ray’s Tasty Cakes, Etc., menu. The 31-year-old Jacksonville native’s love for the culinary arts started in high school, but didn’t become a business until years later.

For two years, Ray has been running Tasty Cakes, Etc., from her home on the Northside. She wants to become mobile with a food truck, making her products more accessible to the public. Food trucks can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $85,000.

“I would love to have at least two store fronts and have the truck for festivals,” Ray said, when asked where she sees her business 10 years from now.

She hopes Tasty Cakes, Etc., will contribute to the renewal of Jacksonville and help boost the Northside area. When a University of Florida co-worker told her about One Spark, she thought it was a great idea for Jacksonville.

“I think One Spark is going to be a great spinning point for Jacksonville to put us on the map,” Ray said. “Most people just pass through instead of staying. I’m hoping that Jacksonville will be a place to stay.”



The Birth of One Spark

Back in September 2012, Folio Weekly ran a cover story profiling One Spark Executive Director Elton Rivas and explaining the scope of the event he and his colleagues were planning. Seven months later, all their work is about to come to fruition.

Read Claire Goforth's story about how Rivas and One Spark cofounders Dennis Eusebio and Varick Rosete hatched the idea and cultivated it to reality.   More



St. Louis has the Gateway Arch, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, and Chicago has “the bean.”

The Emerging Design Professionals, an organization for Northeast Florida architects and interior designers in their first decade of practice, would like for Jacksonville to have its own popular photo backdrop, so they’re hosting an open-entry design competition as part of One Spark 2013.

Submissions for “Pose-in-Place: A Competition to Create a Photo-op for Downtown Jax” are being accepted through April 15 for display at the project’s One Spark media wall at the Jacksonville Landing.

Competitors must submit a photo of the Jacksonville Riverwalk, superimposed with an image of people posing next to their proposed structure or design. Entry requirements are detailed on the project Facebook page, but they’re intentionally simple to encourage widespread participation.

“We wanted to do something that would be less architectural that any member of society could participate in,” said Brandon Pourch, vice president of Emerging Design Professionals and the One Spark project cosponsor. “All you really need is a good idea and a little bit of Photoshop skills.”  

All entries will be posted on the Pose-in-Place Facebook page April 17 to coincide with the first day of One Spark, and the design that receives the most “likes” will win the competition and be in the running to receive potential crowdfunding. About half of any funds received from One Spark would go to the winning designer, and the rest would go toward promoting the project for further development, Pourch said.

“Ideally, the best case scenario would be that we would raise enough money to actually implement the structure or the winning design,” Pourch said. “We’re more hoping to raise public awareness about design and about possible interventions along the Riverwalk that would improve our …   More


Old Shoe Repair Gets a Rock ’n' Roll Makeover

For one night only, an abandoned shoe repair shop downtown will be transformed into an underground rock club.

Jacksonville’s underground music scene will bring life to an empty shop downtown for the First Annual One Spark Barn Burner April 19.

Original Fuzz, an innovative musical instrument accessory company run by two local musicians, Zach Leaver and Lee McAlilly, is producing the free event which will feature performances by Opiate Eyes, Memphibians, The Lifeforms, This Frontier Needs Heroes, Katie Grace Helow, Dinosaur Blood, Phenomenology, Pigeon Boys, Zach Lever’s 30th Birthday and DJ E. Lee Indie Endeavor.

“We design products for guitar players,” McAlilly said. “We wanted to do sort of a SXSW style event where bands play in unlikely places.”

Leaver and McAlilly envisioned the One Spark Barn Burner in celebration of One Spark, a five-day crowd-funding event for creative thinkers April 17-21. One Spark is the first of its kind to be held in Jacksonville or anywhere else in the world.

Original Fuzz is one of the many artists, entrepreneurs and creators taking part in One Spark.