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Jacksonville Music History Tour Smartphone App

What started as a class project for a graduate history class at the University of North Florida has evolved into a clever One Spark project. Co-creators Josh Salestrom, Bryan Higham and Tony Rossodivito are the guys behind Jacksonville Music History Tour Smartphone App, a smartphone application to direct users on a tour detailing Jacksonville’s musical heritage.

“The sites included represent a period that ranges from the early 20th century until the late 1970s,” Salestrom said. “It will feature such notable names as James Weldon Johnson, his brother John Rosamond Johnson, Ray Charles, Woody Guthrie, The Beatles and Lynyrd Skynyrd, among others.”

Salestrom, Higham and Rossodivito have enlisted the help of some local organizations for research assistance.

“We’ve been working closely with the staff at the Ritz Theatre & Museum, who have been incredibly helpful and supportive in helping learn more about the area,” Salestrom said. “The Stetson Kennedy Foundation has aided with the Woody Guthrie aspect as well.”

Throughout their research, the trio found that the area’s music history isn’t confined to a single genre.

“There are important sites that represent everything from social anthems to folk music to rock ’n’ roll,” Salestrom said. “By highlighting these aspects, we hope to reconnect Jacksonville to its musical heritage."




Fridge Barista

According to a study by the National Coffee Association, more than 75 percent of U.S. adults drink coffee and 58 percent reported drinking coffee daily in 2012. The point of these factoids? People loooooooove coffee. Enter Mitchell Sheffield’s invention: Fridge Barista Cold Brewed Coffee Maker.

“Cold-brewed coffee has been around for a while. It gained popularity in the 1960s,” Sheffield said. “Cold-brewed coffee is very different than hot-brewed coffee that has been placed in the refrigerator. Hot brewing releases more fats and oils from the beans that cold brewing just doesn’t.”

Sheffield actually began his Fridge Barista journey before One Spark was even announced.

“Even while working on a shoestring and start-up budget, Fridge Barista has strived to have all of our FDA-safe recyclable plastic components be made and assembled in the U.S.A.,” Sheffield said.

The Fridge Barista apparatus can be used much like an automatic drip coffeemaker is used for hot-brewed coffee. It's made of recyclable plastic, it's dishwasher safe and has a self-contained filter — and includes iced coffee recipes.

Over the past decade, drinking a cup of joe served over ice has become much more acceptable. Starbucks does it, Dunkin Donuts offers it and most mom-and-pop shops know their customers demand it. But what about patrons who want to make iced coffee at home? Sheffield saw a niche and decided to fill it.

“When One Spark’s timeline matched up with Fridge Barista's timeline, it became a great place to officially launch and seek capital investment to increase sales and gross profits while maximizing contribution margins via economies of scale.”



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. 




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


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.”



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. 



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


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


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


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