one spark

03 May, 2013

What can I say about One Spark? It was a transformative few days for downtown Jacksonville. The "world's crowdfunding festival" was a hard idea to explain. What does that even mean? I'll let you read about the ins and outs of it, should you be so curious. For now, I will say that the idea seemed ambitious and undefined and cumbersome when I first encountered it. But I suppose that's how all new things sound, even if they're based on old things?

I don't think any of us really knew what One Spark would truly mean until the streets closed, the "creators" set up, the bands started playing, the drinks started flowing. In my mind, the success of One Spark did not live in ideas being funded, but in ideas being shared. For a few short days, Jacksonville seemed like Paris or New Orleans or any other city in possession of a culture so big, it cannot be contained in buildings, but must spill out onto the street.

By concentrating so much under one banner, in the confines of our downtown streets, One Spark revealed a vibrant culture of passion, creativity, and quirkiness that is otherwise obscured by a city that sprawls out. I ventured out on several occasions to watch the people, eat from the food trucks, hear the bands play, and to be witness to the myriad passions igniting the creators. Every day and night were unique experiences.

What can I say about One Spark? My dear friend summed it up best: "I miss it." 


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