Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

One Spark Festival Growing to Europe; Jacksonville Group Will Lead an Event in Berlin in September

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

One Spark Festival Growing to Europe; Jacksonville Group Will Lead an Event in Berlin in September

Article excerpt

Byline: Roger Bull

One Spark is growing beyond its Jacksonville birthplace ... way beyond. The same group that will put on One Spark here next month is going to do it again in Germany.

One Spark Berlin is planned for mid-September, and its organizers have their eyes on far more cities to come.

The idea is the same: Creators bring a wide range of projects hoping for notice and funding. Jacksonville's One Spark, for example, will have $310,000 given the creators chosen by festivalgoers and a pool of $3.25 million that's been pledged for investment in projects with financial potential.

The announcement came Thursday evening at a celebration at the Florida Theatre looking back at last year's festival and ahead to this year's.

Elton Rivas, co-founder of One Spark, said that ever since last April's inaugural festival, he's been contacted by cities throughout the United States and elsewhere.

"They've asked both what it's going to take to get a One Spark there, to how they can do it themselves," he said.

He spent time last summer in Dublin, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Berlin.

"In Berlin, there was a gentleman who had been clamoring for us to come and talk," Rivas said. "He wanted to talk about what it would take to get a One Spark there.

"In a very similar way to how One Spark started here, we talked over a dinner of meat and cheese on bread, a true Berliner dinner. The more we talked, the more it made sense."

So five months after they finish the Jacksonville festival, they'll do it again.

Rivas said they'll be working with a strong group in Berlin, but the Jacksonville group will lead it. The main thing is to create a platform that can be replicated in multiple cities.

"If we want this to be a global brand within five years, we have to be able to create a blueprint for other markets," he said. "We can't do this in 40 cities."

Joe Sampson, executive director of the crowd-funding festival, said the Berlin festival will be smaller than Jacksonville's: About 200 projects, compared with the 632 here, up from 406 in last year's inaugural festival. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.