The spark of creativity in Chattanooga will be flying in a frenzy over the next 11 days.
Spark, the arts festival formerly known as the HATCH Chatt Festival, kicks off today and will run through Sunday, April 21.
A joint venture from ArtsBuild and Chattanooga Presents, the festival styles itself as "a right brain celebration."
The schedule features artists, authors and performers known on the national stage, as well as local talents, and will be bookended by the 4 Bridges Arts Festival this weekend and the Celebration of Southern Literature next weekend.
With more than 90 events over the course of Spark’s stay in Chattanooga, it would be easy to overload both your right brain and your left brain.
To avoid a short circuit, herein are your day-by-day recommendations for the visual, performing and literary offerings:
Thursday, April 11—The Local Hero Project at Mellow Mushroom downtown at 5 p.m.: A continuous loop of local, outdoor videos made by the people on the bikes, on the trails, in the kayaks, on the adventure.
Friday, April 12—Beauty Beyond Nature and Exploring the Land at the Hunter Museum of American Art from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $9.95 for adults, $4.95 for kids: The museum’s exhibit, which will run for the duration of Spark, includes drawings, paintings and photographs all meditating on the American landscape.
Saturday, April 13—Art Car Tailgate Party and Parade at 14th Street and Main Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the 4 Bridges Arts Festival at First Tennessee Pavilion from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Block out the morning for a trip to the Southside to take in the art-exhibit-on-wheels cars made by Art120, as well as artists and schools across the country, and then watch the cars roll down Main Street. Then, head to the Chattanooga staple event: the 4 Bridges Arts Festival.
Sunday, April 14—"The Ends of Love" at Barking Legs Theater at 6 p.m., $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors: The Stephen Pelton Dance Theater has slated the Sunday performance into a packed two-week residency schedule of workshops and classes, bringing dance and theater for the heart and mind to the Scenic City.
Monday, April 15—Chattanooga Tweed Ride starting at Warehouse Row at 6 p.m.: Change up the typical Monday gym haul and bust out those fab tweed threads hidden in the closet for an hourlong jaunt downtown.
Tuesday, April 16—”A Place at the Table” at the Chattanooga Majestic Theater at 7:30 p.m., $12: Building on the conversation started by “Food Inc.,” this film turns its attention to hunger in America and the cultural, economic and social ripples the structural problem poses. Remember to bring a donation for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.
Wednesday, April 17—Jerome Meadows at the Front Gallery at 5 p.m.: With a Fulbright-Hays Award to visit Pakistan and a Brown Foundation fellowship to travel to the South of France, the Savannah-based sculptor looks to bridge the subjective and objective, the reality and the myth of life.
Thursday, April 18—"Wise Blood" at The Public Library at 7 p.m., $8: In 1979, director John Huston took on Flannery O’Connor’s novel of religion as a ticket to a great many things, and the cinematic treatment of the Southern story remains a powerful translation today, as well as a proper start to the 2013 Celebration of Southern Literature.
Friday, April 19—The Celebration of Southern Literature at the Tivoli Theatre from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., ticket prices vary: The annual festival includes readings, workshops and discussions of Southern literature and culture led by some of the foremost and most distinct voices in Southern writing.
Saturday, April 20—Spark finale at Ross’s Landing from 11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.: It wouldn’t be a true Chattanooga festival without a day full of crafts, food and music by the Tennessee River, including a performance by Australian band The Greencards and fireworks.
Sunday, April 21—"Play Along" with the CSO at the Chattanooga Market from 1 to 3 p.m., $25: Funnel the accumulated sparks of creativity into a performance with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra. That’s right—this is a chance for any and all Chattanooga musicians to play along with the professional, 60 instrument-strong orchestra.
To make your own agenda or view the full list of events, click here.