The Big Two Zero: Spark International Festival of Music, Media, Arts and Design turns 20

4 years ago by

A few years ago, I was asked to speak at Spark International Festival of Music, Media, Arts and Design and I was blown away by my fellow speakers, the staff and students at Wintec and this amazing festival which I had never taken the opportunity to attend before. In just a few short weeks, it will be here once again and this year promising a dynamic experience of creative visionaries from New Zealand and around the globe.

The four-day Spark festival will welcome creative visionaries from New Zealand and around the globe. Photo: Geoff Ridder

The four-day creative festival from 6-9 August is free and open to all students, Wintec alumni and the public. Spark will celebrate 20 years of existence this year which festival director Megan Lyon says is a milestone worthy of celebration and an opportunity to examine Wintec’s commitment to creativity.

“Next month, Spark will  become a new classroom for Wintec students, alumni and members of the wider community, where creative visionaries from New Zealand and around the globe gather for an intense four days of face-to-face exploration and guidance,” says Megan.

“This year, we welcome back five Wintec Media Arts graduates who are doing amazing things with their creative careers.”

Wintec graduates sharing their experience at the event are Steven Edwards from Weta Workshop and Jeff Burch, art director atConde Nast in New York, this year the graduate panel includes Ryan Delaney, creative director and co-founder at Overdose Digital­­, Voyager award winning Stuff journalist Ruby Nyika and artist Lance Harris from Melbourne. They are joined by a who’s who of creative visionaries from New Zealand, Australia and the USA.

Spark grew out of a student-led exhibition in the mid-1990s and was initiated in 1998 by Wintec Media Arts staff who pooled their resources to enable small in-class interactions with speakers from industry. Fast forward 20 years and today’s festival now attracts international and national guests to present across the creative disciplines and every year more Wintec alumni return for a week-long celebration of inspired creativity.

“We’re celebrating 20 years of this iconic festival, which continues to provide an innovative place for cross-disciplinary, inspired ways of learning.  Back when we started, collaborating across disciplines was considered a new way of working, but it’s clear now that we were onto something as this has become an industry standard,” says Megan.

Attendees are encouraged to listen to a variety of industry speakers chosen for their work in multidisciplinary areas, ask questions, experiment and put their learnings into practice in a series of hands-on workshops.

“We’ve seen global changes in the creative industries over the past 20 years, yet our core beliefs remain true,” says Megan.

“Creatives need inspired ways of learning. Sharing conversations with experienced voices in industry creates conditions where creatives learn, grow and flourish.”

The best thing is that Spark is free and open to all.

Images: Work by Emily Woollett

Follow #WintecSpark on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


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