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Who Were The Big Winners At One Spark?

Rethreaded / Facebook

Over 50,000 votes were cast at the One Spark festival this past week for projects falling into four distinct categories: art, technology, science and music. They announced who took home the most votes in each category at the closing ceremony on Sunday, and we have these profiles of the top winners:

Category: Art

Top Voted: Rethreaded

Rethreaded is a non-profit organization created by founder Kristen Keen to help those affected by the sex trade by fostering relationships. As well as being the winner of the art category, and they were the most voted for project overall.

“We are fighting a business that exploits,” says Keen, “we’re trying to fight it with a business that brings healing a dignity.”

Keen started a T-shirt upcycling company where they train women who have been affected by the sex trade to make different products out of donated shirts.

They work with a local rehabilitation organization called The City Rescue Mission to help bring women to Rethreaded. Once the women have completed their rehabilitation cycle, they can work for the organization, learn how to make new things out of old T-shirts, and learn life skills they can use in the future.

At One Spark, Keen was very surprised by the response from the community.

“Being part of this event was so amazing”, she says, “the people were so open and friendly, and the chance to connect with so many different people really made the experience worth it.”

Rethreaded received the most money from the crowd fund, taking home $6,768. Keen says winning the money is still very surreal.

“We made a couple plans, but really had no idea what was going to happen.”

Rethreaded is starting another training period in June, and will use the money earned from One Spark to help buy supplies for the women they will be training this summer.

Category: Technology

Top Voted: The Wall

Credit State of the Re:Union
"The Wall" was created by State of the Re:Union host Al Letson.

“The Wall” was the creation of Al Letson, host of NPR's award-winning State of the Re:Union. With the most votes in his category, he received $3,466.29 to put toward his project. “The Wall” is a public media delivery system - after assembled, it will create a human-sized iPad which can be used by several people at once to access public media content.  

“The great thing about the project is that it travels,” Letson says. "it goes into communities and doesn’t wait for people to find it.”

Letson wants to put it in public places where groups of people can interact with it. He hopes to use it along with State of the Re:Union to find ways to reach out to different communities and bring the information to them.

Overall, One Spark was a very positive experience for Letson, whose venue at MOCA drew in big crowds.  

"I thought that seeing all the people downtown connecting in ways they normally don’t was a total win for the city."

With the winnings, Letson can recoup what he spent on preparing for One Spark, but he isn’t sure what the future holds for the project.

“We were assuming we would have enough money to spark the project”, he says, “the artists who made it all happen did not benefit from this the way that they should have.”

Category: Science

Top Voted: Tiger Trails

Credit Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Concept art for the Tiger Trails exhibit.

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens' "Tiger Trails" project brought in the most votes in the Science category. The creator behind this project is Dan Maloney, the Zoo's deputy director.

“Tiger Trails” is a series of reinforced trails and exhibits for tigers at the Zoo. They will create a network of paths that will allow tigers to leave those enclosures, and move through and around the new Asia exhibit.

“I think what we want to do is provide the animals with more choice and freedom,” Maloney says. “I think it’s time to give the big cats a chance to patrol, because that’s what they do in the wild.”

The Zoo is opening its new 2 ½ acre area in spring 2014 to celebrate their 100th anniversary. With the $4,184 of the crowd fund “Tiger Trails” received, they are planning on having the trail system travel around the new exhibit.

During One Spark, “Tiger Trails” were set up at the Main Library. Maloney says he was impressed by the cross-section of people that came to downtown Jacksonville, and that he is walking away from the event with a positive experience.

“We were overwhelmed and really excited. The zoo was privileged and honored to be a part of it. We were also very humbled by people’s engagement in our ideas.”

Category: Music

Top Voted: Fathom Sphere

Credit Fathom Sphere / Facebook
Members of Fathom Sphere perform at One Spark.

Fathom Sphere is a collaborative community of artists who are passionate about preserving the heart of artistic expression. They are driven by dance, art, music, and poetry.

During One Spark, the group came together outside of Chamblin’s Uptown, and performed live on the streets of Jacksonville. They received $2,509.43 from the crowd fund.

The group was not available to comment on their winnings.