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One Spark, Art Walk Collaborate For Downtown 'Spark Walk'

Beatrice Sanchez

Jacksonville’s crowd funding festival is back today under a new name and new terms.

Spark Walk is a combination of One Spark and the monthly downtown Art Walk.

While the event has been shortened from five days to just two, Downtown Vision CEO Jake Gordon said organizers want to maintain the festive vibe without compromising the showcase of innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit, which were the original inspiration for One Spark.

And new to this year's event, a jury will vote on this year’s winners instead of visitors voting for their favorites.

“We do still have the jury because we were really going for quality,” he said. “We wanted to let the cream rise to the top of the entrepreneurial community.”

Gordon said the jury also picked the 66 creators, who can be found on Laura Street from Adams Street up to the Jacksonville Landing. Meanwhile, Art Walk vendors will be spread throughout downtown.

One place people can visit is the shared workspace CoLabJax, at the Jacksonville Landing. CoLabJax spokesman Chris Lavan said he understands the One Spark transformation.

“It would be nice if it was a four or five day festival,” he said. “But you know everything cost money and combining it with Art Walk makes a ton of sense.”

Art Walk vendors are also embracing this year's format. Jewelry creator Meredith Arceneaux said people who typically wouldn’t come to Art Walk can see her creations.

“This daytime traffic is great too,” she said. “More people coming out that than would typically come out.”

Spark Walk ends tonight at 10, followed by Spark Walk After Dark, which features live music, a skateboard ramp and live murals. One Spark continues with a business workshop Thursday. Tickets are $40.

For more information, visit the One Spark web site.

Beatrice Sanchez is a senior at the University of North Florida. She will graduate this year with a bachelor's degree in communication with a concentration on media production. Originally from Manila, Philippines, she moved to Jacksonville four years ago to finish school. She spends most of her time at school or work, and if she ever does get free time, she enjoys watching re-runs of "Grey's Anatomy" or taking pictures of surfers out at the beach.
Farryn James is a senior at the University of North Florida majoring in communications with a concentration in multimedia journalism. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Farryn returned to school after five years working in the Jacksonville Public Library system.