One little spark of inspiration
Is at the heart of all creation.
Right at the start of everything that’s new,
One little spark, lights up for you.
Those words from one of my all time favorite Disney attractions, Journey Into Imagination (the orignal version, not the current one), play in my brain at the most unlikely times. They could also be the theme song of the One Spark movement. The world’s first crowd-funding festival took place in Jacksonville, FL April 17-21, 2013. Downtown Jacksonville played host to almost 900 creators, offering them the opportunity to pitch their ideas with $250,000 in guaranteed funding. Each creator was given an id number and visitors were then able to vote for the projects they would most like to see receive funds.
I had a chance to be a part of this event, thanks to Betty Poole, creator of the website, BiblioConnection. Betty’s goal is connect readers, authors, book collectors, and book sellers, with a focus on independent writers, but her dreams don’t stop there. With a real passion of the arts, Betty would like to create a home in Jacksonville for artists from all media — painters, musicians, sculptors, writers — can come together for workshops, showcase their work, use private studios, and hold special events. Betty sent out an invitation to all BiblioConnection members to join her
at One Spark, either in person or virtually through video messages or displayed books. As far outside my comfort zone as this was, I jumped at the chance to get my name out there to new readers.
I spent a few hours with Betty on Friday and Saturday, talking with anyone who would stop at our table, sharing with them the vision on BiblioConnection as well as information on my writing. Betty and I hit it off right away and I am so happy that I went. It was interesting how many of our visitors mentioned their own books and shared about their writing journey.
When I wasn’t hanging out at the BiblioConnection table, I wandered among the other creators, intrigued by the ideas they had to share. I saw some incredibly talented artists and muscians, someone hoping to raise funds to buy her own food truck (she had tasty shrimp and grits), a collective called Fathom Sphere trying to raise money to buy a place where they can host interactive art installations and live performances, and inventors of all kinds. The weekend was truly inspiring and encouraging. In a time when it seems like there is nothing new to be created, these bright minds are showing us that the spirit of innovation is still alive and well in America.
From what I understand, One Spark will be back again next year and I highly encourage you to check it out. You can also learn more about the creators who participated this year by clicking here.