320,500 people.

That was the final count from One Spark HQ on the total number of attendees who flocked to downtown Jacksonville during this year’s six-day, live crowdfunding festival. They also reported 117,169 votes for creator projects, $93,324.45 in direct contributions to creator projects (up by 75% from last year) and 40 million impressions of the #onespark hashtag during the festival week. For more “One Spark by the Numbers,” visit Downtown Vision’s blog coverage here.

For the third year, we were thrilled for Hemming Park to serve as a main venue for creators, musicians and vendors in the heart of downtown. We hosted 14 creators, 17 musicians, 6 pop-up shows and 1 shark!

We truly enjoyed working with all of our creators and artists and congratulate each of them on a job well done. A few of them even went home with grand prizes during the One Spark closing ceremonies:

  • The Adventures of Moxie Girl, a comic book about a little girl who hated her nappy hair, won $16,423.69 as the #1 voted Education project with 1,112 votes.
  • Let’s Tile Hemming, an on-going mosaic project by Roux Arts in Hemming Park, won $907.73 as the #3 voted project in the Art category with 709 votes.
  • The Yarn Bomb Jax who adorned our trees with their non-permanent, yarn graffiti style, won $909.01 as the #2 voted Art project with 710 votes.
  • The Band Be Easy won $15,998.67 as the #1 project in Music with 773 votes.

The big winner of One Spark 2015, and the only creator to ever win two awards, was Yoga 4 Change who brought home $32,001.11! Their hard work won them both the Top-Voted Award and Juried Award in the Social Good category. Their program promotes healthy living and fosters self-confidence among veterans, inmates, at-risk youth and those suffering from substance abuse through the teachings and practices of yoga. We are lucky to have them as a provider of free yoga classes in Hemming Park every Monday at 10:30am (Family Yoga), Tuesday at 2pm and Thursday at 4pm. You can learn more about that on our calendar page.

Many creators are still accepting contributions online, so visit the One Spark website to find projects you liked or projects you didn’t get a chance to see. Your contribution could make the difference they need to bring their idea to life!

Here is a full-list of the creators you saw in Hemming Park this year:

Spark Attack
Project #22000
The Adventures of Moxie Girl
Project #22423
MAP: Mechanical Advantage Program
Project #22083
Sally Ann Fashion Truck
Project #22169
Hemming Park Green Market
Project #22261
WicketSmart.me
Project #21896
Let’s Tile Hemming Park
Project #21992
Happy Cow Cuisine Vegan and Vegetarian Meals
Project #21925
Solar Powered Clothing
Project #21950
Fit Tribe (JaxFit)
Project #21936
Art for Jacksonville Youth and Beyond
Project #21948
Yoga 4 Change
Project #21743
#RepurposeJax (Eco Relics)
Project #21879
The Yarn Bomb
Project #21863

A Jaxson (And Their Market) by Mike Field
March 17, 2015

Jaxsons Night Market, presented by Community First Credit Union, is a monthly open-air market featuring artisan food producers, local farmers, a craft beer garden, the best street food vendors in the city and the only fashion truck roundup in town. The market is for Jaxsons, by Jaxsons and celebrates the kinds of unique small businesses that give our community its distinct flavor.

Anyone can go to “Anytown, USA” and find homogenous chain stores. However, to get a true sense of how unique a community is one must experience the sights, sounds and foods only made available from the creative talents of local, independent small business owners.

Downtown needs more of these kinds of creative entrepreneurs to give the neighborhood its own unique identity. If you live or work Downtown, you should be able to buy things like fresh produce, meats, cheeses, spices, baked goods and prepared meals without having to get into your car and drive elsewhere. We also have many fashion retailers at the market, so ladies can shop for high quality dresses and accessories that you just can’t find in department stores. Jaxsons acts as an incubator to bring the kinds of businesses that downtown lacks and help them find ways to open a permanent presence.  

The philosophy of Hemming and Jaxsons are intrinsically synonymous with each other. The term ‘Jaxsons’ is a nickname for a person that lives in Jacksonville. Everyone in Jacksonville has a place at Hemming Park and every Jaxson has a role to play in helping downtown become a success.

Hemming Park is at the centerpiece of a larger effort to transform downtown Jacksonville from a vertical suburb into a unique, walkable and thriving urban neighborhood. The night market exists to bring both people and businesses downtown. Jaxsons Night Market is coming up on March 19th, and is about as good of an excuse as any to come downtown and see how Hemming Park is helping breathe life into the heart of our city.

The Sweet Spot by “Sweet” Pete
Feb. 19, 2015

We at Sweet Pete’s have been thrilled with the outpouring of support for our new location in Downtown Jacksonville.  One year ago, Allison and I wanted to move our business. We had outgrown our Pearl St.  location — we could not keep up with additional demand. Sweet Pete’s was going into its fifth year in Springfield, and we remained committed to serving the urban core. Allison and I looked to downtown as there were limited options in Springfield.

Sweet Pete’s saw opportunity in relocating to Hemming Park. The park — being close to MOCA, the main library and the Skyway — made it a good fit for our field trip business. We were especially interested in the old Seminole Club. Allison and I envisioned a bright candy attraction in what was, at the time, a dark corner of downtown. Sweet Pete’s had built its business on field trips, classes, and events. The old Seminole Club was a 23,000-square-foot building with room for thousands of varieties of candy, rooms for events and classes, as well as a restaurant. What’s more, the building was adjacent to Hemming Park. We envisioned a perfect synergy right in the heart of downtown.

Looking ahead, we are excited to work with Hemming Park. Allison and I would like to work with them to create and support programming and events that families can enjoy. We can see a major destination that encompasses all of the surrounding businesses and institutions right in the heart of downtown.