2022 Art Shanty Projects

Our 2022 Program

Bdé Umáŋ / Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, MN
January 15 – February 6, 2022

After taking a pandemic pause to public programming, WE RETURNED TO THE ICE (with some modifications)!!!

We heard from visitors, artists, performers, and staff members alike how much they needed Art Shanty Projects this winter. As one artist put it:  “Art Shanties 2022 was like a group polar plunge while wearing glitter tutus; a slightly insane and dazzling experiment in thickening communal connections as collective immunity against the harshness of winter and the real insanity of our shared pandemic/climate crisis reality.”

ASP continues to be ambitious in our desire to connect with our community and with the environment. This year we embraced all the things that came at us. We built community, encouraged sustainability, and took safety into account. We are proud to continue providing a vibrant space for artists and visitors to eagerly exchange with one another during the isolating months of winter (oh, and also during a pandemic…).

This year we operated at the peak of the omicron surge, when many other events were canceled, closed or postponed. We couldn’t have predicted this waaaaaay back in January 2021, when planning started, but knew we had to adapt and make significant changes to be “prepared for” any Covid uncertainty. We want to thank the creativity and ingenuity of our artists in their efforts, fully embracing this challenge with imagination, generosity, and positivity. This is the strength and beauty of Art Shanty Projects!


A person at an easel paints a portrait of a red shanty in the distance

We had 18 shanties and 20 performance groups featuring more than 200 artists. For the first time (that we know of) we had ice skating performances, Taiko drumming, a climate action, and what may have been the WORLD’s first wearable art car parade on ice. We had a shanty made of mycelium, a shanty dedicated to wasting time, an opportunity to smash ice in a rage room, cults, portals, and the biggest kaleidoscopes we’ve ever seen! 

From Artistic Director Erin Lavelle in a pre-festival press release: “Through our collective experience during the pandemic and the uprising, and against the increasing threats of climate change, it’s no surprise to see the themes of sustainability, mental health and wellness, and mutual aid emerge in artists’ work this year. Artists are celebrating and embracing winter while also exploring paradise and other dimensions. Projects will be both intimate and bold offering opportunities to rock out and to reflect.”


People joyfully dance in front of a shanty shaped like a giant amp

Our official audience count was 28,000. We’re 100% confident we weren’t able to click our thumbs fast enough during busy hours so we like to say 28,000+

In our audience surveys, many noted aspects of the community vibe as their ‘favorite experiences’ including: ‘laughter everywhere’, the shanty chic fashions, general attitudes, the enthusiasm of visitors, and ‘simply being there with so many joyous and creative people.’ This is exactly what our mission is about! The art isn’t in the individual projects alone, but in the overall village atmosphere and creative exchange that they collectively create.


We update our Access Plan annually, and this year a major growth area was with artists. The open call included new accessibility requirements, and we coached all artists on how to incorporate accessibility into their project design and activities. We curated a Free Store Shanty to offer winterwear to visitors. Staff integrated accessibility notes into project didactics and visitor programs, and offered our interpreters a project orientation. We also continued past accessibility initiatives (with some expansion): ramps to shore (2 this time!), daily ASL interpreters and audio describers, kicksleds for on-ice mobility (with an expanded fleet), and alt text in all digital communications (including an update of past website images).


Art and festivals can create a lot of waste, and we remain committed to producing the most sustainable festival possible, from art making to back-of-house decisions. As in the past, all food vendors were required to have compostable and recyclable materials; we made a stronger effort to responsibly source our back of house supplies (ex. compostable hand warmers, priority of purchasing locally, etc); and a majority of shanty artists reported using materials repurposed from past projects, or ones that were crowdsourced, scavenged, gathered or purchased used. (Only one project used entirely new materials.) Most artists reported plans for their projects / materials to have future lives.


Hands hold a rainbow shanty logo enamel pin

For the first time (at least in recent history), we offered artist-designed and artist-made merchandise, including glittery shanty pride enamel pins from Gigi’s Flair Emporium, “Land Back” bandanas from Skoden Studio & Bayou and Pandemic Winter Adventure Guides designed by artists from our board and staff. We worked to source the rest of our materials from local vendors, including Rebel Ink (hats) and Minuteman Press Uptown (adventure guides).

2022 Photo Gallery