2022 Open Call for Performances + Art Actions

Deadline for proposals: 11:59pm CST – July 15, 2021

Art Shanty Projects is currently seeking winter enthusiasts and creative adventurers to propose art actions and performances for our 2022 On-Ice Program. We invite music-makers, poets, scientists, dancers, puppeteers, writers, outdoors-people, conversationalists, activists, athletes, storytellers, etc. to propose new and innovative ways to engage artistically with the public in the social context of a village on a frozen lake. 

We are open to many types of activities: dance, plays, arty sporting events, happenings, games, musical performances, temporary sculpture, actions, puppet shows, artful haircuts, advice booths, and more.

The 2022 On-Ice Program will take place on Bde Unma (Lake Harriet) from 10am – 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, January 18 – February 9, 2022.

*This call is for performing artists only. The call for shanty artists is available HERE.


Art Shanty Projects intentionally creates an impermanent art village on Minnesota lake ice amid changing climate and environment. With a spirit of embracing challenges through creativity, we support an ecosystem that inspires everyone to create and participate in art, thrive in winter, and build community.


Since 2004 Art Shanty Projects has created joyful winter art experiences for grown adults and kids of all ages. Inspired by pop-up ice fishing villages, we use the frozen lake as a public platform to create a temporary creative community, immersing participants in a colorful village filled with interactive installations and performances. With few regulations and no building codes – and against intense and unpredictable winter weather conditions – artists of all career stages and disciplines have the freedom and challenge to create wild and wonderful work that can’t be experienced anywhere else. Together, with tens of thousands of annual visitors, we celebrate, champion, and embrace the extreme winter sport of art making. 

Art Shanty Projects is deeply committed to social, racial, gender, and economic justice. Our community of participants – artists, visitors, sponsors, staff, and board – includes BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), FTW (Femme, Trans, Women) and queer (LGBTQIA2S+) individuals, and people with disabilities. ASP is committed to building accessibility into the fabric of how we do art and what we expect from artists. We embrace the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in our commitment to assuring that all members of our community can participate as fully as possible in our arts events, programs, meetings, facilities and communications. 

Read more about our newly revised vision and guiding principles here!


Art Shanty Projects is a joyful expression of public art, and we have a commitment to prioritize public health in our operations. As the trajectory of the pandemic is still unknown, and in the spirit of abundant caution and love for our community, we are offering an EXTERIOR-ONLY EXPERIENCE for visitors in 2022. 

We ask that all applicants remain covid-conscious with their rehearsing, staffing and audience engagement. This may include: wearing masks and physically distancing and not sharing air with unvaccinated people and/or people beyond their pods. At the time of this posting we plan to have all artists and audiences wear masks for the On-Ice Program. We will be in discussion collectively about any further decisions that impact the shanty community and the public programming as we approach the winter season.


We have three types of spaces to offer: 

  1. The town square – this is a large open space in the middle of the village, which may include a stage-like area for more presentational projects
  2. Pathways and in-between spaces (performing anywhere in and around plowed paths and areas between shanties in the village)
  3. At/near a specific shanty project, in coordination or collaboration with the shanty artists. Please note that a proposal for a project to happen in coordination with a specific shanty is subject to acceptance of both projects.

Depending on weather conditions projects may be required to perform on shore if the ice conditions are not safe.


Everyone is eligible, because everyone is an artist! We are creating a community environment for co-learning. Artists are not expected to have experience with everything we ask about, but should demonstrate an eagerness to engage and develop new skills and be open to new perspectives and ideas. There are no application fees. Projects that involve selling anything or the exchange of legal currency will not be accepted.

Project Stipends

The total stipend amount for 2022 is up to $800 for performing artists and teams. The amount awarded will be determined by the total number of projects selected and their individual plans/needs, as outlined in the proposals. 

We recommend the following guidelines when considering your budget (though we understand there are other factors than time that you might take into consideration, such as number of people involved, material costs, etc):

$800 – an activity that lasts an entire day, two half days, or once every weekend
$400 – an activity that lasts a half day, or for two shorter periods over two days
$200 – activities that are short, and happen only once

Art Shanty Projects does its best to support artists fiscally and logistically. In addition to the stipend, we provide direct production support throughout the process, as well as additional resources for discounted materials and resource sharing through our partner organizations. 


June 15, 6:30-8pm: ARTIST FORUM: PROGRAM CHANGES AND APPLICATION PROCESS (online – register in advance here!)
June 23, 6:30-8pm: ARTIST FORUM: COLLABORATION MIXER (online – register in advance here!) 
July 15: Deadline for proposal submissions (midnight CST) 
August: Artists selected and announced; contracts sent
September 8, 6-8pm: Meeting for all Shanty Artists and Performers (SAVE THIS DATE in case your proposal is selected; this will be a mandatory meeting for at least one member of your team); Paperwork due at this time (contract, community agreement, leave no trace policy)
October 2: Artist Study Hall (virtual; optional) – co-learning, ask questions, share tips
November: Project production meeting (virtual; will be individually scheduled); 
December: Final artist content due (images + project descriptions for website and print materials)

January 5: All-artist check-in meeting, 6-7pm (virtual, mandatory)
January 15 – February 6: On-Ice Program, every Saturday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm
February 3: Member Night on Ice – evening, TBD (optional)
February 19: Wrap Party – time TBD (optional)


Artists should take the following guidelines into consideration when designing or developing an idea to submit a successful proposal. All selected artists will receive consultation and resources for best practices from staff and past shanty artists to ensure a successful project.

1. Environment. 

  • The design of the project should take the environment and variable winter weather conditions into consideration, including wind, snow, extreme cold, rain, etc. 
  • Generators are not allowed at any time. We recommend using the principle of “low tech, high impact” to creatively make your project ‘work’, which may involve employing people power (think: bike-generated contraptions, manual levers or cranks, etc.). If the project requires other types of power, options include solar power, deep cycle batteries, and renewable methods for charging. Note that these options may not work perfectly in extremely cold weather conditions.
  • Prioritize, whenever possible, using repurposed materials. Also consider the future life of your materials (can they be repurposed again or recycled?)
  • We welcome projects that include sound elements, and will work to place chosen projects in appropriate places, but ask that artists respect neighboring projects.

2. Set-up – for projects that contain physical elements only (may not apply to all projects)

  • Elaborate set-up is not recommended. It’s not a simple task to assemble things on a windy, cold, frozen lake while wearing mittens!
  • The lake sees intense winds which places incredible strain and wear on structures. Design your project to minimize the chance of materials falling off, blowing away, and being scattered as litter and/or frozen into the ice. 
  • The project should be designed to be physically accessible to people interacting at different heights (adults, children, people in wheelchairs, etc), which may include designing interactive elements at various levels, having a ramp incorporated into your structure, etc. We will review specific requirements with selected artists.

3. Safety

  • There are certain things that are not allowed for safety reasons, including ice carousels, holes cut into the ice for swimming, etc. If you are unsure about your proposed activity, please contact us with questions before submitting it.

4. Logistics

  • To ensure the successful scheduling and placement of your project amid a vibrant festival, we will need to understand your site parameters, project duration, and the number of times you plan to enact it.

4. Community

  • Our festival is open to all ages and abilities. Elements should be appealing to and appropriate for adults, some of whom might be looking after children. 
  • All artists, staff, board members and volunteers will sign a community agreement, which is intended to support an inclusive space. It includes a commitment to respecting pronouns, using gender neutral language with strangers, getting consent to take photos, holding ourselves accountable to one another when we cause or witness harm, etc.


All proposals will be reviewed by a small panel of professional artists, curators, arts administrators and a representative from the Art Shanty Projects Board of Directors based on the following criteria:

  • Vision: An exciting idea with adherence to Art Shanty Projects artistic goals and with a sound plan for audience engagement.
  • Design and Feasibility: Clear understanding of design/building requirements and evidence of capacity to successfully build the structure, staff the project during public hours, and engage with the community of participants (including artists, visitors, volunteers, staff and board members).

Tips for a Strong Proposal

  • Jurors read a lot of proposals. Help them out by answering each question directly and plainly. 
  • Do not assume jury members know you or are familiar with your work. Make sure if you reference past projects (even if they’re Art Shanty projects), you include them in your work samples.
  • Do not assume that just because you have done your project before, it will get chosen again. Make a strong case for it! Also, adapt it to the new guidelines!
  • Share a draft of your written proposal with someone else to read. Ask them to verbally describe your project back to you. This might help identify what is clear, and what needs more definition.


Please visit our FAQs

Attend one of our Artist Forums
(register in advance, zoom link will be sent closer to event date)
Program Changes & Application Process – June 15, 6:30pm
Collaboration Mixer – June 23, 6:30pm

Download our guidelines + application questions prior to working on your proposal: