2024 Call for Performances + Art Actions

2024 Call for Performances + Art Actions

UPDATE 7/14/23: The deadline for the Open Calls has passed. Thank you to everyone who submitted proposals!

Did you miss the Artist Forum on June 20? View the slides!


Art Shanty Projects is currently seeking winter enthusiasts and creative adventurers to propose art actions and performances for our 2024 On-Ice Program (our 20th anniversary, hooray!). 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, creative sporting events, happenings, games, musical performances, temporary sculpture, puppet shows, artful haircuts, advice booths, and more.

The 2024 On-Ice event will take place on Bdé Umáŋ (Lake Harriet) from 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, January 20 – February 11, 2024. We encourage you to read the specifics carefully, and to attend the Artist Forum on June 20 (register here!)

*This call is for PERFORMANCES + ART ACTIONS only. The call for SHANTY ARTISTS is available HERE.


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. 

Please read our Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles here!


  1. The town square/triangle – this is a large open space in the middle of the village. It is surrounded by shanties and is a hub of activity. It’s ideal for performances that can handle a bit of mild chaos (examples of projects that did well here a participatory flash mob, a game of trash-ket ball).
  2. At our performance stage – this open-air platform provides a landing spot for more presentational performances. If you need a grounding space or backdrop for your performance, it’s a good option for you. (examples of past projects that have done well here: Taiko drumming, theatrical shows, improv sets)
  3. Pathways and in-between spaces – performing anywhere in and around plowed paths and areas between shanties in the village. Roving projects are ideal for these spaces.  (examples of past projects that have done well here: Winter Plein Air PaintersLady Bear)
  4. At a specific shanty (note: this needs to be coordinated with the shanty, and depends on acceptance of both projects!)
  5. In another open space, tbd (there are always some projects that have specific needs, which we will do our best to accommodate! Examples include an Ice skating performance and Native lacrosse)

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see images of some of these spaces!

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


We enthusiastically welcome visitors of all ages and abilities, and shanty artists must incorporate accessibility into their engagement design! If your project is selected our staff will work with you on your accessibility plan.


Everyone is eligible, because everyone is an artist! We are creating a community environment for co-learning. There are no application fees. Projects that involve selling anything or the exchange of legal currency will not be accepted!

Artists are not expected to have experience with everything we ask about in this proposal, but should demonstrate an eagerness to engage and develop new skills and be open to new perspectives and ideas. Each year we have a balance of returning performers and newbies – and informal mentorship takes place. 


The greatest stipend amount for 2024 is up to $900 for performing artists and teams (this is a $100 increase from 2023). 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):

$900 – an activity that lasts an entire day, two half days, or once every weekend
$450 – an activity that lasts a half day, or for two shorter periods over two days
$225 – activities that are short, only 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 whenever possible.

During the program ASP also supports artists by providing a warming shanty for artists & performers, a hot meal (we are able to accommodate almost all dietary considerations), snacks, hot beverages, hand and toe warmers, one parking space per project, and a cheerful and hardworking staff to support the smooth operation of the festival. We also have a medic onsite for any minor needs.



June 20, 6 – 7:30 pm: ARTIST FORUM (online – register in advance here!)

July 13: Deadline for proposal submissions (11:59pm CST) 

August: Artists selected and notified

September 19, 6-8pm: In-person 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: Project production meetings (virtual); preliminary content forms due (so we can announce your projects!)

October – date TBD: Artist Study Hall  (in person!) – build community of peers, share tips, ask questions, get inspired

November: Project production meetings, con’t (virtual);

December: Final artist content due (images + project descriptions for website; accessibility notes)


January 9, 6pm: All-artist check-in (virtual, mandatory for at least 1 member from each group)

January 20 – February 11: On-Ice Program, every Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm

February 1: Member Night on Ice – evening, TBD (optional)

February 8: alternate date for Member Night on Ice – evening, TBD (optional; only in case of bad weather on Feb 1)

February (date TBD): Wrap Party (in person, optional)


Please visit our FAQs.

Download our FULL GUIDELINES + Application Questions before beginning your proposal

If we haven’t proactively answered your question, contact Erin Lavelle, Artistic Director: program@artshantyprojects.org


a kiddo and Lady Bear watch taiko drumming at the performance stage
Two people with a giant arm puppet that has two hands roam the village
Scene from a yoga class on the frozen lake. People are in a warrior pose.

Scenes from past programs illustrate a variety of performance and art action ideas. Spaces pictured, clockwise from top left: performance stage, at a specific shanty, in the town triangle, roving. Photos courtesy ASP staff.