2024 FAQs for Applicants

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

We’re excited for our TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY SEASON and we hope you are too!

We learned a lot in 2023 with Plan Beach, and we are continuing our climate change adaptations (people-powered, easy to move, under 1500 lbs). Our pandemic adaptations have been loosened, and artists can choose if they want to keep an exterior-only experience for visitors or go back to a classic interior shanty (with a twist – read the guidelines carefully!). 

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

We hope to proactively answer questions you may have here — but if  new ones come up, please message program@artshantyprojects.org. Thanks!

Where and when will ASP 2024 happen?

We will once again be on Bdé Umáŋ (Lake Harriet). The event will run from 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, January 20 – February 11, 2024. Installation weekend will be January 13-14, and deinstallation will happen February 17-18. 

Can visitors go inside shanties yet? What’s the dealio? 

Artists can choose their own comfort level! If you want to have an exterior-only experience as we’ve been doing during the pandemic, do it! If you want to go back to a classic interior experience for visitors, do it! PLEASE NOTE: ALL SHANTIES must also be meaningfully activated in some way on the exterior, including those that also have an interior experience. WHY?! It’s more accessible, helps reduce lines, and creates the most vibrant village.

What does Art Shanty Projects doing to keep artists warm and happy?

We’re glad you asked! We will continue to offer HOT food and drinks to artists during the program, hand and toe warmers, and we will once again have a TOASTY warming shanty!

Will you still be taking donations?? Why do you do this?

The project is open to the public with a suggested donation, but no strict admission. Donations from the community ensure the future of our programming!  Individual contributions make up SIXTY PERCENT of our income – we couldn’t continue our program without this support. And, a whopping EIGHTY PERCENT of our budget goes towards paying artists and contracted staff. 

How will 2024 be accessible to people?

We will offer our fleet of kicksleds, daily ASL interpretation and audio description, and ramps to the surface of the frozen lake. Artists are asked to apply with projects that consider accessibility goals, and shanties that have elevated platforms are required to have ramps. Interior shanties have additional accessibility requirements (door size, room to move around, etc). Our website has been redesigned with enhanced accessibility features for people who use screen readers. Our social media includes alt text on all images.

I’m a rad artist. I fly solo. Why don’t you accept shanty teams of one?

From past experience, ‘teams’ of one end up needing a lot of help!  We have also learned that it is unreasonable for a single artist to manage by themself. Even a duo can easily get overwhelmed. Building and moving the shanty requires multiple people, and artists need breaks from both engaging with crowds and sometimes unpredictable weather conditions. Also, it’s important to have a backup staffing plan in case someone on your shanty team gets sick (especially in COVID times).

It’s OK to have a lead artist and a group of people who support them. It’s not OK to think you’ll do it alone. It’s also OK if you don’t have your full team assembled at the point of application, as long as you’re confident you’ll find the support you need once accepted.

(This does not relate to performers).

I’m from out of town! Can I still apply? Will you support my travel and lodging?

While we are open to artists from anywhere, the organization does not have additional travel stipends to offer out-of-state artists.

How important are the supporting materials in my application?

VERY IMPORTANT! This is your chance to demonstrate your vision and aesthetic to the jury, as well as your capacity to build this thing! You can offer a mix of supporting materials: give a visual representation of what your project will look like (renderings), share work you’ve done in the past that proves you’re up to the task (work samples), and offer other places you’re drawing inspiration from (source images).

What’s up with the shanty stipends? Have they stayed the same?

Shanty stipends have increased significantly over the last 6 years since we first became a non-profit, yay! 

2016, 2017, 2018: $1500
2020, 2022: $2400
2023, 2024: $2500

Guess what? The arts are still underfunded and the lingering impact of the pandemic is still haunting us. You may have noticed other public art programs, events, and festivals have sadly closed…we are doing everything we can to stay alive! We hope and plan to increase shanty stipends more in the future. In the meantime we need to maintain where we’re at.

OH NO! My dream project costs more than the stipend. What should I do?

You may want to consider scaling down your project to fit within the resources we can offer. Sometimes the simple ideas are the best and have the biggest impact!

Artists are also welcome to raise money and source in-kind goods through their own efforts to support the project of their dreams. When applying, please be real about your budget and how you might achieve anything beyond what ASP offers.

Materials are SO EXPENSIVE! How can I make an affordable shanty project?!

Ugh, we know. It’s a difficult time to make art – and also a time when we need art the most.

Shanty builders are historically very good at being resourceful, using repurposed materials whenever possible to reduce costs, and in alignment with our community’s sustainability values. Some artists have built entire shanties out of scavenged pallets!

There are many local resources for purchasing repurposed materials. Check out Better Futures, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, LumberStash, the University of Minnesota ReUse Program, even thrift shops. We’ve had artists build amazing creations using a large percentage of FREE materials such as: pallets, discarded fences, decommissioned shanties, disassembled art shipping crates, cardboard, bubble wrap, and more! Good places to start for this include neighborhood Buy Nothing groups, Next Door, local stores (for pallets especially), etc. 

Occasionally Art Shanty Projects gets offers of free materials, which we pass along to artists.

Who selects the artists?

Proposals will be juried by a panel led by the Artistic Director which consists of an Art Shanty Projects board member representative, local artists, curators, and past participants using the artistic criteria listed in the open call. You can see the 2023 jurors on our website, for reference (the 2024 jurors will be announced after artists have been selected). Jurors receive an honorarium for their work.  More info here on how to become a juror!

How many shanties will there be?

We will have a maximum of 20 shanties, including up to 15 shanties that are selected through the open call. Additional shanties that are curated outside the open call include our welcome shanty, the performance stage, the Free Store Shanty, the Linden Hills Neighborhood Shanty (our hosts!), and the potential of one or two shanties through outreach efforts. This is the same number of shanties as in 2022 and 2023.

How many performances + art actions will there be?

Stipends for these projects are scalable, so It depends on how much money the applicants request for their activities. The jury ranks performance applications in order from highest to lowest scores, and then they go down the list until the performance budget has been spent. We estimate about 16 performance groups through the open call process. We will also present additional projects through partner organizations and our outreach efforts. This is similar to 2022 and 2023, but more performance groups than in earlier years.

I have a project idea – can someone review it in advance and give advice?

We do not have staff capacity to review or advise on proposal ideas in advance. But we look forward to reading your application, and we encourage you to submit it. We think the application is in an approachable format, we hope you do too.

What if I still have questions?!

Please email program@artshantyprojects.org with any questions related to the process, guidelines, support, timeline, etc. 

Banner photo courtesy ASP staff