2025 FAQs for Applicants

The deadline for applications has passed!
Proposals were due at 11:59pm CST – Thursday, July 11, 2024

The below information is kept for applicant reference only

We’re excited for winter and we hope you are too!

We learned a lot during the past few years 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 18? No worries, we got you! Photos that illustrate the types of projects, spaces and requirements, and a recording of the zoom session can be found HERE!

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 2025 happen?

We will once again be on Bdé Umáŋ (Lake Harriet). The event will run from 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, January 18 – February 9, 2025. Installation weekend will be January 11-12, and deinstallation will happen February 15-16. 

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

Artists can choose their own adventure: a CLASSIC SHANTY (invite people inside) or ADAPTED SHANTY (no sharing air). PLEASE NOTE: ALL SHANTIES must also be meaningfully activated in some way on the exterior, including those that also have an interior experience.

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. No individual will be turned away due to lack of funds. 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 2025 be accessible to people?
We will offer our fleet of kicksleds, ASL interpretation and audio description on half of the dates (TBD), 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.

Hey, you mentioned cultural appropriation in the artistic goals of the open call. What’s that? How do I make sure I’m not doing it???

We’re so glad you asked. Here are some resources that enthusiastically answer this question: https://libraryguides.saic.edu/learn_unlearn/culturalcompetence2

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.

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? Can you help me get to you?

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 and do this thing! You can offer a mix of supporting materials: give a visual representation of what your project will look like (renderings), work you’ve done in the past that proves you’re up to the task (work samples), and places you’re drawing inspiration from (source images).

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. 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.

Sometimes the simple ideas are the best and have the biggest impact!

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

Ugh, we know. Especially if you buy them NEW!

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 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, local stores (for pallets especially), etc.  Occasionally Art Shanty Projects gets offers of free materials, which we pass along to artists.

What’s up with the shanty stipends?

Shanty stipends have increased significantly over the last 5 years. We have made one change this year regarding returning shanties. 

2016, 2017, 2018: $1500
2020, 2022: $2400
2023, 2024:
2025: $2500 for new shanties, $2000 for remounts

The arts are still severely underfunded in general, and the financial repercussions of the pandemic are still lingering. You may have noticed in recent years that other public art programs have canceled and organizations have closed…we are doing everything we can to stay alive and maintain a robust program! 

The last two years of climate chaos have been an additional stressor.

This year there is a difference in stipends awarded to new shanties ($2500) and the remounting of returning shanties ($2000). This helps us maintain a full program while emerging from the lingering impact of the pandemic and financial shortfall of 2024 due to warm weather causing our program to end early.

Note: returning teams with new shanty ideas would receive a $2500 stipend. 

We hope and plan to increase shanty stipends more in the future. In the meantime this is where we’re at.

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 2024 jurors on our website, for reference (the 2025 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, Art Shanty #1, and the potential of one or two shanties through outreach efforts. This is the same number of shanties since the onset of the pandemic.

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 the past few seasons, and 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

a family of three uses drumsticks to play a shanty like an instrucment
two bundled up people stand outside a colorful yurt shaped shanty