Art Shanty Projects – 2020 Call for Performances and Art Actions

This call closed on August 28 and we are no longer accepting submissions.

Seeking Performers

Art Shanty Projects is currently seeking performers of all stripes––musicians, composers, poets, scientists, dancers, choreographers, writers, fisher-people, outdoors-people, puppeteers, social practice artists, vocalists, spoken word artists, craftspeople, athletes, storytellers, actors –– interested in performing during the 2020 On-Ice Program.

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

*This call is for performing artists only. The call for shanty artists is available through a separate application.

Art Shanty Projects’ 2020 On-Ice Program

Art Shanty Projects is an artist driven temporary community exploring the ways in which public spaces can be used as new and challenging artistic environments to expand notions of art. For four weekends in January and February, the 2020 On-Ice Program will transform a frozen lake in Minnesota into a village of ice fishing shanty-like structures designed and built by artists. Art Shanty Projects’ 2020 On-Ice Program will take place on Bde Unma (Lake Harriet). The project is open to the public with a suggested donation, but no strict admission and anyone can always enter for free. No individual will be turned away due to lack of funds. Hours are from 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, January 18 – February 9, 2020.  One weekend will be designated ‘Youth & Families’ to cater to younger audiences and their handlers. There will be interpreters for guests with visual and hearing impairments as well as specially designed kick-sleds to assist with mobility on ice every weekend.

For 2020, Art Shanty Projects is offering: 10-15 performing artist team stipends (up to $800 each), on-ice management and publicity.

Eligibility Requirements

Art Shanty Projects strives to create open artistic interactions between non-artists and artists. There are no application fees or restrictions. Our organization encourages creative people of all types to apply. Proposals should be submitted electronically and will be juried by a panel made up of an Art Shanty Projects representative, local artists, curators, and past participants. Any performance that isn’t accessible to all visitors, or that involves selling anything or the exchange of legal currency will not be accepted.

Project Stipends

Art Shanty Projects does its best to support artists fiscally and logistically with as many resources as available. Project stipends for the 2020 On-Ice Program are intended to offset the costs of artist’s time to prepare and perform during designated time(s). The organization does not have additional travel stipends to offer out-of-state artists. 

The total stipend amount for 2020 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 your proposals.

Project Timeline

August 5:
Meet & greet, 6-8pm at 2714 27th Street E, Ivy Building for the Arts. This is an opportunity to ask questions of the Board and Artistic Director about the process before submitting your proposal
August 21: Deadline for proposal submissions (midnight CST) 
September: Artists selected; contracts sent
October 2: Meeting for all Shanty Artists and Performers (SAVE THIS DATE in case your proposal is selected; this will be a mandatory meeting)
November: Artist meetings and site visits, final artist statements due
December: Artist meetings and site visits, festival logistics and details
January 11:
Installation of shanties on the ice at Bde Unma (Lake Harriet)
January 18-February 9: 2020 On-Ice Program, every Saturday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm
February 16: All shanties need to be off the ice*. 

*Depending on weather conditions artists may be requested to move Shanties off the ice at an earlier date.

Performance Considerations

Art Shanty Projects encourages performances to occur outdoors rather than inside shanties and to be as accessible as possible. If your idea requires an intimate indoor space, please describe it in your proposal. Please note that a proposal for a project to happen inside a specific shanty is subject to approval from the shanty artists; There is also potential that if you require or request indoor space we can help matchmake to make that happen. On-Ice Programming should occur on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 4pm.

1. Environment

  • Successful proposals will consider the unique environment of the shanty community and our host lake, will engage audiences, and be feasible overall.
  • Generators are not allowed at any time. If the project requires power, there are many options using solar power, deep cycle batteries, and renewable methods for charging.
  • We welcome projects that include sound, and will work to place chosen projects in appropriate places, but ask that artists respect neighboring projects.
  • We have a ‘leave no trace’ philosophy, only footsteps should be left behind.

2. Engagement

  • The On-Ice Program is intended to attract visitors of all ages and abilities. Successful proposals will explain the production of the performance and how the project engages participants in the event.

3. Logistics

  • Please include your preferred site location (outdoors/indoors), time frame (a 30 minute dance; an 8 hour reading; a game played each weekend, etc), top three choices for days and times of the program, and any technical requirements to ensure the feasibility of your performance.

Proposals not selected for a stipend may be able to present their works without funding. All performing artists are required to submit a project proposal. Scheduling priority will be given to stipend winners.

Tips for a Strong Proposal

1. Consider working in teams, there are many physical and logistical challenges that are much easier when working with others. Collaboration is valuable for a successful project, but artists should also be realistic about the vision they wish to accomplish.

2. Think realistically about your performance dates and times. The On-Ice Program takes place over 4 weekends in January and February. One weekend will be designated ‘Youth & Families’ weekend to cater to younger audiences and their handlers. If your performance does/does not fit with this weekend, please note that in your proposal. (e.g. “This performance is especially meaningful for children”).

3. The lake sees intense winds; design your performance to minimize the chance of weather causing chaos.

Selection Criteria

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

  • Quality: An exciting idea with adherence to Art Shanty Projects mission / artistic goals and a sound plan for audience interaction. 
  • Design and Feasibility: Clear understanding of design requirements and evidence of capacity to successfully produce the project.

Link to the Evaluation Rubric given to the panel

Project Proposal

If you have questions about this application please contact Erin Lavelle, Artistic Director:

Part I: Narrative (Limit 4000 characters)

Tell us about the performance you would like to execute. What is it called? What interaction/activity will take place? What will visitors and audience members see, hear, do, feel or learn?

Tell us about your performance!

Part II: Artistic Goals (Limit 2000 characters)


Art Shanty Projects is an artist driven temporary community exploring the ways in which relatively unregulated public spaces can be used as new and challenging artistic environments to expand the notions of what art can be.

Artistic Goals:

  • Projects should push artists skills and development and engage an audience. 
  • Projects should respect the environment of the lake, as well as respect the community that already exists, with the understanding that the lake has an established relationship with non-artist patrons. 
  • Projects should be engaging to audiences of all kinds—audience engagement is essential to the success of the experience, for both artist and audience. 

Questions to consider:

  • How does the project expand notions of what art can be?
  • How does the project use the unique environment?
  • ASP has a commitment to being inclusive when selecting artists and serving audiences. Please share with us how your artist team and/or project embodies or addresses this. Considerations include providing a diverse artistic perspective and/or being welcoming and safe to diverse populations from the Twin Cities and beyond (being mindful of intersections of race, class, gender, age, etc.) and addressing potential barriers for participation (language, mobility, hearing, sight or otherwise). 
  • Is there a plan for audience interaction? Does the project address how different audiences will interact with this project?

Share how your performance will fit within the mission and artistic goals of Art Shanty Projects.

Part III: Feasibility (Limit  2000 characters)

Address your ability to complete the performance. We had a record number of people during our last on-ice program in Minneapolis in 2018. With the potential of thousands of visitors per day, how will the interactive aspect of your performance(s) accommodate potential crowds? Has the project given thought to its potential challenges, risks or failures? 

Please articulate your ability to produce and perform your project.


Please think about what it might take to create your project and list potential costs per category. It’s OK if this budget changes later, this is just an estimate. Consider in-kind goods or services when making your budget (i.e. what are you getting for free?!). We recommend reserving a small portion of your money for ‘contingency’ (i.e. unexpected expenses that may come up). Your total budget should not exceed $800, the maximum amount Art Shanty Projects is offering, unless you have funding from another source.

Consider the following categories when creating your budget draft:

  • Materials  (costumes, props, etc)
  • Equipment (anything you need to rent or purchase)
  • Transportation  (rental trucks, gas, etc)
  • Stipends (for artists or collaborators)
  • Space Rental (if you are renting rehearsal or studio space)
  • Other (please define)
  • Contingency (money held for unexpected expenses)

Supporting Materials

Upload relevant supporting materials (up to 5 renderings of proposed performances/activities and/or past work samples that are related to this proposal). Include anything that will help the jury understand your concept. You may offer up to five samples — photos, illustrations, writings, video, audio, etc. Please keep images under 2MB and audio/video clips 45 seconds or less. List title, date,  medium and description for each sample provided.