2025 Call for Shanty Artists

by Jessica Stolen
photograph of a prior year art shanty

Keep Minneapolis Winters Weird & Wonderful!

Art Shanty Projects is currently seeking winter enthusiasts and creative adventurers to design, construct and activate shanty projects for the 2025 Program. They invite music-makers, poets, builders, scientists, dancers, puppeteers, writers, dreamers, activists, outdoors-people, conversationalists, craftspeople, 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 (or winter beach, as climate change may necessitate).

The 2025 On-Ice event will take place on Bdé Umáŋ (Lake Harriet) from 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays, January 18 – February 9, 2025. With REFINED guidelines and requirements in response to COVID, climate change and accessibility, they encourage you to read the specifics carefully.

This call is for shanty artists only; the call for performances and art actions 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, they 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, they celebrate, champion, and embrace the extreme winter sport of art making. 

Art Shanty Projects is deeply committed to social, racial, gender, and economic justice. Their 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 they do art and what they expect from artists. They embrace the spirit of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in our commitment to assuring that all members of their community can participate as fully as possible in their arts events, programs, meetings, facilities and communications. 


Art Shanty Project seeks to have a relatively even balance of ‘classic’ & ‘open’ shanties based on visitor feedback.

Classic shanties:

  • Artists can welcome visitors inside, yay!
  • Artists are required to also activate the exterior in a meaningful way related to their shanty concept, theme or activities. This requirement supports our accessibility plan, reduces waiting in lines, and creates a vibrant village at every turn.

Open Shanties:

  • Wanna keep it super outdoorsy? No problem! Artists can design shanties for an exterior experience for visitors.
  • In this scenario, artists can be outside OR inside.
  • Artists can build in a warming space for themselves if they like.

Some ideas of exterior experiences (which may also inform the exterior aspect of a ‘classic’ shanty):

  • Structures that are purely outdoor engagement with no enclosed space (past examples include a giant kaleidoscope, a teeter-totter contraption, a rocking boat)
  • Shanties in which artists are inside, and they interact with visitors who are on the outside. This could be through aquarium style viewing, secret compartments, take-out-style windows, or other creative adaptations to connect interior and exterior spaces.
  • Shanties that have an exterior experience for both visitors and artists, but the indoor is designed as a back of house space for the artist team breaks + storage.
  • Shanties that are not fully enclosed, and people walk through, around, over or under.
  • Other types of interactive sculptural or kiosk-style contraptions — dream away and propose something fanciful! Just remember, we are not building a sculpture park and your work should have direct participatory elements.


They enthusiastically welcome visitors of all ages and abilities, and shanty artists must incorporate accessibility into their physical and engagement design. Applicants should demonstrate they have considered accessibility in their proposal. If your project is selected their staff will work with you on your accessibility plan and share tips and best practices for their unique context.


Everyone is eligible, because they believe everyone is an artist! They are creating a community environment for co-learning, welcoming artists at all stages of their careers and pursuits in public art.

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 they 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 they have a balance of returning shanty artists and newbies – and informal mentorship takes place. 


This year there is a difference in stipends awarded to NEW shanty ideas ($2500) and the remounting of RETURNING projects ($2000). This helps them maintain a full program while emerging from the lingering impact of the pandemic and financial shortfall of 2024 due to warm weather causing the program to end early.  If you are not sure whether your proposal is considered NEW or a REMOUNT, please send an email to Erin at program@artshantyprojects.org



  • July 11: Deadline for proposal submissions (11:59pm CST) 
  • August: Artists selected and notified
  • September 17, 6-8pm: In-person meeting for all Shanty Artists and Performers, location TBD in S Mpls (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). In person attendance is prioritized to build community. A virtual option is available for out of town artists or people who are currently experiencing illness.
  • October: Project production meetings, as needed (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 build visits (in-person; will be individually scheduled)
  • December: Final artist content due (images + project descriptions for website; accessibility notes)


  • January 7, 6pm-8pm: All-artist check-in IN PERSON, location TBD in S Mpls (mandatory for at least 1 member from each artist team). In person attendance is prioritized to build community. A virtual option is available for out of town artists or people who are currently experiencing illness.
  • January 11-12: Installation on the ice at Bdé Umáŋ (time slots to be scheduled in advance)
  • January 18 – February 9: On-Ice Program, every Saturday & Sunday, 10am – 4pm
    February 4: Member Night on Ice – 6-8pm, in the village (optional)
  • February 6: alternate date for Member Night on Ice – 6-8pm, in the village (optional; only in case of bad weather on Feb 4)
  • February 15-16* Deinstallation (time slots to be scheduled in advance)
  • February (date TBD): Wrap Party (in person, optional)

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


For full guidelines visit their website

Questions? Contact Artistic Director, Erin Lavelle, program@artshantyprojects.org


CLOSESJuly 11, 2024 11:59 pm

More info


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