You Betcha! Farmer-Labor Community Engaged Art Commission

by Jessica Stolen
old photograph of farmers union participants with words over it


Visual artists of all artistic mediums are invited to submit an application to be considered for this community-engaged art opportunity. One artist or creative team will be commissioned to engage with 4-6 communities in Minnesota, culminating in a deliverable artistic intervention that commemorates the Farmer-Labor movement in Minnesota.


“You Betcha! Farmer Labor Solidarity is Possible” is a project of the Farmer-Labor Education Committee (FLEC) and Monument Lab’s Re:Generation, supported by the Mellon Foundation. We seek to revive and commemorate Minnesota’s forgotten Farmer-Labor movement history by bringing Minnesotans together across divides. You Betcha! will be an embedded-artist process that seeks to link the past with the present/future through facilitated, collaborative memory and visioning. 

FLEC, a non-profit organization founded in 1980, seeks to educate new generations of Minnesotans about the history and continued relevance of the Minnesota Farmer-Labor tradition. In 2022, FLEC produced The Farmer-Labor Movement: A Minnesota Story, a feature-length documentary directed by Randy Croce about the history of the movement. FLEC is a diverse, multigenerational organization with rural and urban roots.


Using the 2022 documentary as historical grounding, You Betcha! will host 4 to 6 screenings throughout the state, visiting community spaces in regions where the farmer-labor movement was historically strong and/or where justice struggles exist currently in Minnesota’s rural and urban communities. Film screenings will be followed by community conversations, which will be a catalyst for the artistic commemoration of the movement.

The selected artist or creative team will join communities in discussion around the film, its legacy, and the potential for a revived culture of urban-rural solidarity. This process of community visioning and reflection will inform the creation of a multi-piece artistic commemoration. Each piece of the artwork will represent and respond to a distinct community conversation. Community participation in the art-making process is also welcome as part of this process, but not required. The Committee is open to a range of visual art forms that will result in a physical deliverable.



This not-to-exceed fee covers artist time, materials, community engagement, installation/engineering (if required), and any other costs associated with the project. The artist will be paid $5000 to attend a set number of planning meetings with the FLEC team and to attend and conduct community engagement at each of the 4 to 6 screenings across the state. The artist will also receive $20,000 for their time and materials to create the final deliverable following the community conversations. If a team or multiple artists are selected for the project, the fee will be shared between artists.

Travel/lodging costs associated with attending You Betcha! screenings/conversations/events will be reimbursed separately.


This project is open to all artists, or artist-led teams who are residents of the state of Minnesota or have a demonstrated connection to rural and/or urban communities in Minnesota. Applicants must be 18 years or older. The Farmer-Labor Education Committee does not discriminate on the grounds of any protected status or class, including but not limited to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender expression, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or public assistance status. No person who is protected by applicable law against discrimination shall be subjected to discrimination.


Submissions will be pre-screened to ensure all applicants meet eligibility requirements.

Applicants are encouraged to view the film, The Farmer Labor Movement: A Minnesota Story prior to applying.

The Selection Committee will review eligible applications and select a group of finalists to develop a preliminary process and design proposal. Initial selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • Quality of work samples
  • Ability of artist to successfully complete projects based on bio and prior work experience
  • Commitment to/experience with community-engaged art
  • Interest in Farmer-Labor movement legacy
  • Relationship to rural Minnesota and/or commitment to building rural/urban solidarity in Minnesota


Each artist selected as a finalist will be asked to create a preliminary proposal for their vision of the community engagement process and artwork. Each finalist will be asked to participate in a virtual interview during the week of May 6th. Finalists will receive an honorarium of $250 for participation in this stage of the process.

Further information about the proposal/interview will be provided to the finalists. Finalists will be asked to provide a process/engagement narrative, sketches/ideas for possible deliverables, and a budget. Finalists will have approximately two weeks to prepare proposals prior to their interviews. Please note: FLEC understands that deliverables may change based on findings during the community engagement. The initial sketches/ideas are to gauge possible deliverables and community engagement approaches for the final deliverable proposed.

Final selection of the artist/team will be based on the following criteria:

  • Artist shows a commitment to community engagement and/or a demonstrated history of including multiple community voices in a final artistic product
  • Artist has a demonstrated interest in the Farmer-Labor movement and themes, such as: urban/rural solidarity, building bridges across difference, imagining alternative solutions to societal/cultural problems, etc.
  • Artist shows a commitment to respecting Minnesota’s urban and rural communities
  • Artist has a demonstrated ability to create a mobile, accessible, collaborative piece of art
  • Artist shows a demonstrated interest in collaborating with the “You Betcha!” team in engaging community and developing this project
  • Artist demonstrates capacity to create artwork that is: publicly visible/accessible when displayed in a variety of settings, safe and low-maintenance, sustainable (in terms of materials, effectiveness, and long-term impact), and universally accessible to a diverse public
  • Artist demonstrates capacity to develop a feasible project that can be completed within the allotted time frame (target completion: November 2024)
  • Artist’s body of work, process/engagement narrative, and initial sketches/ideas for possible deliverables demonstrate high artistic quality 
  • Artist’s initial sketches/ideas allow for the artwork to be mobile/moved and exhibited/experienced/shared in different locations with relative ease
  • Artist’s initial sketches/ideas include multiple pieces or parts that allow for distinct representation of community engagement from each screening/conversation that will take place in the process.

Upon completion of virtual interviews/initial proposal presentations, one artist will be selected to join the You Betcha! Project, engage with FLEC and the 4 to 6 selected communities, and create the artistic, historical commemoration of the Farmer-Labor movement. 


  • Recipients will participate in the You Betcha! team’s weekly meetings at least twice per month between June and November. 
  • Recipients will commit to travel to and attend each of the 4 to 6 screenings/conversations held during Summer/Fall 2024 and attend a final exhibit of their work in Winter 2024. Travel reimbursement and lodging will be provided for all in-person required commitments.
  • Recipients may involve other artists or design professionals, community members or groups, or hire established professionals to assist with your project. Applicant must lead, manage the team’s interaction with the project, and act as the primary contact with FLEC.
  • Projects should aim to be accessible to all individuals represented in Minnesota communities including children, youth and adults of all ages, ethnicities, race, religion, sexual orientation and abilities including people with disabilities.
  • Project must exist physically in the world and be mobile or able to be transported to different locations with relative ease/limited cost.
  • Project must distinctly represent the 4 to 6 community engagement conversations that take place during the process.
  • Flexible installation time by November 2024. Selected artist will work with the You Betcha! team to determine an installation timeline. 



To submit your initial application for this project, please email the following to by Friday, April 12th, 2024 11:59 PM CST:

  1. Artist Resume 
  2. Artist Statement: Introduce yourself, your artistic practice, your interest in this project, and your approach to community engagement (Limit to 500 words). Please also indicate in your statement whether you would be willing to work in collaboration with other artists to complete this project (note: willingness to collaborate is not required for advancement to the next round). 
  3. Work Samples and Descriptions: Provide no more than 10 media files of your recent and relevant projects that help describe your qualifications. Provide a brief description and budget for each work sample. Label images/media: last name of artist, artwork title, installation date. Please send images as JPEGS (links for JPEGS are encouraged, especially for large files). Send videos as links and provide password, if videos are password protected. Video samples that offer full documentation of a project are fine. In these cases, please identify one continuous 3-5 minute work sample within each video.

Note: Do not submit a process/engagement narrative or sketch/ideas proposal at this time. Artist Resume and Artist Statement may be submitted in written/textual or video format (send video as link). Please submit written/textual materials and links compiled in one PDF, whenever possible.

Applicants will be notified when their materials have been received and will be notified by Monday, April 22nd if they have been chosen to proceed to the second round.


Artists selected as finalists will be asked to submit additional materials. Complete details about these materials will be made available to the finalists once selected. The additional materials will include:

  1. Initial Proposal: Prepare an initial proposal that includes a narrative description of how the community engagement aspect of the project will inform your process/product, sketches/ideas for possible deliverables that demonstrate your vision for how the Farmer-Labor movement could be commemorated, and a draft budget. This will be shared at your virtual interview. 
  2. References: List of three references to be contacted, if selected.

Finalists will be asked to participate in a virtual interview during the week of May 6th, at which you will discuss your initial proposal and participate in conversation with the selection committee.


If you have questions or need further clarification, please contact  


  • Mon, March 25 – Artist Call Released
  • Fri April 5 – Info Session (4pm cst, zoom)
  • Fri, April 12 – Deadline for Submission, 11:59pm CST
  • Mon, April 22 – Finalists Notified
  • Week of May 6 – Finalist Interviews/Proposals and Second-Round Materials Due 
  • Week of May 27 – Selected Artist Notified
  • Mon, June 3 – First You Betcha! Team meeting with Artist
  • June 22-23 – First Screening+Discussion: Mesaba Cooperative Park
  • Sum/Fall 2024 – Attend/Engage with 4 to 6 Screenings+Discussions (details TBD)
  • Nov 2024 – Work Completed (initial exhibit site TBD)
  • 2025 – Statewide Tour (pending funding)/permanent location TBD*

*please note: artist presence at any future events outside of this contract will be negotiated at a later date.

OPENSMarch 25, 2024 12:00 am

CLOSESApril 12, 2024 11:59 pm

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