Northern Lights supports artists in the creation and presentation of art in the public sphere, focusing on innovative uses of technology to imagine new interactions between audience, artwork and place and explore expanded possibilities for civic engagement.

Northern Lights strives to transform our sense of what’s possible in public space. Northern Spark is two nights, but Northern Lights.mn shines throughout the year with projects such as Creative City Challenge  with the City of Minneapolis, and Art(ists) on the Verge, The Giant Sing-A-Long at the Minnesota State Fair, and permanent, interactive public art for Saint Paul’s Union Depot.

Northern Lights.mn is a collaborative, interactive media-oriented, arts organization from the Twin Cities for the world. We create platforms with and for artists, audiences, and partners to experiment with and experience innovative art in the public sphere.

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image Jerome Foundation Minnesota State Arts Board

Sarah Peters is a Twin Cities-based artist, writer and arts programmer who is interested in engagement with the arts and critical issues of our time.

Peters grew her roots in the work of art and community engagement at the Walker Art Center where she spent a decade organizing interpretive programs for adults. At the museum she directed the popular Target Free Thursday Nights program; facilitated a wide range of artist-in-residence projects, and co-led an institution initiative on contemporary art and civic engagement that manifested as a practical planning tool for engaging social issues using the arts. The resulting publication drew national attention and has been used by organizations ranging from the National Park Service to small arts groups in the Twin Cities.

In the final months of her tenure at the Walker, she worked with a team to conceptualize and launch the museum’s innovative participatory project Open Field. A book on Open Field that she co-edited was published in August 2012 and is available to read online.

She currently works as the Executive Director of Northern Lights.mn, an arts non-profit working with artists and place to explore expanded possibilities for civic engagement. At Northern Lights.mn she oversees strategic partnerships and initiatives, communications and a broad ranging outreach plan for all projects, including Northern Spark, an annual free, late-night public arts festival with attendance of over 50,000 people.

Peters has contributed to multiple other public engagement programs in the Twin Cities, including the “Arts on Chicago” placemaking project at Pillsbury House + Theater (2013), and working with Works Progress and the Mississippi Park Connection on a series of art and science programs about the Mississippi River (2011-12). She was a participating artist (2008) and later sat on the board (2012-2015) of the Art Shanty Projects, an ongoing Twin Cities wintertime public art event that takes place on a frozen lake.

Peters is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Floating Library, a collection of artist books on a raft that floats on urban lakes. The materials available for perusal and check out from patrons in boats. A Knight Arts Challenge winner in 2015, the project has floated on four Minnesota lakes in three cities over 5 years and in Los Angeles on Echo Park Lake in collaboration with Machine Project during the L.A. Art Book Fair in February 2016.

Sarah Peters is a Twin Cities-based artist, writer and arts programmer who is interested in engagement with the arts and critical issues of our time.

Peters grew her roots in the work of art and community engagement at the Walker Art Center where she spent a decade organizing interpretive programs for adults. At the museum she directed the popular Target Free Thursday Nights program; facilitated a wide range of artist-in-residence projects, and co-led an institution initiative on contemporary art and civic engagement that manifested as a practical planning tool for engaging social issues using the arts. The resulting publication drew national attention and has been used by organizations ranging from the National Park Service to small arts groups in the Twin Cities.

In the final months of her tenure at the Walker, she worked with a team to conceptualize and launch the museum’s innovative participatory project Open Field. A book on Open Field that she co-edited was published in August 2012 and is available to read online.

As the Executive Director of Northern Lights.mn, she oversees strategic partnerships and initiatives, communications and a broad ranging outreach plan for all projects, including Northern Spark, an annual free, late-night public arts festival with attendance of over 50,000 people.

Peters has contributed to multiple other public engagement programs in the Twin Cities, including the “Arts on Chicago” placemaking project at Pillsbury House + Theater (2013), and working with Works Progress and the Mississippi Park Connection on a series of art and science programs about the Mississippi River (2011-12). She was a participating artist (2008) and later sat on the board (2012-2015) of the Art Shanty Projects, an ongoing Twin Cities wintertime public art event that takes place on a frozen lake.

Peters is also the Founder and Artistic Director of the Floating Library, a collection of artist books on a raft that floats on urban lakes. The materials available for perusal and check out from patrons in boats. A Knight Arts Challenge winner in 2015, the project has floated on four Minnesota lakes in three cities over 5 years and in Los Angeles on Echo Park Lake in collaboration with Machine Project during the L.A. Art Book Fair in February 2016.

Robert is a registered architect with over 20 years of professional practice that includes work in cultural, commercial, education, civic, worship, and residential contexts. His experience includes working with multiple building committees, boards of directors, community groups, and local and state governments to achieve each project’s unique goals.

Paul has over 25 years of experience in commercial construction project management, and works with companies on comprehensive project budget development, project scheduling, contractor and architect selection and management, and related services. Paul’s experience includes numerous projects with complicated funding approaches involving multiple types of instruments such as: state and local municipal bond funding; Tax Increment Financing; New Markets Tax Credits; bank loans; and several development and environmental grant funds.

Jennifer grew up in an immersive creative & local food environment, which has informed her work. She worked in the nonprofit sector for over 20 years before moving into arts-based enterprises. She has sat on a number of nonprofit boards.  Jennifer has a Masters in Public Administration from Hamline University. In 2018, she was named 100 People to Know by Twin Cities Business Magazine, and in May 2019, she was given a Women in Business award from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. Jennifer is passionate about community care and connection. She is an avid gardener and lives in St. Paul with her partner, two children, and dog.

Professor Phadke’s research and teaching is at the nexus of environmental studies, international development and science and technology studies. Her interests lie in the democratization of science and technology decision-making and the hybridization of technical expertise and local knowledge. Her current research focuses on private and public development of water and energy resources.

Sara joined Davis Law Office, she spent a decade, first as an associate and then as an owner, with a boutique firm working with tribes and their business partners. Before that, she spent three years as a litigation associate (with an emphasis on construction law) at a large Minneapolis law firm. Sara handles planning, coordinates financing, and negotiates construction and design contracts for tribal projects. She also advises tribes on governance; finance; environmental regulation; rights-of-way; energy development; jurisdiction; treaty rights; court development; and many other matters. In addition, Sara regularly represents vendors doing business in Indian country and beyond.