Call for Artists!
The Creative City Challenge is moving in 2017! The annual Creative City Challenge competition will be moving to The Commons, the new 4.2 acre public green space and an anchor in the Downtown East area transformation. The Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy Program of the City of Minneapolis in collaboration with The Commons and Northern Lights.mn and the Northern Spark festival, announce the fifth annual Creative City Challenge based on the theme Climate Chaos | Climate Rising.
Entries are being accepted now through December 5, 2016.
The Creative City Challenge is conceived as a showcase for local creative talent, Minneapolis community identities and is a tangible symbol of the complex narratives that make up the many stories within our urban landscape. The Challenge is a competition for Minnesota-resident architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, scientists, artists, students and individuals of all backgrounds to create and install a temporary, destination artwork, which acts as a sociable and participatory platform for 2 months of onsite programming. The Commons is located at 521 East 4th Street across from the US Bank Stadium. The winning Creative City Challenge proposal will receive a $50,000 commission to execute the project.
“Creative City Challenge has established itself over the past four years as an inspiring example of Minneapolis artists’ innovative spirit and talent,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “Heading into the fifth year, I’m excited to see what the creative people of Minneapolis come up with this time.”
The Creative City Challenge is open to any artist living in Minnesota. For teams, the lead artist and at least 50% of the team must live in Minnesota.
The Minneapolis metro area, according to the 2015 Creative Vitality Index, is the 6thmost creatively vital among the most populous cities in the U.S. If you asked someone from Minneapolis what it is that makes Minneapolis special, you would rightly get a litany of responses from parks and biking to theater and art spaces; from balmy summers and bracing winters to its burgeoning food scene and diversifying population.
In 2017, the Creative City Challenge challenges you to create an installation that explores the effects of climate change on Minneapolis and its residents.
Sometimes the enormity of climate change seems overwhelming. Facts are necessary to understand how and why climate change is happening, but it is culture that changes people’s behavior in the world. Artists are the makers and the storytellers and the questioners who build this culture and can help us understand the consequences of climate change, and, ultimately, challenge us to act on this understanding.
We are particularly interested in proposals that use the space of The Commons to encourage action, both individually and as a community.
Entries are accepted until 4:30 p.m. CST, December 5, 2016 (see entrant information below). A committee of stakeholders will select three finalists by December 16. Each finalist will receive a fee of $2,500 to prepare a final proposal. A separate jury will select the winner based on in-person presentations by the finalists on or around January 31. The winner will be announced by February 9. The commission for the selected project is $50,000.
The link to the online submissions form will be posted here soon.
The winning Creative City Challenge project will be unveiled and featured at the opening of Northern Spark, an annual dusk-to-dawn festival with tens of thousands of participants, taking place in Minneapolis on June 10, 2017, and will remain in The Commons area through July 31.
The Creative City Challenge challenges you to create an installation that explores the effects of climate change on Minneapolis and its residents. More information about the theme is here. Every project proposal must broadly relate to the effects of climate change.
The Commons is actively used by the general public as a place for respite and activity, as well as a location for large special events, such as Northern Spark on June 10, when the Creative City Challenge will be launched, and the X Games July 13 – 16. The Commons also hosts a range of other events including community gatherings, company picnics, weddings, and events related to the Stadium.
Climate Theme. How does your project relate to climate change and one or more of the sub-themes: move, nourish, interconnect, perceive, act?
Sustainability. What materials will you use to create your project? Are they recyclable and or non-toxic? Do you use renewable energy sources? We encourage artists to consider their carbon footprint and potential waste while conceiving of, creating and implementing their project.
Artistic quality. The proposed work must be an original piece by the artist in any medium or multidisciplinary. It can be serious or funny, spectacular or intimate, or any combination thereof. Works that are commercialized or are intended to sell a product will be not be considered.
Participatory and/or interactive. How will people interact with your project? Participation can be passive or active. It can be interaction with people or data or other inputs.
Nighttime. How will your project operate at night? How will people see your work?
Safety. This piece will remain in place for 7 weeks, during the opening festival and other large events. Please consider the safety of yourself, your audience and the artwork.
Crowded. Thousands of people attend Northern Spark in 8+ hours, and X Games and US Bank Stadium events draw huge crowds as well. Depending on the location of your project, there will likely be very large crowds to appreciate it. How does your proposal account for this?
Accessible. As a work of public art, there will be a broad audience experiencing your project who have a range of arts knowledge from novice to seasoned practitioner. At Northern Spark the audience moves from project to project frequently. How will your project be understood by the casual observer?
Feasibility. Your project must be feasible to run over the course of 2 months, and installation and de-installation on the Commons must be quick. Describe how your project is feasible to set up and take down within a reasonable timeframe.
Sound. City ordinances prohibit most amplified sound in outdoor spaces after 10 pm.
Legal. Projects must meet all necessary city laws, ordinances, and codes. Extensive research about city codes is not necessary for the application. Festival staff will help with these questions after projects are selected.
Durability. The piece must be durable, able to withstand wind, rain, sun, and active animal and human engagement. The Project must be easily maintained and able to endure the whole 2 month term.
We will assist and facilitate permitting, electricity, permissions, and other aspects of the project, but artists are responsible for the creation, production, execution and maintenance of their project, including all necessary permitting, and restoration of the site afterward.
The Commons is Minneapolis’ newest 4.2 acre public green space. Proposals for the Creative City Challenge should be sited in the western block, outlined in blue above.
- Site 1 – Part of granite “mitten”, Area 1 on attached map. Available site size approx. 40’ x 40’. We strongly encourage that at least the majority of the installation should be sited in this area.
- Site 2 – Ellipse lawn, close to the corner of 4th Street and Portland Avenue. Area 2 on attached map. Lawn size 92’ x 60’, 4,192 sf. Available site size approx. 75’ x 45’. Note: All site conditions, including the lawn must returned to the original state, and the grass is a special variety, which is expensive to replace.
Other requirements of the site:
No footings allowed
No penetrations of granite gravel and/or porous paved surfaces; any penetration of the lawn must be minimal and completely repaired
Able to withstand any weather
Fully engineered for climbing, wind loads, etc.
Able to be cleaned with hose
No obstruction to any pedestrian passage
Awareness of nearby residents and their sightlines, park use and noise restrictions
No directional or overly bright illumination
Sound – must be at ambient levels, silent from 10 pm to 7 am, and able to be “turned off” for special events
Able to withstand daily water spray from irrigation system.
Available power – Dedicated 20 amp circuit power outlet located +/- 30’ away. Line to be cable ramped for installation term
The commission for the Creative City Challenge is $50,000. A design fee of $2,500 will be provided to the finalists. Budgets should include everything necessary to present the project from construction to permits to installation/deinstallation to artist fees.
Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. Central time December 5, 2016. The link to the submission form can be found on this page soon.
If materials are needed in an alternative format, call at (612) 673-2488 or email Gulgun.Kayim@Minneapolismn.gov. Deaf and hard of hearing persons may use a relay service to call Minneapolis 311 agents at (612) 673-3000. TTY users may call (612) 673-2157 or (612) 673-2626.
The application process is entirely online. Applicants are required to submit:
Primary contact information
A brief bio and relevant experience (max 1 page for each primary artist)
Project concept (no more than 2 pages), including how the project relates to the effects of climate change and where it may be sited and consideration for the surrounding neighborhood
Supporting materials that help us understand better your proposal and that it is feasible. This can range from a sketch on a napkin to CAD drawings, from a photo with a drawing superimposed to a video flythrough. If there is a technical component to the project, make sure to explain it. To the extent possible, give us a sense of the size and footprint of the project. If you have a specific site in mind, state it. Otherwise, what are the characteristics you are looking for, which are important to the project?
Images, video or audio files We ask for up to 10 images and 1 video or audio of past, preferably related work.
A budget for the total amount you’re requesting for your project. (max 1 page) Note: We will not be evaluating whether you have the best price for the right amount of materials; we want to see that the major budget needs are reasonable.
Email email@example.com with additional questions.
November 2nd: Open Call Announced
November 15th at 6pm: Info Session (optional)
December 5th at 4:30PM CST: Application Deadline
December 16th: 3 finalists notified
January 15th: DRAFT finalist proposals due
January 22nd: Finalist proposals due
January 31st: Finalist presentation to jury
February 9th: Winner announced
June 2nd: Project installation completed
June 10th: Project opens to public at Northern Spark
About the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy Program, City of Minneapolis
The Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program is an initiative of the City Coordinator’s office to leverage the creative sector towards strengthening social and economic growth in the City of Minneapolis. The goals of the program are to provide arts and culture services to City Departments, promote local arts and culture, develop frameworks for 21st century arts economies and collaborate on arts based community development initiatives such as ‘creative placemaking’.
Projects Presented by Northern Lights.mn
Nooshin Hakim Javadi, Violet diaspora
Goodspace Murals, I Am a Water Protector
Sara Fowler, Ben Moren, and Tyler Stefanich, Collective Action!
Clarence White, Green Line Poet
Field Practice, Green Market Movers
Andrea Carlson, Water Is Life
May Lee-Yang, River Stories
Yes Let’s!, Climate Carnival Sideshow
Neighborhood Climate Change
Stephanie Lynn Rogers
Making the Best of It: Dandelion