Open Call for Projects: 7th Annual Creative City Challenge
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 seventh annual Creative City Challenge based on the theme: “We Are Here.”
Entries are being accepted now through November 26, 2018
The Creative City Challenge is a showcase for local creative talent and a tangible symbol of the complex stories that make up the many narratives 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 4 months of onsite programming. Three finalists will receive $2,500 to create full proposals. The winning Creative City Challenge proposal will receive a $50,000 commission to execute the project.
The winning Creative City Challenge project will be unveiled and featured at the opening of Northern Spark, an annual late-night festival with tens of thousands of participants, taking place in Minneapolis on June 14 and 15, 2019, and will remain in The Commons through August with a possible extension into October.
We Are Here: Resilience, Renewal, and Regeneration was generated through responses from community members in the places where Northern Spark 2019 is taking place–Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul and the American Indian Cultural Corridor in Minneapolis, in addition to The Commons in downtown Minneapolis. The responses were molded into this theme by the collective voices of the Program Council, a group of nine artists of color working with Northern Lights to think differently and more rigorously about how to address tough challenges of access and opportunities in all aspects of the organization.
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.
Past Creative City Challenge Winners
Information about the 2018 Creative City Challenge winner Carry On Homes is here. 2017’s winning project Orbacles can be found here and 2016’s winning project Wolf and Moose here. The Creative City Challenge was developed as a project of the Minneapolis Convention Center in 2013, its inaugural year, the Creative City Challenge selected the Minneapolis Interactive Macro Mood Installation (MIMMI) as the winner, Balancing Ground in 2014 and mini_polis in 2015.
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.
- 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 sight lines, 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.
Info session and past winners panel, Wednesday, November 7. Sign up for a one-on-one consultation or attend the panel discussion.
Entries are accepted until 9:00 p.m. CST, November 26, 2018 (see entrant information below).
A committee of stakeholders will select three finalists by December 5.
Each finalist will receive a fee of $2,500 to prepare a final proposal, which will be due January 21, 2019.
A separate jury will select the winner based on in-person presentations by the finalists on or around January 28.
What We Are Looking For
Workshops and Info Session
Check back for the dates, times and locations of workshops and info sessions.
The Creative City Challenge challenges applicants to create an installation that explores the idea of commonality for Minneapolis, its residents and visitors.
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 16, when the Creative City Challenge will be launched, and the X Games July 19-22. The Commons also hosts a range of other events including community gatherings, company picnics, weddings, and events related to the Stadium.
- We Are Here. How does your project relate to the theme?
- 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.
- 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.
- Participatory. How will people interact with your project? Participation can be passive such as following dancers moving through space or participatory data visualization.
- Nighttime. How will your project operate at night? How will people see your work?
- Safety. This piece will remain in place for about 10 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 3 months, with a possible extension, and installation and de-installation on the Commons must be efficient. 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. You must include a thorough maintenance plan and adequate maintenance budget, for stakeholder approval.
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.
Proposals are due by 9:00 p.m. Central time November 26, 2018. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with additional questions.
About the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy Program, City of Minneapolis
The mission of the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy, a division of the City of Minneapolis Coordinator’s office, is to leverage the creative sector towards social and economic growth in the City of Minneapolis. The office is responsible for the city’s cultural planning and policies, arts, culture and creative economy research, artist creative workforce support and cross sector engagement and collaboration.
About Green Minneapolis and The Commons
The Commons is a new 4.2 acre public green space in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Spanning two city blocks, the beautifully landscaped and actively programmed park offers experiences to welcome and engage the community at large. The Commons is located at 425 Portland Avenue S in Minneapolis, across from U.S. Bank Stadium and steps from the Light Rail Train station.
About Northern Lights.mn and Northern Spark
Northern Spark is a one-night, all-night participatory arts festival taking place on Saturday, June 16th, 2018 from 8:59 pm – 5:26 am. During Northern Spark, tens of thousands of people gather throughout the city to explore giant video projections, play in temporary installations in the streets, and enjoy experimental performances in green spaces and under bridges. From dusk to dawn, the city surprises you: friendly crowds, glowing groups of cyclists, an unexpected path through the urban landscape, the magic of sunrise after a night of amazing art and experiences.
Northern Spark is produced by Northern Lights.mn, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to artists working innovatively in the public sphere, exploring expanded possibilities for civic engagement.
Find out more
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NorthernSparkMN
On Twitter: http://twitter.com/northern_spark
On Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/northernlights.mn/
On Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/manage/albums/4769583
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