Artist Calls

Art Shanty Projects encourages artists of all stripes––musicians, composers, media artists, architects, poets, scientists, dancers, choreographers, writers, outdoors-people, naturalists, puppeteers, set designers, vocalists, spoken word artists, craftspeople, storytellers, actors, playwrights–– to create unique structures and engaging performances for the On-Ice ProgramThere are no application fees or restrictions. Proposals are submitted through an online platform; shanty submissions are due in July and performance submissions are due in August. To ensure you know precisely when our calls for artists are launched, please sign up for our newsletter. 

Shanty Requirements
Artists should take the following requirements into consideration when designing or developing an idea to submit a successful proposal. 

  1. Environment.  The design of the shanty should take the environment and weather conditions into consideration as these are the main obstacles on ice. The lake is very windy, which places incredible strain and wear on structures. Shanties must be built soundly out of durable materials. The lake is a quiet place, consequently generators are not allowed at any time. If you require power, there are many options using solar power, deep cycle batteries and renewable methods for charging.Project participants should leave only tracks on the lake. 
  2. Structure.   Although there are virtually no building codes on the lake, any loose parts that come off the shanty, will be covered by snow and consequently frozen, rendering it litter. Please consider both materials and methods when proposing a structure. The Ramsey County Water Patrol requires everything to have walls.
  3. Safety.  One of the few requirements from the MN Dept of Natural Resources involving 'dark house' structures on the ice is the placement of reflective material on all sides for the safety of vehicles or snowmobiles traveling at night. Reflective tape works well on irregular structures. 
  4. Mobility.  The shanty must be easily movable to avoid freezing to the ice or, in cases of inclement weather where the ice becomes unstable, removed on short notice. One common option is ‘skis’. Elaborate set-up is not recommended. Igloos or other structures that rest directly on the ice are not allowed.
  5. Community.  The On-Ice Program is intended to attract visitors of all ages and abilities. The structures should be attractive, exciting and/or interesting to visitors; enough to draw them 1000 feet out on to a frozen lake surface in order to interact. Please consider community inclusion in the proposal and be sure structures and activities are appropriate for the audience.

Performance Considerations
Art Shanty Projects encourage performances to occur outdoors rather than inside shanties to be as accessible as possible. If your idea requires an intimate indoor space, please describe it in your proposal. Please note that a proposal for a project to happen inside a specific shanty is subject to approval from those artists. On-Ice Programming should occur on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 4pm.

  1. Environment. Successful proposals will consider the unique environment of the shanty community and our host lake, will engage audiences, and be feasible overall.
  2. Engagement. Details concerning the production of the performance and how your project engages participants in the event.
  3. Logistics. Please include your preferred site location, time frame (a 30 minute dance; an 8 hour reading; a game played each weekend, etc), top three choices for days and times of the program, and any technical requirements to ensure the feasibility of your performance.

Proposals not selected for a stipend may be able to present their works without funding. All performing artists are required to submit a project proposal. Scheduling priority will be given to stipend winners.

Proposal Requirements
Art Shanty Projects requests a written proposal in three parts. 

Tell us about what you would like to create. What is it called? What interaction or activities will take place?  What will a visitor see, hear, do, feel or learn? 

Artistic Goals
Audience engagement is essential to the success of the experience for both the artist and the audience. What is the plan for audience interaction? How does the proposal fit with the mission and artistic goals of the Art Shanty Projects?

Address your capacity to create and staff the project during the festival in February, 2017. With over 1000 visitors per day, how will the interactive aspect of your project accommodate the potential flow of traffic?

Project Proposal Images
Please include relevant visual supporting material (drawings of proposed shanty, links to video clips of performances) and any other materials that will help the jury understand your proposal. (Up to 5 files)


Selection Criteria
All proposals will be reviewed by a panel of professional artists, curators, arts administrators and a representative from the Art Shanty Projects Board of Directors based on the following criteria:

  • Quality: Adherence to Art Shanty Projects mission and values with a sound plan for audience interaction. 
  • Design: Clear understanding of design / building requirements for shanties. Thoughtful consideration of design / adaptation to the elements for performances.
  • Feasibility: Evidence of capacity to successfully create and staff the project.


  1. Consider working in teams, there are many physical and logistical challenges that are much easier when working with others.

  2. Think realistically about staffing open hours for a shanty. The project lasts four weekends. Shanties are required to be open during public hours from 10am-4pm.

  3. The lake sees intense winds; design your structure/programming to minimize the chance of materials being frozen into the ice.

  4. Collaboration is the name of the game with the Art Shanty Projects. Please be realistic with your collaborators about who is doing what.

Questions about program proposals should be sent to