Last fall, the fate of the Art Shanty Projects looked dire, as the beloved festival had failed to secure funding for 2019.
In light of an $85,000 shortfall, the organization decided to take a year off to raise funds, discuss potential partnering with other events, and re-evaluate what was working and what wasn’t. Though the event had skipped in the past, there were questions this time as to whether the festival would return in any shape or form at all.
Monday morning, however, Art Shanty Projects personnel announced that they have secured a grant that will allow them to host the event in 2020 and 2021.
“This grant makes a huge difference in Art Shanty Projects’ ability to continue our programming. It caught us completely by surprise,” says Saulaman Schlegel, co-chair of the organization’s board via email.
The grant, gifted by an anonymous kind soul, will cover more than 50 percent of the cost of on-ice events and will hopefully aid the organization to becoming self-sustaining.
“With this key funding, we can begin focusing more energy towards fulfilling our mission to fairly compensate our artists ... and to including more diverse participation, including artists of color,” says Schlegel.
The festival, which used to take place on Medicine Lake before moving to White Bear Lake, will return to Lake Harriet, which hosted 2018’s happening.
This Saturday, January 26, the Art Shanties will have a lot to celebrate as they team up with the Minneapolis Kite Festival on Lake Harriet. As folks fly kites and ride fat tire bikes, Shanty artists will also be on hand for family fun, including a puppet show, kazoo bands, and storytelling. After the main event, the Shanties will host an after-party fundraiser in the heated tent, where bingo will be played.