42 projects win Knight Arts Challenge St. Paul – Knight Foundation

42 projects win Knight Arts Challenge St. Paul

Photo: Knight Arts Challenge St. Paul winner Aaron Dysart and friends will project video art on to steam from a plant in downtown St. Paul.  Related Link

Today, we are excited to announce the 42 winners of this year’s St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge. Our first year of the contest in St. Paul saw the highest per capita response for any arts challenge in history, with 868 submissions! Ideas poured in from all corners of the community and across all disciplines. We are grateful to all who participated and trusted us with their ideas and passion for the arts in St. Paul.

Each application submitted was carefully reviewed by a group of ten local readers and Knight staff. The team narrowed the list to 69 finalists, each of whom submitted a more detailed proposal and project budget. Again, our talented panel of reviewers read through each proposal and collectively recommended a list of grantees. Those recommendations were presented to our Board of Trustees earlier this month and we are honored to now share the winners.


Each arts challenge tells a story about a city’s cultural community. St. Paul continues to be a strong theatrical town with a growing visual arts scene. Additionally, we received significant numbers of applications from recent and long-standing immigrant communities. Several of those ideas rose through the process to the list of recommended grants. We’re excited the list reflects  “the new St. Paul”, a diverse, inclusive community full of vibrancy.

Take a look below at the short descriptions of these projects. And don’t forget, the St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge is a three-year initiative. We will begin accepting applications for year two in spring 2015. If you haven’t already, please sign up for our mailing list for updates and most importantly, START DREAMING.Knight Arts Challenge St. Paul Winners 2014

Power Plant Will Project Positive Energy Recipient: Aaron Dysart, Andrea Steudel, Emily Stover and Asia Ward Award: $35,000 To celebrate the landmark power plant in downtown St. Paul as a largely sustainable fuel source by projecting a light show on the steam plume that billows from the roof

Winnebago Workshops Inspire Teen Artists Recipient: Alec Soth / Little Brown Mushroom Award: $35,000 To create “The Winnebago Workshop,” a mobile classroom where teens are paired with artists to create multimedia stories

Ensembles Bring Music to Unlikely St. Paul Locations Recipient: American Composers Forum Award: $7,000 To bring the arts into people’s everyday lives by infusing music experiences into unlikely places in downtown St. Paul during the noontime hour.

Women’s Roles in Global Food System Focus of Interdisciplinary Work Recipient: Ananya Dance Theatre Award: $50,000 To tell the story of women’s roles in the global food system through an interdisciplinary piece

Water Festival Adapts Southeast Asian Tradition Recipient: Asian Economic Development Association Award: $50,000 To explore the significance of water through art at the St. Paul Water Festival, a Minnesota adaptation of celebrations that take place in Southeast Asia.

Live Theater and Radio Novela Series Showcases Latino East Siders Recipient: Barry Madore Award: $50,0000 To showcase Latino East Siders through a fictional radio novela/variety show, broadcast on the new Dayton’s Bluff FM station

Poetry Slam Features National Artists and Cash Prizes Recipient: Button Poetry Award: $40,000 To provide the community with access to top spoken-word artists through monthly performances and workshops

Fashion Show Highlights the Best of Hmong Design Recipient: Center for Hmong Arts and Talent Award: $35,000 To highlight the best of Hmong design through the Fresh Traditions Fashion Show, where contestants incorporate the five traditional Hmong fabrics into contemporary form

Choreography Residency Elevates African Diaspora Contemporary Dance Recipient: Contempo Physical Dance Award: $30,000 To challenge assumptions about African and contemporary dance through an annual choreography residency for those working in Brazilian or African Diaspora contemporary dance

Immersive Art Experiences Transform St. Paul’s Underutilized Spaces Recipient: curious incident Award: $15,000 To highlight the history of St. Paul’s unused spaces by energizing them with immersive arts events

Large-Scale Storytelling Artworks Honor East Siders Recipient: East Side Freedom Library Award: $25,000 To commission large-scale artworks that promote “the work of freedom” and honor the people who have shaped the city’s East Side

Hamilton Ink Spot Expands Access to Printmaking Recipient: Hamilton Ink Spot Award: $50,000 To expand this storefront cooperative that provides classes and mentorship programs for the hand printing of original artwork

North Enders Tell Their Stories Through Digital Media Recipient: In Progress Award: $50,000 To build understanding of the long invisible yet vibrant North End community through digital storytelling by local youth and adults

New Fellowship Competition Boosts Screenwriters Recipient: Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota Award: $60,000 To help develop local screenwriters through a fellowship competition where all finalists receive mentoring and classes to improve their work

Dynamic Lighting Displays Transform Rice Park Landmarks Recipient: Jeff Bartlett Award: $45,000 To transform landmark buildings in St. Paul by having  master lighting designer Jeff Bartlett turn architectural icons into kinetic canvases for light, color and drama.

Mosaics, Murals and Graffiti Art Amplify Immigrant Stories Recipient: Jonathan Oppenheimer Award: $25,000 To amplify artists’ and immigrant business owners’ voices along Snelling Avenue through mosaics, graffiti art and paint murals that showcase the neighborhood’s stories

Mobile Art Program Focuses on Preservation of Somali Poetry and Arts Recipient: Ka Joog Award: $20,000 To preserve the art of Somali poetry through a mobile art program offering performances and educational programming

New Youth Percussion Group Featured at St. Paul Saints Stadium Recipient: M2 Foundation Award: $30,000 To foster a love for music in St. Paul youth by teaching them to perform African and Brazilian rhythms on percussion instruments, preparing for performances at the St. Paul Saints’ new ballpark

St. Paul Lands GRAMMY Camp for Teens Recipient: McNally Smith College of Music Foundation Award: $20,000 To provide high school students interested in music careers with the rare opportunity to attend a prestigious GRAMMY Camp, staffed by GRAMMY professionals

Bronze Skeleton Sculpture Doubles as Iconic Bike Rack Recipient: Michael Bahl Award: $40,000 To create a landmark for St. Paul bicycle culture through a sculpture that doubles as a bike rack

Series brings Arab-American Art into the Community Recipient: Mizna Award: $40,000 To introduce new audiences to Arab-American artistic expression by bringing local and national Arab writers and filmmakers to the city’s parks, art spaces and cafes

Poetic Tapestry to Reflect a Changing City Recipient: MN Spoken Word Association Award: $14,000 To celebrate the city through spoken word by creating a tapestry of poems written by residents in 10 rapidly growing neighborhoods

Immigrant Stories Take Stage in New Work Recipient: Mu Performing Arts Award: $70,000 To empower immigrants in the Twin Cities to tell their stories by creating an original play about the 21st century immigrant experience in collaboration with artist Masanari Kawahara

Music-Theater Expands New Works Series Recipient: Nautilus Music-Theater Award: $40,000 To become a major resource in the renaissance of Lowertown St. Paul by expanding programming and audience engagement efforts in a new street-level space

Indian Celebration Moves from Home to Public Sphere Recipient: Ragamala Dance Company Award: $18,000 To bring a traditional Indian celebration of the arts into the public sphere with “Navaratri: Bringing the Arts from Home to Community”

Series Celebrates Hip-Hop Culture in Art and Music Recipient: Rogue Citizen /Free Range Music Cooperative Award: $15,000 To celebrate St. Paul hip-hop through an arts and music series that draws attention to an often-overlooked culture in the city

Public Gallery for Student Works Coming to Creative Arts School Recipient: Saint Paul Public Schools and Partners Award: $5,000 To encourage creative expression by creating a public gallery to present high-quality student-produced art events

Theater Project Helps Students Explore Race and Racism Recipient: Science Museum of Minnesota Award: $55,000 To explore race and racism through community workshops that are paired with a museum exhibition, led by Penumbra Theatre Company, and grounded in theater techniques

Space Helps Cultivate a Community of Queer Hmong Artists Recipient: Shades of Yellow Award: $19,000 To build the Hmong/ Asian Pacific Islander LGBTQ artist community by opening a studio where artists can create, perform and receive support to creatively share their stories

Radio Show Makes Art Accessible to Latinos Recipient: Silvia Pontaza Award: $40,000 To make art more accessible to the Latino community by creating a community radio show and podcast that provides context on local cultural exhibits and events

Signs from Lowertown’s history Preserved Recipient: Stahl Construction Company Award: $45,000 To preserve the legacy of St. Paul’s architecture by restoring historic company signs that distinguish Lowertown

New Puppet Play Features Indonesian-Minnesota Mash-up Recipient: Sumunar Indonesian Music and Dance Award: $15,000 To introduce local audiences to Indonesian shadow puppet plays, known as wayang kulit, based on traditional stories and current events in Minnesota

Intimate Concerts Planned for Lowertown Recipient: Sweet 317 Award: $6,000 To offer a free monthly music series at this intimate space in Lowertown focused on art-forward events

Classical Groups Widen Reach with Art Crawl Performances Recipient: The Baroque Room Award: $12,000 To showcase the Saint Paul classical music scene during the Art Crawl through performances in art gallery spaces

Exhibition Space Brings Prominent Artists to St. Paul Recipient: The Bindery Projects Award: $50,000 To ensure the city is part of the national discourse on contemporary art by showcasing prominent artists at this artist-run exhibition space

Theater in a Tent: Mini-Performances Provide Curious Experiences Recipient: The Winding Sheet Outfit Award: $4,000 To infuse a sense of magic and wonder into theater through a storytelling performance that takes place beneath a black tent that travels around the city

Jazz Festival Expands Recipient: Twin Cities Jazz Festival Award: $125,000 To increase audiences for jazz by expanding the outdoor stages in Lowertown for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival

Parade Puppets Will Manifest Unity Along University Avenue Recipient: Unify University! Award: $7,000 To celebrate cultural unity by commissioning artists to build giant street puppets for the Unify University Community Parade

Series Brings Jazz to Selby Avenue Recipient: Walker West Music Academy Award: $25,000 To bring jazz music back to Selby Avenue through a monthly free concert series at Walker West’s new music center

Stories of State Capitol To Take the Stage Recipient: Wonderlust Productions Award: $35,000 To provide a behind-the-scenes peak of the state Capitol through a site-specific play generated by the people who bring the place to life each day

“Smallest Museum in St. Paul” to be created at Raymond/University on the Green Line Recipient: WorkHorse Coffee Bar Award: $5,000 To engage Green Line LRT commuters by creating “the smallest museum in St. Paul” in a vintage fire-hose cabinet along University Avenue

“Food Opera” to Pair Dishes with New Musical Compositions Recipient: Zeitgeist Award: $10,000 To meld the musical and culinary arts by pairing foods with new musical compositions