Forecast Public Art is pleased to announce its 2016 grant recipients. The $50,000 Mid-Career Project Grant goes to artist Marcus Young. Ashley Fairbanks and Rory Wakemup were each awarded $8000 Emerging Artist Project Grants. Malia Burkhart and Andrea Ellen Reed received $5000 Mid-Career Professional Development Grants. Laryssa Husiak, Eric Avery, Mayumi Amada, and a team comprised of Yang Mee-Moua Yang, Sao Her, Laichee Yang, and Pa Na Lor were awarded $2500 Emerging Artist Research & Development Grants. Mid-career artist grants are funded by The McKnight Foundation and emerging artist grants are funded by Jerome Foundation.

All grant submissions are reviewed and selected by a group of public art professionals. Andrea Jenkins, Twin Cities-based artist and oral historian; Sara Daleiden, public artist, educator and cultural producer from Milwaukee and Los Angeles; and Marty Pottenger, performance artist and director from Portland, Maine, served as grant review panelists for this round.

Forecast awards grants to both emerging and mid-career artists in Minnesota to support independent projects, leadership development, professional development, risk-taking, multidisciplinary approaches, and collaborative problem-solving in the field of public art.

Learn more about Forecast’s grants.

Mid-Career Project Grant: $50,000

This is the fifth annual Mid-Career Project Grant. Previous grant awardees are: Seitu Jones, Randy Walker, Melisande Charles, and Mankwe Ndosi. In addition to these $50,000 project grants, funding from The McKnight Foundation enables Forecast to provide Mid-Career Professional Development Grants. “Mid-career” artists are defined as being recognized by their peers and arts professionals, having produced an independent body of work, and having a record of commissions, projects, or exhibitions.

Marcus Young (楊墨) will create a new work (tentatively) titled Open-Hearted Action. Externally the work will look like wild and joyful dancing in the streets. Internally, it is a civic practice of liberation with the mind, body, and spirit. Like yoga or meditation, this behavioral form will be participatory, and anyone will be able to try it. Because the practice takes place on busy city streets, the work explores themes of protest and civic engagement, and will address the urgent political matters of our day. Marcus will lead a team of artists in this work, and the project will connect to other communities of practice beyond art—wellness and healing, spirituality, activism, urban design, and psychology. Building on eight years of development, Open-Hearted Action will begin by offering sessions in 2016 and culminate in larger events in 2017. Learn more about his project at

Emerging Artist Project Grants: $8000

Funded by the Jerome Foundation, these grants support the creation of publicly accessible temporary or permanent artwork anywhere in the state of Minnesota by emerging Minnesota based artists. Projects may be in any form or discipline, including performance, dance, storytelling, photography, film, sculpture, painting, etc., as long as there is a visual focus.

Ashley Fairbanks: Artist, designer and exhibition developer Ashley Fairbanks will create a mini museum highlighting Dakota history mounted onto a bike trailer, which she will pedal to contested sites in Minneapolis to discuss Dakota History.

Rory Wakemup: As “Darth Chief,” Rory Wakemup will collaborate with the Native American comedy group “1491’s” for a community-designed public performance at the Minneapolis American Indian Center on Indigenous Peoples Day 2016.

Mid-Career Professional Development Grants$5000

These grants support Minnesota-based mid-career artists seeking to expand or advance their careers in the field of public art. Funding can be used to support the development of a project idea or to participate in activities that will help applicants further their careers as public artists.

Malia Burkhart: Community-based performance artist Malia Burkhart will investigate collaborative process and ensemble development through the creation of an outdoor performance installation.

Andrea Ellen Reed: Filmmaker Andrea Ellen Reed will create her first outdoor public installation showing “Unsighted,” a video projection about the longstanding tensions between Black Americans and the police.

Emerging Artist Research & Development Grants$2500

These grants support emerging public artists in the development phase of a freely accessible public art installation/activity in Minnesota. This includes research, planning, community dialogues, site or budget development, and model building.

Laryssa Husiak: Laryssa Husiak will create “Free Speech Karaoke,” an interactive project that invites participants to stand upon a soapbox and recite-a-long famous American speeches. Laryssa will bring this work to a variety of public locations for interactive experiences and refine her concept and design through the prototype installation.

Eric Avery: Using his unique brand of interactive performance making, Eric Avery will create an episodic event that sends audiences on a journey through a fictionalized account of his life and death in locations throughout a south Minneapolis neighborhood over the course of a day. Eric will engage residents and local performances in dialogues about the installation and will develop his technical ability to deliver a large, public performance.

Yang Mee-Moua Yang, Sao Her, Laichee Yang, and Pa Na Lor: Four Hmong women storytellers, working across media, will further research, develop and preserve the tradition of storytelling in the Hmong culture using non-folk art media such as painting, performative art, film and animation. The collaborative will use grant funding to further their own visual practice as it relates to their storytelling.

Mayumi Amada: Mayumi Amada will develop her technical skills through experimentation with materials and fabrication, specifically learning to use a laser cutter to make new public artwork based on practice as an installation artist, experimental work, and new ideas.

These grants are made possible through generous funding from Jerome Foundation and The McKnight Foundation.