Artist Mankwe Ndosi received Forecast Public Art’s largest 2014 grant, the $50,000 McKnight Project Grant, to create digital soundtracks unique to the Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis that will be available digitally and physically at listening posts. Her soundtracks will include contributions from neighborhood residents, field recordings and her own vocal work.

This McKnight Project Grant allows artists to both build their portfolios, particularly with larger-scale public projects, as well as to pursue projects of their own design, says Director of Artist Services, Melinda Childs. Ndosi was selected from a pool of five finalists by an independent panel of local, regional and national public art professionals. The other four finalists (Body Cartography, Karl Unnasch, Peter Haakon Thompson and Tamsie Ringler) received a $1,000 design stipend.

“The panel was impressed by the poetry in Ndosi’s work and the layering in this project,” says Childs. “The medium is something that will be engaging to all audiences, particularly youth. The panel also felt this opportunity would be timely for Ndosi and where she is in her artistic career, a great steppingstone.”

Forecast also announced recipients of its mid-career professional development and emerging artists project and planning grants. These grants support risk-taking, interdisciplinary approaches and collaborative problem solving. With support from Jerome Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, and Minnesota’s regional arts councils, the program offers financial awards along with training, technical assistance, career advice, networking opportunities, documentation, insurance certificates and promotion.

McKnight Mid-Career Professional Development Grants ($5,000 each) awarded to:

Jerome Emerging Artist Project Grants ($8,000) awarded to:

  • Mara Pelecis to create a community-driven public art series commemorating the 22 soldiers and veterans lost to suicide every day. Pelecis will invite participants to create groupings of 22 objects of their choosing and document the installations. The images then will be exhibited online and at galleries in government buildings, including the Scott County Government Center.
  • Jessica Hirsch to create The Cultivation Sanctuary, a dodecahedron shaped structure that will serve as a healing space for the inhabitants of rural shelter for women and children leaving abusive relationships. The exterior of the structure will serve as a play area for the children and the interior will serve as a greenhouse, horticultural library, gardening shed, and host an instructional mural on the planting season.

Jerome Emerging Artist Planning Grants ($2,500) awarded to:

  • Ady Olson to research the “intelligence” of plants and their ability to sense and understand their surroundings, which will form the concept for a participatory art project.
  • Emily Stover to explore rural issues through listening sessions with corner growers, alternative farmers, scientists, and land use advocates, which will inform her writing, 2D media and temporary sculptural forms.
  • Laura Bigger, Artemis Ettsen & Teréz Iacovino of the Cresent Collective to research the possibilities of growing food in unexpected places.
  • Aaron Squadroni to expand his current body of graphite drawings into a site-specific installation through research of abandoned mines around his Iron Range home.