Over the summer of 2013, thanks to a grant from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) in partnership with the Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association (SENA), Forecast Public Art was invited to collaborate with the Youth Advisory Board at courageous heARTS . What started as a simple consulting project for us ended in a really fun partnership.

The Advisory Board was tasked creating with a community-based art project that shared their perspective with the surrounding community.  After brainstorming dozens of ideas, they landed on the topic of street art.

This topic became a rich source of conversation as youth grappled with the positive and negative aspects of this potentially divisive issue. Their questions piled up as they examined the the meaning of words, considered the role of power, and engaged in the dichotomy of this sometimes destructive and sometimes healing form of expression. Instead of creating a project that gave an answer to these questions, the Youth Advisory Board decided to engage the community in a dialogue through an installation called “Is This Art?”  Five questions were asked and answers were gathered through a mosaic of colored stickers– each color represented a different question.


  • RED: Who decides what art is?
  • GREEN: Define street art.
  • PINK: When do you think (if ever) street art is ok?
  • YELLOW: What is the effect or impact of graffiti on communities?
  • ORANGE: What do you think when you hear the word graffiti?


And that’s not all! Thanks to a generous donation from Clear Channel Outdoor, courageous heARTS has billboard space for the month of November! Friends in Minneapolis can see it if they drive south on Cedar Ave. and look up when they see the Cedar Inn.

The billboard directs visitors to the courageous heARTS homepage where they can view our newest video capturing thoughts from the Youth Advisory Board about the project’s concept and design, as well as a time-lapse of the project from start to finish. Be sure to check out the amazing and thoughtful things these young people have to say about street art and learn more about the project!

We’re not done yet!  Keep the conversation going online. Follow and share: #IsThisArt on Facebook and Twitter.

This project wouldn’t have been possible without Line Break Media (who produced the video for a fraction of what it is worth), and graphic designer Matt Wells (who created the billboard design pro bono).

Thank you to Lindsay Walz, founder of courageous heARTS, for her vision and support of Forecast Public Art.