Announcing Forecast’s 2023 Early- and Mid-Career Grant Recipients
We are incredibly proud of the talented group of artists selected to receive Forecast grant funding in 2023. Fifteen artists are recipients of Forecast’s 2023 early- and mid-career grants. A total of $86,000 will support thirteen independent projects, leadership and professional development, risk-taking, multidisciplinary approaches, and collaborative problem-solving in the field of public art.
Public artists help us connect with each other and understand our shared world. Our grant program gives public artists time and space to develop research and locally connected projects. Each year we seek to fund a diverse group of artists working in all career stages and in a range of public art practices and media. We emphasize supporting and amplifying the artistic work of BIPOC and Native artists, LGBTQIA+ artists, artists from rural communities, artists with disabilities, and other groups that are traditionally excluded. These have long been the only public art grants in the country that fund self-initiated artist projects rather than asking artists to answer a call. This year’s grant recipients are planning projects to uplift their communities through representational storytelling, celebrating creativity, promoting health, researching relationships, developing skills, and more.
This year’s recipients are:
Mid-Career Project ($10,000 each)
Summer Cypher (Teddy Grimes & Kimani Beard)
Early-Career Project ($8,000 each)
Mid-Career Professional Development ($5,000 each)
Sharon Mansur, with Meryl Zaytoun Murman
Early-Career Research + Development ($2,500 each)
Juliette Perine Myers
“Forecast’s 2023 grantees demonstrate that public art and artists are essential to claiming space, creating community resources, and realizing our collective future. We work diligently to increase accessibility for these grants, to uplift artists and culture bearers who represent our entire community,” says Jen Krava, Forecast’s Director of Programming and New Initiatives. “We are inspired by the visionary applications we received from across Minnesota and the Native Nations that share the same geography, and look forward to following this year’s grantees as they build their practices and reimagine what public art can do.”
We are thrilled for our grantees, and cannot wait to see what they accomplish this year!
It is our value that our applicants, panelists, and grantees reflect the racial, cultural, gender, artistic, physical ability, and geographic diversity of Minnesota and the 11 Native Nations that share the same geography, and the stories and perspectives of the artists and communities we serve.
2023 Mid-Career Project Grantees
Supports the creation of a new, publicly accessible, temporary or permanent artwork anywhere in the state of Minnesota by a Minnesota-based mid-career public artist (made possible by funding from McKnight Foundation)
Christopheraaron Deanes | @christopheraarondeanes
Exposure of Metal Enamel as Public Art
Christopheraaron will continue learning about porcelain enamel by preparing studio enamels in a kiln at Chicago Fire Arts Center. He is a public and gallery artist developing practices in metal enamel paint. Grant funds will be allocated toward professional instruction, coaching, supplies, and final pieces. These tutorials will aid in the completion of five enamel panels which will be shown in the Artistry in 2023 as well as the Hennepin County Library’s Dayton Gallery Space.
Christopheraaron Deanes was a Forecast 2022 Mid-Career Professional Development Grantee, and was one of 18 artists hired by Forecast to implement creative projects for Hennepin County’s 2021 Love Local Initiative.
Andy Frye | @andyjfrye
Andy will develop and produce Dance TV, a live dance show composed of all original music and performed by diverse Minnesota artists. They will present this public art at no charge in an accessible arts community center in downtown Duluth around the time of the 2023 Duluth Pride Festival. All are welcome, but the target audience is northern Minnesota LGBTQ+ individuals/allies, people who can truly benefit from messages of diversity, inclusion, acceptance, and advocacy.
Annie Hough | @carolannehough
Berry Farm Adventures
This grant will support the production of Annie’s eighth educational play for children, “Berry Farm Adventures.” It will allow her to compensate a director, costumer, set designer, musician, learning activity coordinator, audio describer, ASL interpreter and herself as playwright and producer. It will also offset the costs of space rental, materials, scripts, programs and advertising posters.
Summer Cypher (Teddy Grimes & Kimani Beard) | @summercyphermpls
Cedar Cypher is an all day celebration of Hip-hop and creativity featuring live graffiti murals, DJ’s, breakdancers, MC’s and more, taking place at The Cedar-Riverside Plaza on the West Bank in the fall of 2023. Through partnership with The Cedar Cultural Center, artist team Summer Cypher will create a temporary space for gathering, creative expression, and the opportunity to just “be.”
Pramila Vasudevan | @anicchaarts
PRAIRIE|CONCRETE–an embodied movement project by Pramila Vasudevan, commissioned by Public Art Saint Paul (PASP)–explores relationships between movement-making and plant-growing processes, seeking connections in a time of disconnection via embodied listening and embodied movement with audiences in Saint Paul. The commission will unfold across 3 City of Saint Paul Parks through a series of botanic movement sessions and workshops as part of the first Wakpa Triennial Arts Festival (June – Sept 2023).
Pramila Vasudevan was a Forecast 2019 Mid-Career Professional Development Grantee.
2023 Early-Career Project Grantees
Supports the creation of a temporary or permanent public artwork anywhere in the state of Minnesota by an early-career Minnesota-based artist (made possible by funding from Jerome Foundation)
Alexandra Beaumont | @anbeaumont
Dancing with Friends
Alexandra is developing a body of work—several large-scale parade banners featuring dancing figures—that originates from a magnificent, celebratory dance party. She intends to host a real joyful boogie-down where the event and participants are photographed, and those images become the basis for the banners. Eventually, the banners themselves will be paraded into a gallery space where the finished work will be on exhibition. The whole process – beginning with community movement; combining the boldness of celebration with tenderness of portraiture in the textile creation, and ending in celebratory display – will capture and build on the roots of inspiration that spark Alexandra’s art making.
Lea Friesen | @leafriesenmn
Growing Healthy Communities
Lea aims to create a large-scale collaborative mural project promoting community health and wellness in rural northern Minnesota. It will be installed at the Itasca County YMCA in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, designed and painted with input from youth in the Y’s childcare programs. The finished mural will celebrate local food and healthy communities while enriching the surrounding neighborhood with a highly visible piece of public art.
2023 Mid-Career Professional Development Grantees
Supports Minnesota-based mid-career artists seeking to expand or advance their careers in the field of public art, through a project idea or participation in career-enhancing activities (made possible by funding from McKnight Foundation)
Dani Bianchini | @dani_db_mosaicsarg
Daniela Bianchini is looking to expand her public art practice and pivot more in the direction of sculptures. With this grant, she will study and develop the skills necessary to create a ferrocement sculpture that will later be decorated with mosaics. Creating her own substrates will open up a world of possibilities for her mosaic work.
Dani Bianchini was on one of two artist teams Forecast hired to develop murals for NOKO in 2021.
Sharon Mansur, with Meryl Zaytoun Murman | @sharonmansur, @meryl.zaytoun.murman
Wayfinding (working title)
Lebanese American artist Sharon Mansur will invest in research, site explorations, creative experiments and community partnerships related to water, environment, refugees, migration, and SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African) diaspora themes, in preparation for Wayfinding, a multi-media public art project in Winona, Minnesota during summer 2024. Wayfinding will be a directed collaboration with Lebanese American artist Meryl Murman, supported by the McKnight International Choreographer Residency Program, and hosted by Mansur’s Cedar Tree Project platform. The McKnight Residency in Minnesota is made possible by the McKnight Choreographer Fellowship Program, funded by the McKnight Foundation and administered by The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts.
2023 Early-Career Research + Development Grantees
Supports early-career artists in public art-related research and development or with the planning phase of freely accessible public art installation or activity in Minnesota (made possible by funding from Jerome Foundation)
Talon Cavender-Wilson | @hawktalon2
Evolution of Dakota Tradition
The purpose of this project is to find a way, using modern science, to uphold traditional Dakota storytelling practices within modern sculpture. According to tradition, folklore is only to be told when there is snow on the ground—when it was too cold to be outside, that is when the stories and legends would begin. As a sculpture artist with a passion for traditional folklore, how does one keep to this tradition? This project will attempt to find a way to create outdoor information panels that are temperature and moisture sensitive so that stories will be kept to the winter, showing the title of the piece year round but only revealing more information while there is snow on the ground.
Jgo | @Jgo1017
Speaking Truth to Ourselves
This project is centered on empowering voices that are traditionally marginalized within creative spaces. BIPOC youth are often pushed to engage in creative outlets with a focus on financial goals, if they are encouraged at all. By planning community events including open mics, workshops, and community dinners, this project will seek to empower BIPOC youth (25 and younger) to share experiences through written/verbal storytelling without barriers of professional/academic legitimacy. Within this grant period, logistic/budget research, marketing planning, community and organization outreach, and event planning including workshop/activity development will be completed.
Soph Munic | @sophmunic
Queer Textile Theory Reading Group Research & Preparation
This spring Soph is hosting a Queer Textile Theory Reading Group where they and other artists will meet once a week to discuss readings. Each artist will then create a piece of work reacting to this experience, culminating as a group show at Fresh Eye Gallery in June 2023. Funding will support purchasing books and afford them to take time off to prepare a curriculum to best facilitate this program.
Juliette Perine Myers | @juliettepm_art
Investigating Chinese Ancestry
This project will be an exploration of Juliette’s Chinese ancestry and an investigation of her family history by learning about Chinese mythology, history, and traditional art practices. She hopes to develop a stylistic and thematic vocabulary that will influence her artistic practice. Her focus as an artist revolves around uplifting BIPOC and marginalized communities, utilizing ancestral knowledge, decolonizing our relationship to land, and creating space for joy. Understanding her ancestral Chinese roots is an effort in decolonization and challenging Western norms that she hopes to carry in her personal, as well as public and community artwork moving forward.
An independent panel selected the 2023 grantees
Forecast follows a rigorous policy on the disclosure and management of conflicts of interest to ensure the integrity of the grant program.
This year’s panelists are:
- Courtney Cochran
- Stephanie Echeveste
- Anita Morson-Matra
- Moira Villiard (Moira Villiard was a Forecast 2019 Early-Career Project Grantee.)