GroundWork: Public Art Consulting Intensive

Do you want to build the skills needed to become a public art consultant? GroundWork is a four-day intensive offered by Forecast for IBPOC (Indigenous and/or Black, and/or Persons of Color) who live in Minnesota and are collaborative, innovative leaders interested in the arts, artists, and playing a role in making positive change in communities.

Public art consultants help connect the ideas, energies, and talents of artists with the needs and opportunities of communities and client groups. They facilitate the commissioning of new artwork, identify and curate public artists, produce and manage public events, design and implement community engagement efforts, develop public art plans for public and private developers, and more.

Public agencies and private entities rely increasingly on public art consultants to help guide and facilitate projects and processes to help ensure successful public art and placemaking outcomes. Investment in arts and cultural initiatives continue to grow throughout the country, especially in cities and towns addressing arts and place-based development.

Nationally there is a lack of IBPOC in the public art consulting field. Forecast seeks to fill existing gaps in the field of public art consulting through GroundWork, providing opportunities in consulting work and preparing a more diverse network of consultants to help shape the future of public art and place-based work in cities and communities.

This intensive will offer an overview of the public art consulting world, including: types of work available in this field, the broad range of projects Forecast engages, an understanding of how your strengths, perspectives, and skills can be maximized within the field.

GroundWork is designed for IBPOC who live in Minnesota with experience in the arts and/or related sectors of the community, including but not limited to: public art, design and architecture, planning, community-engaged arts, community organizing, creative placemaking, economic development, education, environmental justice, health care, housing, native nations, public policy, public systems, youth development.

This professional level training is provided free of cost to all participants thanks to a generous Arts Access grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Following this intensive, participants will have the opportunity to apply to gain paid on-the-ground experience working on a current Forecast project in 2019. Number of hours will vary by project and participant availability. 



Topics Covered

  • The role of a public art consultant
  • Client/stakeholder relationships
  • Project analysis and evaluation
  • Basic consulting techniques
  • Legal and contracting considerations


GroundWork will be facilitated by Forecast staff in partnership with the following, and others:

  • Sandy Agustin, Creative Facilitator
  • Nicole Crutchfield, Planning Director, City of Fargo
  • Kersten Elverum, City Planner, City of Hopkins
  • James Garrett, Architect and Founder, 4RM+ULA
  • John Gebratetose, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, HUGE Theater
  • Mike Hoyt, Creative Community Liaison, Pillsbury House + Theatre
  • Andy Johnson, Arts-based Evaluator, TerraLuna Collaborative
  • Nathan Johnson, Architect, 4RM+ULA
  • Tisidra Jones, Founder & CEO, Strong & Starlike Consulting, Inc.
  • Pam Korza, Co-Director, Animating Democracy
  • Neeraj Mehta, Director of Learning, McKnight Foundation
  • Satoko Muratake, Landscape Designer and Associate, TEN x TEN
  • Julia Nekessa Opoti, Multi-Media Storyteller and Research Consultant
  • Vidhya Shanker, Research and Evaluation Consultant, Rainbow Research
  • Deanna Rae StandingCloud, Program and Community Network Director, Tiwahe Foundation
  • Caroline Taiwo, Economic Opportunity Program Director, Springboard for the Arts
  • Karis Thompson, Consultant, Community Development + Community Engagement
  • Dudley Voigt, FLOW Artistic Director
  • Harry Waters Jr., Professor of Theatre, Artist, Consultant
  • Eleonore Wesserle,  Narrative and Storytelling Strategist, Dreams to Power
  • Julio Zelaya, GMRJP Coordinator, ACLU Minnesota



We are so inspired by our inaugural class of 34 amazing, multi-talented people who identify as artists, professionals, administrators, creators, dancers, musicians, producers, educators, writers, poets, performers, curators, organizers, connectors, aspiring ethnomusicologists, muralists, photojournalists, photographers, graphic designers, and more. In alphabetical order by first name:

  • Aki Shibata
  • Andres Perez
  • Anne Gomez
  • Brian Few Jr.
  • Candida Gonzalez
  • Caron Learned
  • Christopheraaron Deanes
  • Delina White
  • Donna Ray
  • Eric Avery
  • Hawona Sullivan Janzen
  • Jonathan van Arneman
  • karen savage blue
  • Katherine Beecham
  • Maia Maiden
  • Marcus Young
  • Maria Cristina (“Tina”) Tavera
  • Maya Beecham
  • Mayumi Amada
  • Mayumi Park
  • Meena Mangalvedhekar
  • Natasha Pugh
  • Olivia Levins Holden
  • Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra
  • Ritika Ganguly
  • Robyne Robinson
  • Sandy’Ci Moua
  • Seena Hodges
  • Sohini Ghosh
  • Susan Smith-Grier
  • teeko yang
  • Tiffany Enriquez
  • Tricia Heuring
  • Witt Siasoco



This intensive will take place over two weekends in the fall of 2018, in the Twin Cities. Participants are expected to attend all four days (times are approximate):

  • Friday, September 14, 1 – 7pm
  • Saturday, September 15, 9am – 3pm
  • Friday, October 5, 1 – 7pm
  • Saturday, October 6, 9am – 3pm

Participant Qualifications

  • Are Indigenous/Native American, and/or Latinx, and/or Asian Pacific Islander, and/or Arab/Middle Eastern, and/or Black
  • Have lived in Minnesota for the past 12 months
  • Have experience or interest in the arts and/or related sectors of the community, including but not limited to: public art, design and architecture, planning, community-engaged arts, community organizing, creative placemaking, economic development, education, environmental justice, health care, housing, native nations, public policy, public systems, youth development
  • Are open to new experiences, relationships, and cross-sector collaborations
  • Can commit to the dates and times scheduled for the sessions

Selection Process

Interviews of selected applicants took place the week of August 6. Notification of the final selection of GroundWork participants were made by Thursday, August 16.





This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.