a colorful stylized map shows connections between different cities in the Twin Cities metro area. A caption at the top reads PLACES gathering momentum along the green line.

Artist Call: PLACES Research + Design Fellowship

The PLACES Research & Design Fellowship invites an artist/designer to participate in a community engaged creative process that combines research, graphic design, visual narrative development and public art development. The Fellow will engage in creative collaborations as part of the PLACES initiatives connecting the SWLRT corridor communities through art and culture.

What is the SWLRT?

The METRO Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT or SWLRT) will operate on a route from downtown Minneapolis through the communities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. The line will include 16 new stations and will be part of an integrated system of transitways, including connections to the METRO Blue Line, the Northstar Commuter Rail line, and many bus routes. At Target Field Station in Minneapolis, Green Line Extension trains will continue along the METRO Green Line, providing one-seat rides to the University of Minnesota, State Capitol area, and downtown Saint Paul.

What is PLACES?

PLACES stands for “public art and community engagement Southwest.” It is an initiative to facilitate public art along the Southwest Light Rail Transit (LRT) Corridor. Public art creates places and historically it has been a vital part of our civic spaces and transit amenities in the metro area. Federal funding for public art in transit projects was cut in 2016, so SWLRT stakeholders started gathering to discuss the ability to incorporate public art into areas adjacent to station areas. The group consists of representatives from the cities and counties the SWLRT will extend through, Metro Transit, arts professionals, who are invested in the future of the communities along the LRT extension.


  • Raise awareness, generate interest and enthusiasm amongst civic leaders, philanthropy, businesses and land-owners along the SWLRT corridor.
  • Engage artists, stakeholders and community members, even during the current health crisis and shelter in place mandate.
  • Raise community awareness of the role artists can play—artists from diverse backgrounds, disciplines and ethnicities.
  • Strengthen the opportunity for local artists to participate in PLACES.
  • Support the SWLRT Project Office communications team’s effort to generate positive media attention around community-minded art as part of SWLRT in outside-the-box ways.


Goal 1. Research and graphic design

  • Work with local historian to research history of city’s people and culture in areas near/at priority station areas (building on research to date. Possibilities include: indigenous roots of sites, pre-colonial inhabitants and their connections with the natural world. Consider natural histories and indigenous plant life. Consider mapping site through time; how can this inform wayfinding and draw attention to the transformation of the station areas and physical connections to them.
  • Collaborate on creative communications strategies for the larger PLACES initiative by providing insight from research.

Approximately 40 hours

Goal 2. Public Art Curation and Visual Narrative Design

  • Curate exhibit of pop-up public art (low-budget, temporary projects in station areas – one in each of four cities) visually accessible to audiences walking, biking or driving.
  • Work with Forecast Consultant to consider options for outputs, such as lawn signs, street painting, chalk art, bus shelter ad space, etc.
  • Commission collaborators for each of the projects— i.e. photographer, illustrators, muralists
  • Consider ways projects can inform long-term project of SWLRT and permanent art

Approximately 80 hours

The timeline for the Fellowship runs from August 2020 – August 2021, and Fellow will collaborate with Forecast Consultant to set activity and payment timeline.

Fellowship Benefits
  • $6000 fellowship stipend, $4000 project budget [for Part 2].
  • Opportunity to build relationships and collaborate with a range of stakeholders to inform process, offer ideas, get involved, etc.
  • Develop and execute diverse examples of temporary public art
  •  Increase contextual knowledge of station areas and connective corridor
  • Opportunity to art direct and curate a visual identity and narrative for a highly visible campaign.
Preferred Skills and Eligibility
  • Minnesota-based, Individual artist.
  • Graphic design knowledge, strong aesthetic portfolio, knowledge of digital design programs.
  • Public art experience is helpful but not required.
  • Connection to SWLRT corridor through residence, work or community connections.
  • Community-engaged arts approach. Community-engaged art is an umbrella term for different forms of artistic practice. Some examples include art activism, community-based art, place-based art, cultural organizing, participatory art, social practice. Community-engaged art practices challenge the conventional terms by which arts are described, valued, and assessed. They strive to extend beyond elite perspectives, forms and institutions toward inclusivity, participation, equity, justice, and social change.
  • Be willing to participate in all aspects and the duration of the fellowship program, including some meetings and site visits with Forecast and PLACES Committee members.
  • Ability to work on team and individually – will work closely with Forecast Consultant, representatives of Cities along the LRT extension, and other artists for pop up installations.


Submit one-page letter of interest (address your connection to the corridor, artistic practice and interest in graphic design, research and public art)

Submit work samples or link to website or portfolio (OR: instagram or facebook profile links)

Email these items to Tricia@forecastpublicart.org

DEADLINE: July 31, 2020 by 11:59 PM

Fellowship will begin August 2020