Congratulations to our 2018 Forecast grantees

  • Phillip Espinoza Day: Mid-Career Project Grantee, $50,000
  • Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay: Emerging Artist Project Grantee, $8,000
  • Team of Oskar Ly + Christina Vang: Emerging Artist Project Grantee, $8,000
  • Sean Connaughty: Mid-Career Professional Development Grantee, $5,000
  • Ann Klefstad: Mid-Career Professional Development Grantee, $5,000
  • Ifrah Mansour: Emerging Artist Research and Development Grantee, $2,500
  • Nancy Musinguzi: Emerging Artist Research and Development Grantee, $2,500
  • Lacey Prpic Hedtke: Emerging Artist Research and Development Grantee, $2,500
  • Emmett Ramstad: Emerging Artist Research and Development Grantee, $2,500


Phillip Espinoza Day is Forecast’s seventh annual Mid-Career Project Grant. Previous grant awardees include Sam Gould, Marcus Young, Seitu Jones, Mankwe Ndosi, Melisande Charles, and Randy Walker. “Mid-career” artists are recognized by their peers and arts professionals, have produced an independent body of work, and have a record of commissions, projects or exhibitions.

Phillip Espinoza Day, The Lowrider Garage Project
For his Mid-Career project, Espinoza Day will undertake “The Lowrider Garage Project” (TLGP), teaching 10- 15 Twin Cities youth the discipline of the Chican@/Latinx art car form known as the Lowrider! TLGP will take place in community-shared garage spaces in St. Paul and Minneapolis over three different 16-week sessions starting in January 2018. The artist will work with youth ages 15-19 to build a lowrider car/truck, and youth ages 8-14 to build lowrider bicycles. TLGP is partnering with Cycles for Change, a non-profit bike shop, which will serve as the site for the lowrider bicycle shop, and Soundset, a Minnesota music festival where the art car and bicycles will be unveiled in 2019 to an audience of more than 30,000 attendees. Beyond engaging youth in helping to preserve this struggling cultural art form, the project will also expose the young people to trades in custom auto body, mechanics trades and entrepreneurship through art.


The McKnight Foundation generously enables Forecast to provide professional development grants for mid-career artists who seek to expand their work in the field of public art.

Sean Connaughty, Creating a collaborative and developing designs for Lake Hiawatha and surrounding parkland
Connaughty will create a collaborative and develop concepts for public art projects at Lake Hiawatha. Lake Hiawatha Park is set to transform after the impending reduction of groundwater pumping on the land. Ideas include a new wildlife refuge island, trash mitigation concepts for stormwater, water quality monitoring installation and curriculum development for local schools. Connaughty will work with experts, institutions and agencies to advise and contribute.

Ann Klefstad, Next-level presentation skills
Klefstad will develop her knowledge of digital presentation and production techniques for public art opportunities. She will purchase the software Sketchup Pro (for 3D modeling) and Scan2CAD (for production of CAD files from drawings) and spend 150 hours learning and practicing the software. She hopes this will make her more competitive in the digital presentation and production arena.


Forecast has been offering emerging artist grants supported by Jerome Foundation since 1989. In addition to funding, Forecast provides professional development and learning opportunities to assist emerging artists as they experiment, hone their practices and cultivate careers in the field.

Oskar Ly + Christina Vang, The Paj Ntaub Gate
Ly and Vang will create the Paj Ntaub Gate, a tapestry-like outdoor fence installation at the Hmong American Farmers Association farm in Hastings, MN. The artists will spend time on the farm, much like an artist residency, to engage with farmers about Hmong agriculture and Paj Ntaub (story cloth) art — both fading traditions — to inspire and use textile to emulate the Hmong Paj Ntaub aesthetics.

Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, In the Camps: A Refugee Musical
Vongsay will follow the lives of Laotian families who have escaped communist Laos and are awaiting resettlement approvals in St. Paul, Minnesota, in a musical told from these survivors’ perspectives. In the Camps: A Refugee Musical, will be told through traditional folktales and songs informed by 1970s-80s Lao, Thai and American pop. The musical will explore trauma and healing, while simultaneously interrogating U.S. policy. Two public staged readings are planned.


Ifrah Mansour, Ayayo’s Dream
Mansour will create the piece Ayayo’s Dream, bringing the West Bank together to imagine an artful and environmentally conscious archway near a pedestrian and bike path, clinic, mosque and mall. She will establish community relationships, learn how the community uses the space, and explore the community’s environmental awareness and recycling practices to create an art installation that activates the pedestrian path and bikeway.

Nancy Musinguzi, Northside: An Oral History Publication and Installation
Musinguzi will develop Northside, a photo-documentary series featuring interviews and images of innovative Northside youth. Northside will follow three North Minneapolis youth and capture the essence of the community through their eyes. The final outcome will be a two-pronged public art presentation: the photo-documentary series will be published online, and a series of large-scale wheat-paste illustrations inspired by the youth’s stories will adorn public community spaces.

Lacey Prpic Hedtke, Minneapolis’ Lost Buildings
Prpic Hedtke will research lost buildings of each Minneapolis neighborhood, as well as artists using cartography as an art form.

Emmett Ramstad, Public Memorial for Private Bathroom Incidents
Ramstad will research and identify collaborators for a public memorial about the ongoing, complicated experience of discomfort, pleasure and trauma that converge when queer, trans and gender non-conforming individuals are using public bathrooms.

Forecast Mid-career and Emerging grants are designed to support independent projects, leadership development, professional development, risk-taking, multidisciplinary approaches, and collaborative problem-solving in the field of public art.

An independent panel reviewed applicants and selected the 2018 Forecast grantees. The panelists were: Lisa Dent, independent curator, writer and arts administrator based in New York, NY; Tia-Simone Gardner, artist and educator, based in Minneapolis, MN; Jay Salinas, artist, farmer, and co-founder of Wormfarm Institute, based in Reedsburg, WI; Moheb Soliman, artist, poet, and Program Director at Mizna, based in Minneapolis, MN; and Bobby Wilson, artist and member of Indigenous comedy troupe the 1491s, based in Phoenix, AZ.

Beyond providing grant funding, Forecast supports Minnesota artists working in the public realm throughout their careers with opportunities that include convenings, artist talks and workshops.

Forecast Mid-Career grants are made possible thanks to generous funding from The McKnight Foundation. Emerging grants are made possible thanks to generous funding from the Jerome Foundation.