portrait of a womxn holding a small swirly seashell in front of their eye

Cecilia Cornejo Sotelo

2022 Mid-Career Project Grantee | $10,000

Sonic Landscapes of Southern Minnesota

Sonic Landscapes of Southern Minnesota is a sound-mapping website that examines notions of home and belonging from a small-town perspective. Working in collaboration with community members in Northfield and Lanesboro, the site features the residents’ reflections on “home,” along with ambient sounds specific to each town. A deeply evocative experience located in the virtual public space, Sonic Landscapes fosters reflection, connection, and discovery while honoring the vibrant complexity found in small places.

Cecilia is a documentary filmmaker, artist and educator engaging rural communities in southern Minnesota in a multilayered exploration of home. Locally rooted yet globally minded, Cecilia’s work examines notions of belonging and the immigrant experience while exploring the traces of historical trauma on people and places. Her experience growing up under dictatorship in her native Chile led her to develop an artistic practice that encourages community members to reflect in order to envision and generate paths toward collective wellbeing. Based in Northfield, Minnesota since 2010, Cecilia has produced two feature-length documentaries in close partnership with underrepresented groups in town, Making Noise ~ The Story of a Skatepark (2012-2016), developed with the local skateboarders, and Ways of Being Home (2016-2020) produced in collaboration with the Latinx community of Northfield. Her latest explorations, The Wandering House, The Embroidery Project and Sonic Landscapes of Southern Minnesota, have sparked collaborations with individuals and organizations inside and outside of Northfield and expanded her practice beyond filmmaking. An inaugural recipient of the 2020 McKnight Fellowship for Community-Engaged Artists, Cecilia’s work has received support from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, the Jerome Foundation, and the Southeastern Minnesota. Her film work, currently distributed by Women Make Movies, has shown at MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and at multiple national and international venues.

The McKnight Foundation generously enables Forecast to provide Professional Development Grants for mid-career artists seeking to expand their work in the field of public art. Forecast mid- and early-career 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.