Art Shanties head to Lake Harriet, offer a $25 membership program


Lady Bear the Polar Bear Puppet attracted the attention of visitors at the Art Shanty Projects. Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

You won't have to drive out to Plymouth or White Bear Lake this winter to enjoy the Art Shanties. In 2018, they'll be heading to south Minneapolis to bring joy to Lake Harriet.

Since 2004, the Art Shanties festival has taken over a frozen lake in the dead of winter to host weekend happenings filled with dance parties, bike rides, science experiments, hands-on arts activities, swap meets, and performances. They've taken some years off; after their most recent break they returned with nonprofit status.

Now the crew is looking to supplement grants with donations. The Art Shanties Project is hoping to raise $15,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, which will launch October 6.

“Art Shanty Projects operates on a shoestring and has asked the same from its artists,” says board member Ilana Percher. “This year, attendance is likely to be larger than ever, yet our budget and artist stipends have not grown. Any increase in our budget means not only can we stay in the black, but we can put more into the program and the artists who bring Art Shanty Village to life.”

While a donation in any amount is welcome, $25 will get you membership status and will help support the artists who create shanties each year. Folks who contribute this amount or higher will be invited to special sneak-peek parties and other exclusive happenings and opportunities.

The 2018 Art Shanty Projects will be open to the public Saturdays and Sundays, January 20 through February 11 on Lake Harriet. You can find more info about the organization at

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