The Art Shanty Projects aren't happening in 2019

Art Shanties Project

Art Shanties Project Jill Emmer

The future of the beloved Art Shanty Project this winter is looking grim, as the organization's planning board recently received some sad news.

"Art Shanty Projects was unable to secure the major grant funding needed to cover a significant portion of our expenses for the 2019 program, contributing to a shortfall in excess of $85,000," says a statement sent out via email. "As a result of this situation, our Board is currently grappling with difficult decisions regarding the future of the program."

Since 2005, the Art Shanty Projects have invited people out to a frozen lake in the dead of winter to visit colorful shanties offering dance parties, science experiments, hands-on arts activities, swap meets, and performances.

Recent years have seen the Art Shanties grow and thrive; the organization acheived nonprofit status a few years ago, and last year's extended festival saw 40,000 people visit Lake Harriet in Minneapolis -- double the attendance of 2017.

While the project has had some major successes, the happening continues to rely on a variety of funding, including grants, donations, and sponsors. Last year, the organization began offering a $25 membership fee for individuals looking to contribute.

While the news is dire, there's hope that they can regroup; this isn't the first year that they have taken off. A community meeting is to be scheduled soon to discuss the future of the Art Shanty Project.

Find more info about the organization at