Where else in the country can you find a public arts spectacle taking over converted fishing shanties on a frozen lake? #OnlyinMN.
After sitting out last season due to a lack of public arts funding, Art Shanty Projects is back on Bde Unma (Lake Harriet) and zanier than ever — thanks in great part to an anonymous benefactor who donated more than half of the money the nonprofit needs to keep itself afloat for the next two years.
Running from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. every weekend between now and February 9, 2020, the festival features an array of wonderfully weird attractions. Highlights include a sun-lit LiteBrite; a sub-zero dance club (-7° Entry Danceteria); and a mermaid-worshipping cult that welcomes you into its shipwrecked lair (Nauticault: A Cautionary Tale). If you’d rather strip to your swimmies and sweat for an hour in the five-person, wood-burning MinneSauna, sign up here ASAP.
Also back for 2020: The Pollinator Shanty, whose monarch butterfly bikes are popular with both kids and adults. Their fun-loving crew is also leading a “Stayin’ Alive” flash mob at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day of the program, should you suddenly feel compelled to exorcise your inner extrovert.
The images above were taken at our first Art Shanty rodeo in 2018, when the annual event broke an attendance record with 40,000 people. Even more folks are expected to rally this year. If you’re not sure when to go, consider timing your visit to one of the special performances such as rapper Rz Shahid (Saturday, February 1 at 1, 2, and 3 p.m.) or the 60-member a cappella group Prairie Lady Fire Choir, which covers everything from Magnetic Fields to Metallica (Sunday, February 9 at 3:30 p.m.).
Art Shanty Projects
Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, MN; 612-567-6844.