Minneapolis Park Board Moves Ahead on Bde Maka Ska Public Art Project

bde_maka_ska_historic_village_locationThe Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has issued a call for artists to submit ideas for a pubic art project on the southeastern side of Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun) that would “celebrate the history and culture of the Dakota and Native American people and honor Mahpiya Wicasta (Cloud Man) and Heyata Otunwe (Village to the Side).” It has set informational meetings for the public and interested artists.

The Park Board got a $225,000 grant from Public Art Minneapolis to interpret Native American history and culture in the park around Bde Maka Ska and to memorialize Mahpiya Wicasta. The Park Board plans to spend up to $250,000 for site improvements to set the stage for public art. It will host two public meetings to discuss the project’s background and concept options.

  • Thursday, February 2, 6 – 8 p.m., Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E Franklin Ave.
  • Monday, Feb. 27, 6-8 p.m., Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 E Franklin Ave.

An informational meeting for interested artists will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7 from 4:30-5:30 pm, at Migizi Communications, 1516 E. Lake St #300. The application deadline is March 1, 2017 at 4 p.m. For more information visit this City of Minneapolis webpage or contact Ann Godfrey at ann.godfrey@minneapolismn.gov.

According to a Park Board email:

In November 2016, the MPRB and the City met with Dakota descendants of Mahpiya Wicasta and Native American artists and writers for a visioning session which resulted in a rich dialogue about the story and meaning of this place. Stories from Mahpiya Wicasta’s descendants who live in outstate Minnesota and the Dakotas will be collected throughout the late winter and spring 2017 to help inform and inspire the artist’s work. Ron Melchert, an Oneida tribe member and local landscape architect, has teamed with Metro Blooms and joined the project to design site improvements with community input.

Check out the Park Board’s website for more background on the project.

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