2021 Project for Public Art

We bring artists and City staff together to plan public art spaces that work well for the community.

The City of Minneapolis is leading a special process called the 2021 Project for selecting public art sites and projects within the City’s Capital Improvement Program, a six-year plan for the construction and renovation of City buildings, parks and infrastructure. The 2021 Project will pair selected artists with key city departments to dig into their current capital improvement projects, engage relevant communities, and prioritize sites for public art funding, bringing them before a Public Art Advisory Panel to approve for future proposals.

Partners: Property Services, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Public Works

Budget: $100,000

Status: Artist contracting


  • Engage artists and departments to collaborate on considering the settings for future public art commissions.
  • Build on the perspectives of artists and their ability to unearth creative and surprising opportunities for art within the public realm.
  • Select strong sites shaped through diverse community engagement, that will result in artworks reflecting the rich diversity and concerns of our local communities and representing a wide range of social, cultural, and historical values.
  • Identify critical spaces for investing art funds over the next few years to be funded through the City’s percent for art ordinance.

Project activities

  • Four artists will collaborate with three City entities: one with Property Services, one with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and two with Public Works—Transportation Planning and Programming. Frequency of meetings and check-ins will be determined individually.
  • Working with these departments, they will dig into their current six-year capital improvement plan and develop a shortlist of projects for consideration based on the City’s public art criteria.
  • They will then engage communities in activities about the potential of these various sites through the lenses of their differing histories, needs, expectations, presence of existing public art, and more. Community engagement will be defined by each artist in response to the unique questions and prospects sites pose. 
  • Based on this engagement, they will further prioritize locations and develop proposals that make a case for these sites and bring them before the Public Art Advisory Panel for consideration for public art funding.  Each artist will be asked to forward three to the panel. Approximately six projects total will be selected.
  • After 2021 Project recommendations are approved, each will go through the typical project development and design phase (creation of steering committee, community engagement, design deliverables, approvals, etc.). Additional artist calls will also be conducted. The artists selected for the 2021 Project are eligible and encouraged to apply to these calls but are not guaranteed a commission.

What artists will produce:

  • Written and visual materials that make a case for sites, in collaboration with department input.
  • A plan for engaging the community in this process that takes into consideration the challenges of COVID while engaging diverse constituents.
  • The community engagement activities in this plan.
  • A presentation and a report to the Public Art Advisory panel making a case for 2-3 final sites they are prioritizing for future artwork proposals.

2021 Project participating departments

The Property Services Division, with which one artist will be paired, is responsible for designing, renovating, constructing, and maintaining City buildings, including Public Works facilities, police stations, fire stations and City offices, and the City-occupied spaces in City Hall.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), with which one artist will be paired, oversees a renowned urban park system spanning 6,817 acres of parkland and water. Featured among its 180 park properties are 55 miles parkways, 102 miles of Grand Rounds biking and walking paths, 22 lakes, 12 formal gardens, seven golf courses and 49 recreation centers. MPRB’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) guides long-term investment and rehabilitation for both regional and neighborhood parks throughout the park system and includes amenities such as wading pools, playgrounds trails, sports fields, Park buildings and picnic areas.

Public Works’ mission is to build, operate and maintain public infrastructure along streets and sidewalks and provide related services. The Transportation Planning and Programming Division (TPP), with which two artists will be paired (independently), is responsible for developing Minneapolis’s regional and long-range transportation plans and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) which outlines planned projects such as bridges, bike trails, roads, and sewer projects. TPP’s work on transportation projects focuses on the initial stages of a project and works with communities to build public infrastructure that meets the city policy of creating a safer, greener and more equitable transportation system.

2021 Project context and the Capital Improvement Program

The 2021 Project differs from the usual process for selecting public art locations in past years, which involved departments submitting requests to the Public Art Advisory Panel for sites for public art to be integrated into specific capital improvement projects. The 2021 Project, by contrast, invites artists to be an integral part of proposing sites for public art from departmental projects within the Capital Improvement Program. Two-three projects are selected by the panel each year.

The City of Minneapolis Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is a six-year adopted plan and is updated annually. Each year, City departments, independent boards, and commissions prepare new capital budget requests (CBRs) and modify previous ones. The CBRs are then reviewed by the Capital Long‐Range Improvement Committee (CLIC) which is a citizen advisory committee to the Mayor and City Council. Highest‐ranking projects are then balanced against proposed available resources by year to arrive at a six‐year Capital Improvement Program recommendation to the Mayor and City Council. For the 2021-2026 CIP , CLIC reviewed 130 proposals totaling $1.4 billion and recommended funding all or a portion of 89 proposals, totaling $1.0 billion.

For more information on the 2021 Project, contact Public Art Manager Moheb Soliman.

Contact us

Moheb Soliman

Community Planning & Economic Development


Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Public Arts Administration

Community Planning & Economic Development




Public Service Building
505 4th Avenue S., Room 510
Minneapolis, MN 55415