Artist Initiative

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Aaron J. Dysart
Recipient Type
Start Date
March 2015
End Date
February 2016
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview
Artist Initiative
Project Details
Dysart will create “Watershed,” a 25 foot long ice casting of the Mississippi River. Using bathometric data (underwater topography) and made by sculpting foam to mimic the river’s main Twin Cities' channel, the resulting ice sculptures will be installed in two Minneapolis storefront locations and left to melt in up to five public events.
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Ardell Brede: Mayor of Rochester, elected 2002.; Peggy Burnet: Businesswoman, art collector, and community volunteer. Chair of the Nominating Committee, Smithsonian National Board. Trustee, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Michael Charron: Dean of the School of the Arts, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Rebecca Davis-Lee: Touring pianist, piano and music theory teacher; Wendy Dayton: Arts and community leader and philanthropist.; Sean Dowse, Executive director, Sheldon Theatre. Board member for Minnesota Music Coalition, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Treasurer, Minnesota State Arts Board.; David Glenn: Executive director of the Minnesota Project, ceramic artist; Ellen McInnis: Director of Twin Cities government relations, Wells Fargo. Member of Bottineau Boulevard Partnership. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Thomas Moss: Consultant to nonprofits and government agencies; Janice Sivertson: Gallery owner and visual artist
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Keya Ganguly: Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, and Studies in Cinema and Media Culture, University of Minnesota; Jessica Hirsch: Sculptor, woodworker, and artist-in-residence, Driftless Folkschool; Shana Kaplow: Painter and video artist, art professor, Saint Cloud State University; Bradley Kaspari: Visual artist, sculptor, and public artist, owner and director, Kaspari Design Services, Inc.; Cecilia Schiller: Visual artist utilizing carving and woodworking to create interactive sculptures; Karen Stout-Heller: Oil painter and collage artist; Caitlin Warner: Book artist, board member, Art Shanty Project, staff, Graywolf Press
Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2013, Chapter 137, Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Arts Access

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

To create a successful project that engages the public about the Mississippi River. This will be measured by attendance at the installations, and press received.

Measurable Outcome(s)

This project opened up a dialog between basic science and artistic expression while making a case for both rather than one or the other. There were many conversations during the opening, talk and each time the artist set up the piece. The staff at the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization passed along audience responses, and the artist tracked the spread of the video through social media outlets. The artist also tracked articles in the press.

Description of Funds
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Aaron J. Dysart
(651) 249-8929
Administered By
Administered by

Griggs Midway Building, Suite 304,
540 Fairview Avenue North,
St. Paul, MN 55104

(651) 539-2650 or toll-free (800) 866-2787
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