Artist Initiative

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Shanai H. Matteson
Recipient Type
Start Date
March 2015
End Date
February 2016
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Crow Wing
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)

I will gather river stories from barge industry employees and other river communities along the Mississippi. I will gather stories from 100 individuals through 46 creative writing workshops, at least one of which will be dedicated to shipping industry employees. 2: I will develop a realistic installation plan, budget, and renderings that will allow me to communicate my full project vision to potential supporters. I will develop project plans, budget, and renderings with key project partners and advisors, presenting these for critique and evaluation by artistic peers, river advocates, and public participants.

Measurable Outcome(s)

She gathered stories from 95 individuals through a series of ten pop-up storytelling workshops. Many of these stories were recorded and are now available as audio stories. She kept an estimated count of the number of one-on-one engagements I had with public participants who shared river stories as part of this and related river storytelling projects. 2: She developed a general proposal for the Dear River Barge Project that utilizes connections and stories gathered from storytelling pop-ups across Minnesota. The plans she developed are now being utilized to propose a full-scale project to public art funders.

Description of Funds
Project Overview
Artist Initiative
Project Details
Matteson will develop the first phase of “Dear River,” a large public art project that will become a floating love letter to the Mississippi River. In this first phase, Matteson will actively gather river stories from public participants through writing workshops with those who live and work on the river.
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Shanai H. Matteson
(952) 686-1340
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
Marion Angelica: Ceramic artist, former director of Metropolitan Regional Arts Council; Brian Frink: Visual artist, professor of painting and drawing, chair, art department, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Maren Kloppmann: Ceramic sculptor; Qian Liu: Ceramics and sculpture artist; Stephen Shaskan: Author, illustrator and Loft Literary Center teaching artist; Don Sherman: Artist, educator, photographer, mentors program coordinator, Southwest Minnesota State University College
Conflict of Interest Disclosed