Artist Initiative

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Alison L. Hiltner AKA Alison Hiltner
Recipient Type
Start Date
March 2015
End Date
February 2016
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview
Artist Initiative
Project Details
Hiltner will create an interactive artwork in which algae blooms, set within modular structures, will respond to breathing patterns of participants, fostering a direct and personal connection to the natural world. The work will be shown to the public at Concordia University in Saint Paul.
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)

Artist will create an interactive installation piece that engages the Minnesota community. The outcome of the project will be evaluated by the successful completion and installation of the piece in a public space that results in the engagement of the Minnesota community in a direct experiential way. 2: Successfully create an interactive installation by expanding my knowledge of sensors and microcontrollers through consultation and contracted technical assistance. Expanding the reach of the work by creating a compelling, user friendly interactive experience that evokes wonder and is installed in a location that enhances both the final sculptural installation and audience accessibility.

Measurable Outcome(s)

The algae weather balloons responded to viewers when they breathed into sensor boxes, inflating and deflating in reaction to data sets acquired from participants. Alison Hiltner evaluated the success of the proposed outcome by successfully creating a work were audiences could interact with algae and forge a direct active connection to the work. There is room to evolve the work into a larger installation work but all of the goals proposed in the grant were completed with very positive results. 2: The algae weather balloons responded to viewers when they breathed into sensor boxes, inflating and deflating in reaction to data sets acquired from participants. All of the benchmarks for public interaction were successfully fulfilled in the exhibition. Hiltner evaluated this outcome by onsite observation, anecdotal stories and observing engagement through social media postings by third parties.

Description of Funds
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Alison L. Hiltner AKA Alison Hiltner
(612) 703-4412
Administered By
Administered by

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