No Art Shanty this winter

Marge Pekula of Chisago City kept her hula hoop rotating outside the Summer Party Shanty at the 2017 Ice Shanty on White Bear Lake. Courtney Perry for MPR News 2017

The only real way to survive a Minnesota winter is to embrace it and face it head-on. That was the beauty of the Art Shanty project, in which artists create spaces on a frozen lake somewhere and people who aren’t the type to get pushed around by the weather visit, each experience changing from one shanty to another.

We’re going to need a Plan B, however, because the organizers have announced they’ll take the coming winter off.

The Minnesota State Arts Board has decided not to renew a grant to the non-profit, which wipes out 70 percent of the organization’s budget.

Forty-thousand people visited Lake Harriet last winter, after a Kickstarter campaign raised $17,000 to move the event from White Bear Lake.

The organization doesn’t have time to raise the money before winter sets in — if it sets in — although board chair Jason Buranen hints at a return. Someday.

“Our mission is still to run the art shanty program and put that event on, and we’re working to do that” Buranen tells the Southwest Journal.