A "Paint the Pavement" project drew lots of neighborhood participation during last year's first Arts on Chicago program.  It's coming back this summer. Photo by David Joles.

After a successful first run last summer, Pillsbury House Theatre and other partners are  bringing back the Arts on Chicago program, featuring artists engaged in interactive work designed to draw in people who live in, work in or pass through a ten-block stretch of Chicago Avenue (32nd St. S.  to 42nd St. S.) in south Minneapolis.

Three new artists who live or work in the area have received $5,000 each for their ideas. Ester Ouray is going to get giggly, hosting a series of "laugh-ins" as well as random appearances by a laughter flash mob. Peter Haakon Thompson  is going to cart around a pop-up ping-pong park (aka temporary table tennis trailer -- say that fast three times) to different yards and public spaces in the neighborhood to encourage spontaneous games and conversation. David Luke will animate poems -- created by participants in the Upstream Arts program for people with disabilities -- into short movies.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is funding the program,which focuses on stimulating physical activity as well as art appreciation.

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