A winter Fringe Festival is one of 69 ideas floated toward the Knight challenge grant committee that passed muster as a finalist.
A few months back, the Miami-based Knight Foundation dropped a big windfall on the city of St. Paul, pledging $8 million toward arts organizations and arts-related projects over the next three years. More than half that amount was earmarked for "arts challenge grants" for which anyone could apply, as long as they kept the idea to 140 words or less and the idea somehow benefits St. Paul. Of the 850 concepts that rolled in for the first year, 69 have been chosen as finalists. Many are predictable extensions of what existing arts groups already do, but there are also some fresh and quirky notions:
--Erik Barsness wants to bring a new chill to Saint Paul Winter Carnival audiences through concerts performed on xylophones, marimbas and vibraphones made entirely out of ice by Swedish instrument builder Tim Linhart.
-- Stahl Construction Company wants to preserve the legacy of St. Paul’s architecture by restoring the historical company signs that distinguish Lowertown.
--The Baroque Room aims to showcase the city's classical-music scene during the Art Crawl through performances in art gallery spaces.
--City of Skate would be a skateable art plaza that brings out the creativity of skateboarders and the community with skateable sculptures, a video screen and performance stage.
Winners (the number of them depends on how much the judges are wowed by final proposals) will be announced in September.