MINNEAPOLIS, JAN. 30, 2014 The Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC), The Arts, Culture and Creative Economy Program of the City of Minneapolis and Meet Minneapolis, Convention & Visitors Association, in collaboration with Northern and the Northern Spark festival announce that public voting period for the 2014 Creative City Challenge begins Monday, Feb. 3 and continues through the month until Feb. 28 online at []. The winning project will be announced in late March and will receive the $75,000 commission to create the project and debut at the MCC Plaza on June 14 as part of the Northern Spark, an annual dusk-to-dawn festival with tens of thousands of participants, taking place in Minneapolis this year. 

A jury selected three projects for this voting phase of the competition from among the entries received in the fall of 2013. The three finalists and their corresponding projects incorporate a wide range of art, mixed media and architectural design. The finalists and their corresponding projects include:

  • BALANCING GROUND BY _AMANDA LOVELEE, CHRISTOPHER FIELD, KYLE WAITES & SARAH WEST: A welcoming interactive space that weaves play and peacefulness together through the use of sound, light, text and group movements to create meaningful engagement and the opportunity for intimate, public conversations. The installation will consist of long rows of wood benches interrupted with a series of playground teeter-totters which will be surrounded by a large wood structure with a canopy of prisms and reflective fragments strung between rafters. 
  • CHRYSALIS _BY WIL NATZEL & JERRY NATZEL: An assemblage of deployable elements including a series of entry archways where the lighting reacts to peoples movements, a communal seating court and a tower pavilion through which the public will be guided. Once inside the pavilion, the public will experience an overhead explosion of baroque pattern, light and decoration, which will transform each month to display different exotic designs and configuration.
  • SPARK _BY WILL PETERSON, BILL FERENC, MELISSA GAGNER & TRYGVE NORDBERG: A colony of autonomous, self-moving flowers in which visitors are welcomed and encouraged to walk among to experience these human-sized components. _SPark_ responds to visitors through movement and light, and each sculptural flower is a self-governed entity, linked to the other flowers by a wireless network. Through different interactions, visitors will be able to make _SPark _come to life: it can_ _move, pulse and even breathe. 

The Creative City Challenge presents a unique opportunity to experience the vibrant community of design and innovation that defines Minneapolis," said Eric Quint, chief design officer at 3M Company. "As chairman of the jury, I'm inspired by the creativity demonstrated through the submissions to date. The three finalist projects exemplify how technology can be designed around people to engage local communities. Each summer, thousands of visitors have the dynamic opportunity to participate in the design experience created by local architects, designers and artists at the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza." 


A public presentation of the final project proposals on MONDAY, FEB. 10, 2014, AT 6 P.M. WILL BE HELD AT RAPSON HALL, SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN ON THE EAST BANK CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA. The presentation will feature a public, facilitated discussion with the artists and an opportunity to engage in dialogue around the proposal ideas. The event is presented in collaboration with former Mayor R.T. Rybaks Mayor 101 class offered through the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the College of Design at the University of Minnesota.


A public vote will determine the winner of the Creative City Challenge. Voters can visit the MCC website to cast their vote beginning Monday, Feb. 3 here: r/ccc/vote []. Online voting runs through Feb. 28.

Further information about the competition, finalists projects and last years winning project, MIMMI, can be found here: []. 


The Creative City Challenge (CCC) is a competition for Minnesota-resident architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, scientists, artists, students and individuals of all backgrounds to create and install at the MCC Plaza a temporary, destination artwork. The artwork acts as a sociable and participatory platform for summer-long onsite programming, and encourages a sense of connectedness to the city as a whole and its rich cultural and natural offerings. The MCC Plaza is a green roof that is located directly across from the MCC at 1301 Second Avenue South.

The CCCs goal is to draw visitors and residents of the city to the Minneapolis Convention Center as a central meeting space for the surrounding area, as well as to provide a compelling gathering site for the MCCs thousands of visitors. The commission fee for the selected project is $75,000, inclusive of all artist fees, installation and de-installation costs. The winning project will remain on the MCC Plaza throughout the summer and be the site of several public events to be announced at a later date. The MCC is a site of convergence for visitors to Minneapolis from around the country and the world, as well as being a part of the local neighborhood, and Minneapolis downtown. 

In its inaugural year, the Creative City Challenge selected the Minneapolis Interactive Macro Mood Installation (MIMMI) as the winner, which was installed on the MCC Plaza from June through October 2013. The 2014 Creative City Challenge is an expansion and refinement of the 2013 program.


The Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza is the site of the Creative City Challenge winning project each summer. Photo courtesy of Meet Minneapolis.


The Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) is the largest indoor, contiguous, convention center in the Upper Midwest with over 1.5 million visitors annually, including 250,000 during the summer months. The MCC is more than a meeting place. It's more than a show space. It's a building all about building something elserelationships. A blend of form and function, the MCC provides aesthetically pleasing and innovative solutions for a variety of conferences, trade shows and events. With nearly 480,000 square feet of trade show space, 87 column-free conference meeting rooms, a 28,000-square-foot ballroom, and an auditorium with superb production and flexible technology options, the facility can handle any event from a small meeting to a large convention or trade show.

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The Arts, Culture and Creative Economy program is an initiative of the City Coordinator's office established August 2011 to leverage the creative sector towards strengthening social and economic growth in the City of Minneapolis. The goals of the program are to: promote and coordinate City resources to develop the arts as an economic generator in alignment the City Goal "art and artists are economic drivers in and of themselves, to stimulate cross-sector collaboration to strengthen the arts economy and community in Minneapolis and provide presence and visibility for the creative sector in the City of Minneapolis.


Northern Spark is produced by Northern, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to artists working innovatively in the public sphere, exploring expanded possibilities for civic engagement and encourage pluralistic community. This years festival begins at 9:01 p.m. on June 14 in Minneapolis. []


Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit of the greater Minneapolis area. 

Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of the Destination Marketing Association International.

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Kristen Montag, media communication manager, 612.767.8038, [], Minneapolis_PR [] on Twitter.