Tour 4: Public Art in the Suburbs of the Twin Cities

Thursday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Register for a Public Art Preconference Tour to participate in an interactive learning experience out in the Twin Cities. The tours provide in-depth exploration of specific topics that are relevant to today’s public art practitioners, artists, planners, and others working at the intersection of art, policy and the built environment and civic ecosystem. Each tour includes a deep-dive grounding in the topic before heading out to explore different areas of the Twin Cities. Attendees must sign-up for a tour during the registration process.

Public Art in the Suburbs of the Twin Cities
Suburban communities are uniquely positioned in the outlining areas of major city centers. Typically seen as residential communities, what does it take to plan and implement public art in the suburbs? What role can public art play in developing a sense of place and social cohesion within these unique communities? In this tour, attendees will visit different suburbs of the Twin Cities to see how public art is planned for and developed in these uniquely built communities. To start off the tour, attendees will be presented with an overview of role public art can play in creative vital suburban communities and provided an example of a thriving programs taking place in the U.S. From there, participants will travel with local tour leads to St. Louis Park and Hopkins to learn about and see the impact of public art in real time. Attendees with their tour leads will have the option to return to the hotel and discuss their learnings and observations from the tour.

St. Louis Park and Hopkins: These neighboring inner-ring suburbs west of Minneapolis have a lot to offer regarding their innovative arts development and public art strategies. St. Louis Park has the only public art for private development program in the state, and their collection has grown steadily since the late 1990s. Hopkins recently completed the Artery, a 3-block programmable streetscape connecting Mainstreet downtown with the future Light Rail Transit station on Excelsior.

Tour Objectives:

  • Participants will learn how public art can play a role in developing a sense of place and social cohesion within suburban communities.
  • Attendees will gain knowledge about specific examples of suburban public art and how these programs are were implemented.
  • See first-hand examples of public art in suburban communities
  • Learn from experts in public art in suburban communities

Preparation: All tours will leave the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience.


Jen Dolen
Content + Communications Coordinator
Forecast Public Art
St. Paul, Minnesota

 Jen is the Content + Communications Coordinator for Forecast Public Art. She earned a BFA in photography and psychology from UW-River Falls, as well as an interdisciplinary master’s degree with an emphasis in arts management & museum studies from the U of MN, where she focused on image rights. She also holds an MLIS from St. Catherine University, with attention to special libraries and visual resources. Jen has been involved with several vibrant Twin Cities arts organizations in a variety of capacities, and she draws great meaning from the impact and intersection of art with community. She cares about issues faced by museums, libraries, non-profits and related spaces, as well as the challenge of fostering and sharing creative work, challenges in digital asset management, and the power of images & information.

Jack Becker
Founder and Lead Principal Consultant
Forecast Public Art
St. Paul, Minnesota

Jack Becker is the founder and Lead Principal Consultant at Forecast Public Art, a nonprofit based in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1989, Becker established a grant program for emerging public artists and Public Art Review, an international magazine devoted exclusively to contemporary public art. Forecast offers consulting, technical assistance, partnering and programming support to design professionals, developers, government agencies, colleges and neighborhood organizations, among others. As an artist with experience in theater and visual arts, he applies his creativity to projects that connect the ideas and energies of artists with the needs and opportunities of communities. Becker received the 2007 Award of Excellence from Americans for the Arts for his contribution to the public art field, and the 2014 Public Art Dialogue Lifetime Achievement Award, a program of the College Art Association. As a founding member of the Institute for Public Art, he supports the research and recognition of outstanding public art around the world via the International Award for Public Art. Today Becker is involved in a wide variety of projects, including efforts promoting public art at the service of community health goals.

Theresa Sweetland
Executive Director
Forecast Public Art
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Theresa Sweetland is currently the Executive Director of Forecast; Publisher of Public Art Review magazine, and spent over a decade as the Executive/Artistic Director of the community-based arts organization, Intermedia Arts. Theresa holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from The University of Minnesota Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, is a Co-Founding Artistic Director of B-Girl Be, founding director of Creative CityMaking, and was recognized for bold new steps and strategic leadership with the Sally Ordway Irvine Award for Initiative in 2015

Jen Krava
Director of Programming
St. Paul, Minnesota

Jen Krava is Director of Programming + New Initiatives at Forecast. She holds a Master in Design Studies, with a focus on Art, Design and the Public Domain from Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she graduated with commendation. She also holds a Master in Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota College of Design, and was a 2011 Yale studio painting research fellow.

As Director of Programming + New Initiatives, Jen sets the vision and strategy for all programming at Forecast. She also facilitates RFQ and artist selection processes, writes public art master plans, manages the artist grant program, and creates and facilitates in person workshops and trainings.

Jen is an Adjunct Professor in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota, co-editor of _SCAPE, ASLA-MN’s publication, and a visual artist, studying the body as a site, performative garments, and analog technologies.