The Floating Library wins Knight Arts Challenge grant. St. Paul, here we come!

Lake Phalen circa 1940's. Postcard from LakesnWoods.com

Lake Phalen in St. Paul, MN circa 1940’s. Postcard from LakesnWoods.com

Last week the Knight Foundation announced the winners of the 2015 Knight Arts Challenge, a matching grant that supports individual artists, arts orgs and really anyone who can get it together to make art happen in the City of St. Paul. The Floating Library is among these winners!  I attended the fancy awards ceremony where in addition to being gifted a glass plaque I met many of the other awardees who are cooking up fascinating projects for our state’s capital city. 

My grant proposes to bring the Library to Lake Phalen, one of St. Paul’s largest lakes. Phalen is of interest because it has a history of boating, once playing host to many hundreds of canoes on its shores.

"Lake Phalen canoe docks.” Photographer: Sweet, date: ca. 1905. Minnesota Historical Society Photograph Collection, Location No. GV3.61C

“Lake Phalen canoe docks.” Photographer: Sweet, date: ca. 1905. Minnesota Historical Society Photograph Collection, Location No. GV3.61C

These days at Phalen you’ll find Dragon Boat races, sculling lessons, and a lot of people fishing. Of course, our goal will be to bring back those 880 canoes, all headed out to read on the water.

There is a lot of planning and organizing to be done, including raising the matching funds. If you have ideas for artists, partners, or connections in St. Paul, be in touch. For instance, who lives near Phalen and has a motor boat? We’ll need of a tow or two.

 

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