Plans are underway for the tenth anniversary of the CityArt  Walking Sculpture Tour, with installation weekend set for May 21-22, 2021. The Mankato Area  Foundation will be the Presenting Sponsor for the upcoming anniversary exhibition. Currently, the  CityArt Committee is planning a variety of special community activities during installation weekend to celebrate the Walking Sculpture Tour’s successful history and public art in Greater Mankato. Further details about these activities will be released later and are dependent on the status of the Covid-19  pandemic and public health recommendations. 

Established in 2011, the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour was an outgrowth of Envision 2020 and the subsequent City Center Renaissance Plan, which identified public art as an important strategy to revitalize the downtown core of our community. The Walking Sculpture Tour was the first initiative of  CityArt and is a collaborative program of Twin Rivers and the City Center Partnership.  

Over the last 10 years, the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour has been enjoyed by thousands of local citizens and visitors alike. Since the inaugural exhibition in 2011, over $3.5 million dollars in public art has been shown in the City Center and 24 sculptures have been added to Greater Mankato’s permanent public art collection. The program has also inspired many other significant public art initiatives throughout our community such as the INFUSE projects in the Old Town alleyways, multiple murals,  painted traffic boxes, several public art projects in North Mankato, and most recently the Silo Art project just completed by renowned international artist, Guido Van Helton.  

“It is extremely gratifying to see the amazing success and growth of CityArt,” said Tami Paulsen, CityArt  Committee Chairperson. Paulsen, who was a co-founder of the CityArt program and committee chairperson during the program’s first years, returned to chair the committee again in 2020. “The  Walking Sculpture Tour and other CityArt initiatives have fulfilled our original vision, to help spur downtown revitalization and make Greater Mankato a more vibrant community. The City Center of Greater Mankato looks and feels significantly different than it did a decade ago,” she added.  

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The CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour is made possible through sponsorships from the local business community, the support of the cities, and various foundations. “The Mankato Area Foundation has a  long history of supporting the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour. When this was just a dream by a group of committed volunteers, the Foundation funded a feasibility study – and the rest is history! Throughout the years we have championed this initiative because of the value it brings to our region. Now, in its tenth year, we are proud to join in the celebration of such a wonderful community asset,” said Nancy  Zallek, President and CEO of the Mankato Area Foundation.  

“We are extremely grateful to the Mankato Area Foundation for their longstanding support, and to the  Greater Mankato area business community for making this program possible,” said Paulsen. Business sponsorships are currently being solicited for the 2021 Anniversary Tour and the Call to Artists for sculpture submissions is also available. For more information, please visit www.cityartmankato.com