The City of Rochester, RNeighbors, and the Southeastern Minnesota Poets have teamed up for a city-wide Chalk the Walk Festival. Community Development Director Cindy Steinhauser said, “We are excited to launch this program.  Our local artists are vitally important to our community and the local economy. Our hope is that the Chalk the Walk Festival will bring about increased vibrancy across our neighborhoods and create COVID-19 safe ability for neighbors to connect.”

Local artists and poets who are not fully employed due to COVID-19 can earn up to $400 for their work and are encouraged to apply here. (See Rules Below)


Funds for the project are from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) funding, originating from the federal government and allocated to the City of Rochester by the State of Minnesota.

  • Applicants must be artists, 17 years and older to qualify for grant and must reside or work in Rochester.
  • Grant applications are due Monday, August 10, at 5 pm, and should be emailed to
  • Applicants will be notified by Wednesday, August 12.
  • Work to be completed on the pre-determined location for the Chalk the Walk Festival by August 15 (August 16 rain date).
  • $400 for accepted sidewalk chalk murals to be paid upon receipt of completion form.
  • Supplies will be purchased by RNeighbors and made available for artists: assorted colors of soft pastels, sponges, baby wipes, and fixative.
  • Creative themes include health, equity, community, collaboration, and joy.
  • Sidewalk surface area: 4 foot x 4 foot, or 16 square foot total.
  • Proper social distancing is required for chalking activities, must align with Minnesota Department of Health Guidance and Governor Walz Executive Orders.

A city press release explains, "All ages of the general public are invited to participate on August 15, 2020, by decorating their sidewalks for the city-wide Chalk the Walk Festival. Through these grants, local artists and poets will showcase their talents around the themes of unity, collaboration, healing, and joy."

NEW PHOTOS: Minnesota Chalk Art


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