About SCP Arts


Metro Transit Earth Week Light Rail Installation

Left to Right: Fatoumata Jaiteh, JPST student; Mike Klein, JPST professor; Sarah Nelson, SCP Artist-in-Residence; Maria Dahmus, SCP Director; Kelly Morrell, Metro Transit. Photo by Dane Pedersen.

City Lights: Urban Experience (ENGL 203)

Students in Olga Herrera's course connect art and storytelling to convey the human experience of climate vulnerability, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Council and Sarah Nelson.

Senior Engineering Design Clinic

Senior Engineering Design Team presents their AirBooth prototype that can produce sound using air itself (Fall 2017).

Environmental Problem Solving (ESCI 310)

Students in Chip Small's course co-create a children's book about nutrient cycling with SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson based on research in the UST Stewardship Garden.

City Lights: Urban Experience (ENGL 203)

Illustrations by SCP Artist-in-Residence Sarah Nelson, based on English students' research of stories of climate vulnerability in St. Paul, MN (Fall 2018).


In Spring 2017, inspired by the transformative impacts of collaborative efforts that bridge art and sustainability, the Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP) created an arts initiative:  SCP Arts.

SCP Arts engages students in collaborative, applied, arts-based projects - through workshops with SCP Artists-in-Residence - that advance SCP partners’ sustainability goals and enrich student problem-solving and communication. SCP Artists-in-Residence collaborate with students to translate their research into artwork.

SCP partners share and display the project artwork in their communities and beyond, making findings more accessible to the community and engaging people of all ages with their sustainability goals.  See current and upcoming SCP Arts Installations and Exhibits.


How SCP Arts Works

  • SCP facilitates a project scoping process with SCP partners, SCP Artist-in-Residence, and faculty to collaboratively develop a partner-identified, art-based project that advances partner sustainability goals and enriches course learning objectives.

  • Through arts-based workshops during class, the SCP Artist-in-Residence and students co-envision the project artwork. This process enriches students' investigation and analysis of the project question and communication of project findings.

  • SCP partners share and display the project artwork in their communities and beyond, making findings more accessible to the community and fostering public engagement with their sustainability goals.

Now in its third year, SCP Arts has collaborated with faculty and partners across disciplines through a variety of course-based projects. SCP's 2018-2020 Artist-in-Residence is St. Paul-based artist, Sarah Nelson.

Working with SCP Arts has been an incredible experience both as an artist and as an individual who is passionate about sustainability. Having the opportunity to use my skills to help students communicate research in ways that empower communities is incredibly rewarding. The process generates a final product that can be used by partners to engage communities and that equips students to speak about their findings with those outside of their field of study.

- Sarah Nelson, SCP Artist-in-Residence, 2018-2020



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