Milky way with text: Statewide Star Party. Shared Sky, Open Minds

2022 Statewide Star Party – Shared Sky, Open Minds

The Bell Museum invites curious minds across the state to participate in the 3rd annual Minnesota Statewide Star Party during the weekend of Thursday, April 7th through Saturday, April 9th, 2022.

This year we will join in celebration of the sky through the theme “Shared Sky, Open Minds.” This year’s theme invites us to reflect and gain appreciation of cultural astronomy and entice appreciation of our shared skies through various cultural lenses. We are excited to welcome all to participate by providing a selection of virtual programming as well as in-person gatherings located throughout the state. Hosted by schools, colleges, libraries, museums, parks, and other local organizations, all events are family-friendly and include free outdoor sky watching and activities. See below for more details of each day of the party! 

Questions? Email Nia Navarro at

Find a Star Party in Your Neighborhood

State of Minnesota with various numbers to mark star party locations

  1. Fertile, MNAgassiz Environmental Learning Center | Fertile Nature Center, 400 Summit Ave SW, Fertile, MN 56540 | April 8


  2. Duluth, MNArrowhead Astronomical Society | 1023 University Drive, Duluth MN 55812 | April 9, 6–10pm // Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium – UMD | 1023 University Drive, Duluth, MN 55812 | April 9, 6–10pm


  3. St. Paul, MNBell Museum | 2088 Larpenteur Avenue West, St. Paul, MN 55113 | April 8, 8:30–10pm


  4. Afton, MNBelwin Conservancy/Joseph J Casby Observatory MAS | Belwin Conservancy, Education Center, 1553 Stagecoach Trail S., Afton, MN 55001 | April 9, 8–10pm


  5. Buffalo, MNBuffalo Library | Buffalo Great River Regional Library, 18 Lake Blvd NW, Buffalo, MN 55313 | April 8, 7–10pm


  6. East Bethel, MNCedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve | Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, 2660 Fawn Lake Drive NE, East Bethel MN 55005 | April 8, 7:30–9:30pm

7. Minneapolis, MNCity of Lakes Waldorf School | 2344 Nicollet Ave S., Minneapolis, MN 55404 | April 8 & 9, Dusk–9pm


8. Ely, MNEly Public Library | Ely Public Library 224 E Chapman St Ely MN 55731 | April 8, 7–8pm


9. Cottage Grove, MNFriends of the Mississippi River | (invite only) | April 9, 7–9pm


10. Coleraine, MNGreenway Boys and Girls Club | Longyear Park: Cole St, Coleraine, MN 55722 | April 8, 6–8pm


11. Saint Peter, MNGustavus Adolphus College | Olin Hall of Science Observatory: 800 West College Ave, Saint Peter, MN 56083 | April 8, 7–10:30pm


12. Austin, MNJay C. Hormel Nature Center | Sola Fide Observatory: 53600-53734 180 St, Austin, MN 55912 | April 9, 7–10:30pm


13. Palisade, MNLong Lake Conservation Center | 28952 438th Lane, Palisade, MN 56469 | April 9, 3pm–April 10, 10am


14. Norwood-Young America, MNMinnesota Astronomical Society | Eagle Lake Observatory Carver County Baylor Regional Park, 10775 County Road 33, Norwood-Young America, MN | April 9, 7pm


15. Moorhead, MNMinnesota State University Moorhead | Minnesota State University Moorhead Planetarium, 1104 7th Ave S, Moorhead, MN | April 9, 6–9pm


16. Worthington, MNMinnesota West Community and Technical College | 1450 Colllegeway, Worthington, MN 56187 | April 8, 8–10pm


17. St. Cloud, MNSt. Cloud State University | St. Cloud State University Planetarium, 825 1st Ave S., Wick Science Building (Rm 24), St. Cloud, MN, 56301 | April 8 & 9, 6–8pm


18. St. Anthony, MNThree Rivers Parks-Silverwood Park | Silverwood Park – Visitors Center – 2500 County Rd E, St. Anthony, MN 55421 | April 8, 6–8pm

Bell Museum Site Partners

Black Girl Social Club – Minneapolis chapter

Las Estrellas

Minnesota Marine Art Museum

Radical Monarchs


Virtual Kick-off

Join us April 7, 7–9:30pm as we kick-off the third annual Statewide Star Party. In a collaboration with Native Skywatchers, we are pleased to host a conversation with Dr. Annette Lee, Director of Native Skywatchers, and two members of the Native Skywatchers team, Ramona Kitto Stately, Director of We Are Still Here Minnesota, and retired professor and active artist, Carl Gawboy. They will give an introduction to Etuaptmumk, Two-Eyed Seeing—an approach that utilizes both the strengths of indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing, along with western knowledge and ways of knowing. This discussion will touch on constellations and the conceptual distinctions and layers of understanding gained when viewed through an indigenous perspective—an illustration of how culturally relevant and inclusive strategies can contribute to increased scientific learning. After this conversation, join the Bell Museum planetarium team as we stream live views of the night sky through our telescopes (weather permitting).

Register Here

Special guests

Annette Lee smiling at camera holding a globeDr. Annette S. Lee is an astrophysicist, artist and the Director of the Native Skywatchers research and programming initiative. She has over three decades of experience in education as a teacher, university instructor, teacher educator, program administrator, professional visual artist, and researcher. Her passion is to work at the intersection of art, science, and culture. This work grounds her in wellness and social justice. Designed by Lee (2007), the Native Skywatchers initiative seeks to remember and revitalize Indigenous star and earth knowledge. The hope is to inspire all people to have a rekindling or deepening sense of awe and personal relationship to the cosmos. Annette’s work in astronomy includes a PhD with a dissertation entitled, The Effects on Student Knowledge and Engagement When Using a Culturally Responsive Framework to Teach ASTR 101.

Annette’s work as a visual artist spans four decades. Receiving an MFA (Yale School of Art, 2000) with a focus on painting and a thesis show entitled “Star Medicine”, the work has since grown into the Digital Arts and Social Practice. This includes: mixed media, digital storytelling, spoken word art, animation, and motion media. Annette has curated two exhibits for the National Museum of Science and Technology-Ingenium. Two current art grants (Minnesota State Arts Board 2021) are fueling production of community-based digital story work and animation. Annette served as Professor of Astronomy at St. Cloud State University for thirteen years, is an Honorary/Adjunct Full Professor at the University of Southern Queensland in the Centre for Astrophysics, Associate Adjunct Affiliate Faculty at the University of California-Santa Cruz in the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, and affiliate of the SETI Institute. Annette is mixed-race Lakota and her communities are Ojibwe and D/Lakota.


Person smiling at cameraRamona Kitto Stately is an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Dakhóta Nation. She has a BA  in Dakota Art and Culture and a minor in Business, and a Masters of Education with an emphasis on Teacher Leadership from Augsburg University. After 15 years teaching Indian Education in Minnesota, she is now Project Director for the We Are Still Here Minnesota, creating action for narrative change. Ramona is the mother of two children, an accomplished beadwork artist with moccasins on display in the Science Museum of Minnesota, and currently serves as the Chairperson of the Minnesota Indian Education Association since 2016. She is a part of the scholars team with of the Minnesota Humanities Centers for Learning from Place: Bdote, and wrote Pazahiyaywen’s Story of the Bdote as a reflection of inspiration from her Great-Great Grandmother who survived the genocidal tactics during the US Dakota War. 

In December 2021, Ramona received the Ron McKinley award from the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership whose focus is to build equitable education spaces that uplift and empower Minnesota’s POCI students and advance racial equity and excellence in education.



Carl Gawboy Carl Gawboy, one of the founding members of Native Skywatchers, is a member of the Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Ojibwe and taught for six years at University of Minnesota-Duluth and twelve years at the College of St. Scholastica teaching American Indian studies and watercolor painting.  

Carl’s artwork, ranging from single wall pieces, series, and murals has been exhibited throughout Minnesota, including a massive 33-panel series at the Superior Public Library, which traces Superior’s history and took 10 years to complete. He has created works for well over 75 exhibits, many of which are included in the permanent collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Department of Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board and the Fond du Lac Reservation.

Carl co-delivers annual workshops on Native Astronomy and Science.

In-Person Star Party at the Bell

On April 8, 8:30–10 pm, we invite you to Join us for the Bell Museum’s IN-PERSON Star Party! Centering on this year’s Statewide Star Party theme, “Shared Sky, Open Minds,” we will host a number of activities that reflect on cultural astronomy and encourage appreciation of our shared skies through various cultural lenses. 

Register Here


Group of people smiling and looking up at planetarium screenPlanetarium Shows

In our planetarium, our expert astronomy team will guide you through the night sky and highlight some cosmic sights.

Planetarium Showtimes: 8:30pm, 9:00pm, 9:30pm. Tickets for planetarium shows are available at the front desk upon arrival, on a first-come, first-serve basis.



Then, explore constellations and celestial objects in hands-on activities that highlight the similarities and differences of space when viewed through another lens. Learn how several cultures view the overlapping star systems, use different filters to see how they affect what you see, and come together in creativity to make your contribution to our moon art puzzle!

Be sure to check out the We Are Stardust project videos shared by Native Skywatchers, an Indigenous Star Knowledge revitalization initiative (since 2007), that gives students and teachers access to real-time research and resources in Indigenous Astronomy, STEM Education, Culture, and Art. In this project they brought together Western and Indigenous science in the context of the theme, “We are Stardust”, to inspire curiosity, to ignite motivation, and to create a supportive learning space so they can tell their story of relationship to sky. Learn more about the We Are Stardust initiative!


Woman looking through telescopeTelescopes

Continue the evening outside with telescopes on the Ruth & John Huss Observation Deck (weather permitting), where our astronomy team will guide you through observations of the same celestial objects that have inspired sky-gazers throughout history! Remember to dress for the weather!

Beehive cluster

 Additional Resources

Stargazing Tips & Tricks—Plus a Handy Metro-Area Map – Bell Museum staff share their favorite dark-sky locations, tips, and tricks for stargazing

Minnesota Skies – Find out what you can see each month in our Minnesota night skies

Native Skywatchers Dakota Lakota Star Map 

Native Skywatchers Ojibwe Star Map

Training Video

Special thank you to Ruth and John Huss for their generous support.
Thank you to our 150th anniversary presenting sponsor

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