Great cities feature great public art. Within its 516.7 square miles, Phoenix proudly features a spectacular Municipal Art Collection. Phoenix has one of the best public art programs in the nation, thanks to the City’s willingness to commit 1 percent of its capital project costs to public art and to its innovative spirit in incorporating art into design.
But we know that Public art, like any capital project, needs to be maintained, or this investment in our community could be wasted.
The Public Art Program is funded through an ordinance that allocates one percent of the Phoenix Capital Improvement Program to enhance the design of public buildings, infrastructure and spaces. In the past 30 years, it has created more than 180 projects and become a national leader in developing unique collaborations with artists and other design professionals to help make a better city.
The projects range from new parks, community centers and canal trails, to bridges, streetscapes, overpasses, transit centers, recycling centers and other key infrastructure.
Each year, the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture works with City department leaders, the Mayor, and City Council to develop the annual Public Art Project Plan that identifies capital improvement projects in all areas of Phoenix that offer the greatest opportunity for artist involvement and public accessibility. The total budget for each project includes funds to contract for design, fabrication,installation and project administration.
Art projects, similar to other public works, are funded in part through City-issued bonds and other capital sources. The projects are scheduled to be in step with the City’s priorities. City Council currently appropriates funds annually for maintenance.
Here are some of the ways Public Art has a positive impact to the Phoenix community:
You may not know that Phoenix hosts one of the few City Hall museums throughout the U.S. Our city’s vast collection of portable public art belongs to YOU, the public. Access the the Gallery @ City Hall is free and open to the public.
What can you do?
1. Speak up in support of public art maintenance funding at a City of Phoenix Budget Hearing. Fill out your card; as a speaker or write in your view. (See the City of Phoenix 2019 budget hearing schedule here.)
2. Write a letter to your council member, make a phone call or a personal visit in lieu of a budget hearing. Then, follow up with a thank-you card after you present.