Public Art / % For Art

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The arts and humanities bring life, vibrancy, creativity, and enhance economic growth to municipalities across Utah (for economic impact data, visit www.utculture.org/stats). Public art in particular is an excellent way to beautify communities, assist with wayfinding, improve public safety, and help grow a community’s identity. Public art is simply, art in public places.

 

Municipalities and county governments often contact Utah Cultural Alliance for assistance in drafting public art ordinances for their community. Below are samples ordinances drafted by our attorney. Feel free to use part or all of this language.

 

The two primary options described in the below ordinances are:

        1. Projects within building: in the development and approval of any new public buildings, the budget would include a certain percentage of that particular project's allocation to be spent specifically on works of art for that building/development (both acquisition and maintenance of the art).  
        2. More flexible: This method creates a "fund" into which a percentage of all expenditures on public building projects would be deposited, from which the municipality could use to purchase, display, and maintain works of art within city/county/town boundaries, but not necessarily directly connected with any particular building project.

 

Of course, a municipality could blend these approaches.

 

This ordinance is attended to be broad and generic. You will want to consider if: 

        • You want a percentage public art program or a line item
        • From which public projects you want to find revenue for public art
        • Which types of public art projects you want to offer as a community
        • A percentage program, whether or not to stick with the traditional 1% or offer more (we always recommend a little extra to cover maintenance)
        • You want to offer incentives to private development to include public art in their projects (could be special rates on RDA loans, etc.)

 

We are happy to work with you to personalize these options for your communities. UCA contact info:

 

        • Crystal Young-Otterstrom
        • Executive Director // Utah Cultural Alliance
        • 801.652.0737 // [email protected]
        • 254 W 400 S Suite 302 // SLC, UT 84101

 

 

Sample Percentage for Art Ordinance (Option 1)

 

1.1 Purpose and Intent

 

The [legislative body] declares it to be the public policy of [name of locality] that the promotion of public art and the beautification of public buildings is in the interest of the [city, county, town, etc.]  This ordinance is enacted to advance that important public policy, including through setting aside a portion of the capital expenditures of designated public construction projects for the advancement and development of public art.

 

1.2 Definitions

 

A. Public Construction Project:  Any capital project designated for inclusion under this chapter when it is approved by the city council and paid wholly, or in part, by the [city, county, town, etc.], including both new construction and renovation of existing public facilities within the limits of the [city, county, town, etc.].  

 

B. Works of Art:  All forms of original creations of visual arts, broadly understood, including but not limited to: sculpture, painting, murals, graphic arts, photography, stained glass, mosaics, and the like.

 

1.3 Funding for Works of Art in Public Construction Projects.

 

A. When making requests for the appropriation of funds for a Public Construction Project, all [city, county, town, etc.] agencies shall include in their budgets submitted to the [mayor, city council, county commission, etc.] an amount equal to [one percent (1%)] of such budget expenditures for the acquisition and installation of Works of Art.  In all such requests, the appropriate agency shall also include an amount of at least [one-quarter percent (0.25%)] of ongoing building maintenance costs to maintain the Works of Art on an annual basis.

 

B. [Optional section] Requests for appropriation of funds for water/sewer installation project and road construction or street improvement projects are exempted from this requirement, but requesting agencies are encouraged nonetheless to make the budgetary allocation required by this subsection in appropriate projects.

 

C. At the discretion of the [legislative body], when appropriating funds for Public Construction Projects, the [legislative body] shall allocate funds up to [one percent (1%)] of the budget for such projects to the acquisition and installation of Works of Art.

 

D. If the [legislative body] does not allocate the funding contemplated by this section in a Public Construction Project, the reason for that decision shall be stated on the record during an open and public meeting with notice to, and the ability to comment by, the general public.

 

1.4 Creation of Public Works of Art Board.

 

A. There is created by the [legislative body] a Public Works of Art Board.  

 

B. There shall be [X] members of the Public Works of Art Board who shall be appointed by the [mayor, city council, county commission, or some combination thereof], unless otherwise specified herein.  Members shall serve for a term of [X] years, can serve for a maximum of [X] consecutive terms, and may be removed through voluntary resignation, for cause by a vote of the majority of the [city council, county commission, etc.], or by the expiration of their term in office.

 

C. The membership of the Public Works of Art Board shall include at least one of each of the following:  An employee of the [city, county, town, etc.] who shall be designated by the mayor, a citizen of the [city, county, town, etc.], at least one local artist, and an individual with knowledge and experience in the construction of Public Construction Projects.

 

D. Except for the [city, county, town, etc.] employee who sits on the Public Works of Art Board, who may perform their responsibilities as a member of the board as a part of their official duties, membership on the Public Works of Art Board shall be a volunteer position.

 

1.5 Duties of the Public Works of Art Board.

 

A. It shall be the responsibility of the Public Works of Art Board to create rules and procedures through which the [city, county, town, etc.] may vet and identify appropriate Works of Art to be included in Public Construction Projects.

 

B. After a Public Construction Project has been approved by the [mayor, city council, county commission, etc.] including funding for a Work of Art pursuant to this ordnance, the relevant agency overseeing the project shall notify the Public Works of Art Board which shall then begin the process of identifying appropriate Works of Art for the project.

 

C. Once the Public Works of Art Board has selected one or more possible Works of Art for inclusion in a Public Construction Project, the board shall present the Works of Art to the [name of governing authority, like mayor, city council, county commission, etc.] for final approval.

 

 

Sample Percentage for Art Ordinance (Option 2)

 

1.3 General Public Art Fund, Maintenance.

 

A. There is created a General Public Art Fund from which the [legislative body] shall make appropriations on a case-by-case basis for the funding of Works of Art to be installed, performed, displayed, and maintained within the limits of the [city, county, town, etc.].

 

B. The General Public Art Fund shall be funded by way of a contribution of [one percent (1%)] of the monies appropriated for all Public Construction Projects approved by the [enter name of governing authority, like mayor, city council, county commission, etc.], at the discretion of the [mayor, city council, county commission, etc.]. In all such requests, the appropriate agency shall also include an amount of at least [one-quarter percent (0.25%)] of ongoing building maintenance costs to maintain the Works of Art on an annual basis.

 

C. When making requests for the appropriation of funds for a Public Construction Project, all [city, county, town, etc.] agencies shall include in their budgets submitted to the [mayor, city council, county commission, etc.] an amount equal to [one percent (1%)] of such budget expenditures for contributions to the General Public Art Fund.

 

D. [Optional] Requests for appropriation of funds for water/sewer installation projects and road construction or street improvement projects are exempted from this requirement.

 

E. If the [legislative body] does not allocate the funding contemplated by this section in connection with the approval of a Public Construction Project, the reason for that decision shall be stated on the record during an open and public meeting with notice to, and the ability to comment by, the general public.

 

1.5 Duties of the Public Works of Art Board; oversight.

 

A. The Public Works of Art Board shall be notified when expenditures from the General Public Art Fund are deemed appropriate by the [legislative body].

 

B. It shall be the responsibility of the Public Works of Art Board to create rules and procedures through which the [city, county, town, etc.] may vet and identify appropriate Works of Art to be installed, performed, or otherwise displayed within the limits of the [city, county, town, etc.].

 

C. Once the Public Works of Art Board has selected one or more possible Works of Art for funding, the board shall present the Works of Art to the [legislative body] for final approval.

 

D. It shall be the responsibility of the [mayor, city/county administrator] or his or her designee to oversee the timely acquisition, development, construction, installation, and/or performance of any Works of Arts for which funding is approved out of the General Public Art Fund.

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