"Did my taxes pay for that!?!" : Communicating Value of Public Art

June 26, 2020, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Session Type: Panel

We’ve all heard someone in our community say, “How much did the City pay for that artwork?!” Public art in civic projects often gets the short shrift. There is much competition for those limited resources making it difficult to accommodate the creation and maintenance of public art. Three planners with experience in different geographic regions, community scales, and public art organizations will discuss how to communicate value to decision makers and build community support where public art and civic design intersect. The session will include examples and lessons learned at three phases of a project lifespan – the cultural plan, initial project planning phase, and project evaluation. The discussion will include community engagement to develop support from the public and elected officials. The discussion will also consider different analytical frameworks for “flagship” and “community” public art projects in terms of project goals, evaluation, and community outcomes. The take-away from this session is that planning-based strategies such as partnerships, inclusivity, and context-sensitivity foster project buy-in and convey value.

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand a variety of planning-based strategies about context and project type to convey value of public art projects to decision makers and stakeholders.
  • Better understand value-added partnerships and be able to identify potential partners for public artwork creation and implementation to foster community support.
  • Take away tools to set up a successful public art projects with the goals of inclusion, community buy-in, and communicating value.