Funding Public Art: An Expert's Guide

Public art is an important part of any city's culture and identity, and it can be funded in a variety of ways. One of the most common methods is through a public art trust fund, which is a discrete fund set aside for public art projects. This fund can be used to pay artists for their work, as well as cover any unforeseen costs associated with the project. Additionally, many cities have ordinances that guarantee a certain percentage of funds for public art projects, regardless of the municipal budget or other funding sources.

State arts agencies also play an important role in funding public art projects. By law, 40% of these funds are allocated to state and regional arts organizations, which then regrant them through state-level art aid programs. Before the pandemic, aggregate funding for the arts had increased by almost 17% in the last 20 years. In addition to state and local government agencies, other non-profit arts organizations can also be sources of funding for public art programs.

The city of New Orleans, for example, has a public art program that is funded by both local and state government agencies as well as non-profit organizations. To help applicants and beneficiaries in their research and implementation of public art policies, there are a number of resources available. These resources provide information on how to establish public art policies and processes, as well as how to access funding for public art projects.

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