public arts commission  
 
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increasing public arts funding

Increasing public arts funding is necessary to giving greater and more equitable access to public art.  Without a robust funding program for public art in the United States, art becomes privatized under austerity and increasingly irrelevant to the lives of ordinary U.S. citizens, leading to a weakening of the political imaginary.  In FY 2016, the $148 million budgeted for National Endowment for the Arts (N.E.A.) represented just 0.012% (about one one-hundredth of one percent) of federal discretionary spending.  In FY 2017, the budget for the N.E.A. amounted to $0.4587 per capita.  In contrast, the German federal government spent €1.28 billion ($1.63 billion) on culture and the media in 2013, amounting to €15.87 ($18.78) per capita and around 41 times that of the N.E.A.  Funding at the State and City levels for public arts programs in the United States similarly reflects infinitesimal investment. 

public arts commission believes the amount of funding for public arts programs in the United States ought to reflect two main considerations: 1) the amount of funding necessary to distribute art more equitably in the private and public realms and 2) the amount of funding necessary for a greater public arts.

empowering artists

Artists make art.  We would have no art without artists.   If we don’t support artists to make great public art, we cannot expect artists to make great public art.  Yet, today, we hardly support and, in some cases, we marginalize artists that make public art.  Moreover, professional artists do not have equal and fair representation among the administrators of our public arts or our governments.  public arts commission seeks to give artists equal and fair representation in our public arts programs and our governments in order to empower artists to make greater public art.

public arts commission embarks on a number of initiatives to empower artists to make greater public art.  First, public arts commission seeks to eliminate the federal ban on direct grants to non-literary artists for public work.   By not funding artists directly to make non-literary public work, artists must rely on non-profit organizations that have little to no obligation to include artists in budget considerations, very often leading to exploitation of the artists.  Second, public arts commission seeks to change grant requirements to allow increased opportunity for operational grants.   Project grants work for organizations that have staff to manage multiple projects, but do not work for artists, most of whom do not have large staffs to manage multiple projects.  Operational grants allow artists to work from project to project without the burden of applying for a grant each time, which helps level the playing field between artists and non-profit organizations.  Third, public arts commission seeks to put artists in a seat at the table at all levels of government to ensure equal and fair representation.  Simply put, artists cannot rely on someone else to advocate on their behalf.  Giving equal and fair representation to artists in matters of government is necessary for greater public arts.

building relationships between the arts community, public officials, candidates for public office and public campaigns

public arts commission seeks to connect the arts community with public officials, candidates for public office and public campaigns for a number of reasons. 

First, public arts commission seeks to identify and support public officials and candidates for public office who support strengthening public arts.  Too often, candidates for public office and public officials give no position or plan for strengthening the arts.  We know the arts represent a large constituency in our economy and culture.  It’s time our politics reflect and inflect the state of the arts for greater democracy.

Second, public arts commission seeks to build a network of key constituents who support greater public arts throughout the United States.  public arts commission will identify, connect and support key constituents in every state of the United States who help advance a greater public arts agenda.  The key constituents will liaise locally to ensure representation on the local level. 

Third, public arts commission will support and advance education programs towards a greater public arts that include: 1) working with universities to develop public art programs and curriculum; 2) provide subscriptions to email notifications about public arts; 3) publish a quarterly public arts commission journal with articles featuring research and analysis on public arts and 4) organize and curate exhibitions of art about public art that intersect art and politics.

advancing legislation in favor of greater public arts

public arts commission seeks to advance legislation in favor of greater public arts at all levels of government.  Such laws may include the establishment of a local government department of arts and culture in addition to appropriations for public art.  public arts commission will research and analyze the impacts of current legislation and provide public notices on proposed changes to legislation in order that the legislation contribute to greater public arts.

giving arts a seat at the table at all levels of government

public arts commission believes a democratic process is necessary not only in determining public art, but that public art is necessary for the democratic process.  Giving the arts a seat at the table at all levels of government allows for the arts to participate in crafting the society we want, a democratic one. 

advancing a public arts and politics that respects planetary ecology

public arts commission is dedicated to a public art and politics that respects planetary ecology.  Climate change as a result of increased carbon emissions in the atmosphere is without a doubt one of the major challenges we face.  As weather catastrophes become increasingly severe and common, public arts commission is committed to rebuilding and rebuilding in ways that respect planetary ecology. CONTINUE...

 
     
   
 

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