For almost twenty years, dedicated individuals have tirelessly labored on a One-Percent for Public Art on Private Projects Program. At the Richmond’s City Council meeting on Tuesday July 11th, an ordinance was introduced requiring commercial developments ($500,000+) along with residential developments (10+ units) to provide a fund to be used for on-site public and art projects. The Richmond arts community delivered a unified message through emails and speaking in support.
“2017 is the 20th anniversary of Richmond’s public art program!
Residents and city officials have worked diligently on implementing a % for Art on Private Projects throughout this time despite bullying tactics, intimidation, delays, and threats of lawsuits from outside organizations.
Recently, I attended the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Francisco with over 1000 arts professionals. Participants shared how % for Art programs become an economic driver to local communities while providing positive social impacts.
A National Endowments for the Arts study states that: “In 2013, arts and cultural production contributed $704.2 billion to the U.S. economy…. more than some other sectors, such as construction ($619B)…”
An artist can create a fence.
An artist can create a light fixture.
An artist can create a doorway.
A builder would have to pay for these features anyway.
Ever hear of the quote: “Success breeds success?”
Just ask our 15 local Bay Area cities who already have successful % for Art programs with numerous construction projects!
Art isn’t a choice.
Art is a tool that enhances environments by fostering and respecting partnerships.
Implementing a % for Art is saying yes to Richmond now and for future generations.
After discussion and deliberation, the councilmembers voted unanimously to pass the ordinance’s first reading to add it to the Richmond Municipal Code. On Tuesday July 18th, the One-Percent for Public Art on Private Projects Program will appear as item I-24 on the City Council Agenda. If there’s no additional discussion, the ordinance will be voted in with other Consent Calendar items becoming a reality. Richmond is the city of pride and purpose. In the spirit of Rosie the Riveter: “We Can Do It!”
See you there!