On Tuesday, the Raleigh City Council examined a temporary resolution to allocate 0.005% of some capital improvement funding towards public art. The City currently funds art through the Raleigh Arts Commission with $4.50 per resident, but none of the money is specifically reserved for public art (most goes to arts nonprofits as grants). Mayor Meeker and a majority of the council members consider public art funding long overdue and support the resolution, citing declining construction costs and the economic benefits of public art as reasons to move forward despite the slow economy. Councilmen Koopman and Isley oppose the resolution because of the recession.
Instead of approving or rejecting the resolution, the Council voted to refer the resolution to the Raleigh Arts Commission for review.
The resolution would provide public art funds via certain capital improvement projects starting April 1, 2009, and until the Council could create a permanent solution. Then the Arts Commission will get to debate exciting things: local or international artists? Avant-garde experiments or small children encased in bronze a la Southpoint Mall? Murals on the sides of buildings or paintings inside?