Arts Commission to Review Public Art Funding

February, 04, 2009, by Aislinn

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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? 

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Arts, Other posts by Aislinn.


City CouncilCharles MeekerPublic ArtRaleigh Arts Commission


  • Magnus
    02/04 07:46 PM

    Publicly funded art is often shite. And I don’t like to pay for it at the end of a gun (see what happens if you don’t pay your property taxes and continue to refuse to fund this or vacate your home).

    Private property owners ought to be prettying up the town more than they are, but this should be a function of public pressure more than government coercion.

    Still, if Mayor Meeker wants to buy some art, I’ll sell him some photographs. ;)

  • TSnow27604
    02/05 12:24 AM

    “Shite” is your opinion not fact.  And what exactly are you proposing?  Go through the city’s budget line by line picking out the things with which you personally agree, mathematically figuring out what percent of the budget you support, divide the total budget cost by the tax paying population, and then deciding how much tax you think you should pay?  What if I decide the pothole on your street doesn’t impact me so I don’t think I’ll help pay for it?  Sorry for the rant everybody but this anti-government, they-can’t-do-anything-as-well-as-I-think-they-should attitude chaps my ass.  “Private property owners ought to be prettying up the town more than they are, but this should be a function of public pressure more than government coercion.”  What does that mean?  The public should pressure our fellow private citizens to pay for art on private land?  Let’s all meet at Dr. Goodnight’s house to picket until he builds a statue in his backyard.  Public land is the people’s land and our elected officials are our representative stewards.  Don’t like the ideas, vote for someone else.  Public art helps make a city a home and a community and Raleigh is sorely lacking in this department.  This announcement comes none too soon but I welcome it happily.

  • Magnus
    02/05 12:25 AM

    Hey Comrade weren’t you one of the ones that promised to move to Canada if Kerry lost to Bush?

  • Ken Metzger
    02/05 10:33 AM

    The one thing that I don’t like about the proposal is that it is attached to the cost of construction projects.  I may be wrong, but the way I have read it the public arts projects will only be added on to new buildings and spaces.  We need public art scattered throughout the city, especially in unique seemingly random places to add true character.  (I love the random art that exists in Fremont in Seattle.  It is truly refreshing to see art at intersections and just by the street.  And yes, Magnus, that includes a giant statue of Vladimir Lenin.)
    I am also not sure how this is government coercion.  We voted these people into office and they are now governing with tools given to them.  I don’t see any underhanded action or intimidation.

  • BlueCollarBlues
    02/05 10:56 AM

    Great cities have great public places with great public art.
    Podunk, nasty little towns where nothing ever happens have no art and lousy (or no) public places. 
    If you want to live in a nasty little place where the public doesn’t value art, move to some crappy county seat in South Carolina where you can listen to your neighbor’s fourteen dogs bark.  Your taxes will be dead low, I guarantee.

  • Matthew Brown
    02/05 01:16 PM

    Great cities have great public places with great public art, created in the great ages of public art.

    Podunk towns and degenerated cities have “art” by con-men such as Jaume Plensa.

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