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Council Passes First Public Art Master Plan

The City's public art program is about to move forward with a broad, new vision of plans and goals after the City Council unanimously passed its first Public Arts Master Plan on August 15.

The plan aims to increase awareness of the art program and artists, increase accessibility to the arts, and explore partnerships and funding for program development.

Palo Alto has supported public art since the 1970’s with a collection today that includes over 300 pieces, both indoor and outdoor, collectively valued at more than $2 million dollars.

The Public Arts Master Plan includes citywide artwork that:

• Focuses on areas where people gather, as well as unexpected places that encourage exploration

• Represents a broad variety or artistic media and forms of expression

• Enhances City infrastructure, transportation corridors and districts

• Includes both permanent and temporary artworks

"The Public Art Master Plan is the culmination of a tremendous outreach effort that engaged more than 400 people in stimulating discussions about public art, “ said Elise DeMarzo, Public Art Program Director. “We had an amazing Advisory Committee, with widespread representation. Most exciting was the use of social practice artists Chris Treggiari and Peter Foucault, who brought their custom bikes to 18 different places to engage the people of Palo Alto. People love the arts here!"

The new plan also calls for putting both a mural policy and a gift policy for artwork into place, and updating the deaccession policy.

The Colin Selig benches downtown are some of the temporary public art projects already at work, plus neighborhoods could be selected to place other temporary pieces in locations such as roundabouts. Additionally, the City won a National Endowment for the Arts grant that will bring Code: ART to six alleyways downtown next June. Code: ART is a new media festival that will turn alleyways into a creative laboratory of sorts, including the possibility of a virtual reality transformation.

Click here to learn more about the Public Art Program and view their many projects.

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