Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events announced Chicagos first Public Art Plan. The plan lays out recommendations that will help shape the future of public art in Chicago and shift how the city talks about and supports public art. The full Public Art Plan can now be downloaded at cityofchicago.org/yopa
The Chicago Public Art Plan is an innovative blueprint that builds on Chicagos cultural legacy and will inspire ongoing support for public art in neighborhoods throughout the city, said Mayor Emanuel. We will continue to support the gifted artists, working across all mediums that add to the cultural fabric of the city and inspire the next generation of talent.
In order to guide a new vision for public art in Chicago, the Chicago Public Art Plan outlines a series of recommendations that are aligned to achieve the following overarching goals:
Update Chicagos Percent for Art Program
Establish clear and transparent governmental practices
Expand resources to support the creation of public art throughout the city
Advance programs that support artists, neighborhoods and the public good
Strengthen the Citys collection management systems
Support the work that artists and organizations do to create public art
Build awareness of and engagement with Chicagos public art
The Chicago Public Art Plan aims to be visionary yet grounded in practice, said Mark Kelly, DCASE Commissioner. It speaks to how we value art and what it can mean for all Chicagoans. As Chicago powers forward as an engine of creative life, we ought not to forget that public art isnt just one discipline it isnt just sculptures and statues, its not only murals on walls. Its how we as a city bring artistic vision to our streets and to the public realm. By engaging in public art, we bring value meaning and pride to Chicago
The field of public art is continually evolving and expanding to include expansive, interdisciplinary and embedded artwork. The Chicago Public Art Plan acknowledges this and establishes that the process of commissioning public art must welcome creativity in all of its forms and offer broad opportunities for participation. The new plan is a means to advocate for a diverse public art ecosystem and to nurture art that has the potential to surprise, inspire, challenge and bring people together through shared experiences.
Public art emerged as recurring theme in conversations surrounding the Chicago Cultural Plan 2012, presented by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and DCASE as the citys first plan for the arts since 1986. The plan proposed that expanding art in public places could be a core strategy in elevating and expanding neighborhood cultural assets and a sense of place. With these goals in mind, DCASE began to formally solicit input from artists, cultural leaders, neighborhood advocates and other citizens on the future of public art in Chicago. Mayor Emanuel directed DCASE to increase emphasis on cooperation among city agencies and with community leaders in its planning for public art. Focus groups with the City of Chicago and sister agencies addressed ways to increase collaboration. This collective input serves as the basis for the plans recommendations.
The resulting Chicago Public Art Plan weaves policy, history and images together to create the framework for the plans recommendations. It celebrates Chicago as home for public art, while providing a path forward establishing a shared vision for Chicago as a city where public art is valued and more essential than ever.