Great art has happened in many places because leaders made it happen. One of the most effective ways cities have found to do that is with “percent for the arts” programs. They decide, and pass legislation to ensure, that a portion of the money for every major publicly funded construction or renovation project is set aside for the acquisition and maintenance of permanent public art. Typically, the percentage is between .5% and 2%, with a maximum of, say, $600,000.
The city’s buildings benefit from the addition of art, inside and out, and the public benefits from having some of their tax dollars invested go to something they can enjoy, something that enhances the quality of life in their community.
Percent for the arts programs usually only apply to projects funded with public dollars, but they can create an environment that encourages private developers to make art a priority, too.
About half the states and many localities have adopted “percent for the arts” programs. Here are some of them:
Use our interactive map as your guide to finding art throughout the city!
735 Thimble Shoals Boulevard, Suite 100
Newport News, VA 23606
The Newport News Public Art Foundation is grateful for the support of the Virginia Commission for the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts