Huntsville Public Art Plan


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CITY OF HUNTSVILLE
Public Art Master Plan

PREPARED BY: Meridith C. McKinley / Via Partnership Todd W. Bressi / Urban Design • Place Planning • Public Art

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ­

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II. INTRODUCTION: THE HUNTSVILLE PUBLIC ART PROGRAM

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III. VISION AND MISSION

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IV. A LANDSCAPE OF CIVIC ENDEAVOR: PROJECT OPPORTUNITIES

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A. City Capital Projects: Integrating Public Art into City Facilities, Parks, Greenways and Streetscapes

B. Public Art in Private Development: Commissioning Public Art as Part of Major Development Projects

C. Community Public Art: Supporting Community-Led Public Art Projects

D. A rtist-Initiated Projects: Awarding Project-Based Grants to Local Artists to Create Public Art

V. ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDELINES

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A. Roles and Responsibilities

B. Funding

C. Planning Processes for Public Art

D. P roject Development and Review Processes for City Public Art Projects

E. Project Development and Review Process for Public Art in Private Development

F. Gifts and Loans

G. Collection Management

H. Partnerships

VI. EDUCATION AND OUTREACH

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A. Community Awareness

B. Artist Development

C. Advocacy

APPENDICES

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CITY OF HUNTSVILLE PUBLIC ART MASTER PLAN

Huntsville is on the move.

CITY OF HUNTSVILLE PUBLIC ART MASTER PLAN

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CITY OF HUNTSVILLE PUBLIC ART MASTER PLAN

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Huntsville is on the move. Long a desirable place for people and businesses to call home, Huntsville is continuing to invest in its future so that it can continue to attract new talent and new business from across the country and around the world, and create a culture that cultivates startups and entrepreneurism. As was true when the rocket engineers first established homes in Huntsville in the 1950s, the arts are a crucial component to creating this environment.
Huntsville’s most recent step towards making public art part of the cultural mix was the creation of the SPACES Biennial Sculpture Trail, an exhibition of temporary public art facilitated by Arts Huntsville in 2010. The conversation about public art and its role in the future of Huntsville began to percolate when the City of Huntsville asked Arts Huntsville to join it in applying for a National Endowment for the Arts grant to develop a Public Art Master Plan and a pilot project. The charge for the Plan and the planning process was to generate a discussion in the community about local identity, livability and public art and to establish a formal public art program for the City.
In late 2013, the consulting firm Via Partnership, working collaboratively with urban planner and designer Todd W. Bressi, was brought on board to facilitate the development of a Public Art Master Plan. The consultants worked closely with Arts Huntsville the City, and a Working Group consisting of Huntsville citizens, artists, art and design professionals, architects, developers and civic leaders. As part of the planning process, a community workshop called “Imagine Art Here” was held on February 22, 2014. More than 60 people gathered to help shape a public art vision and provide input into locations for and approaches to public art throughout the community. There were also opportunities for feedback and participation online, including a Facebook page, “Art Hunt,” and an online survey asking people about goals and priorities for public art, which received more than 600 responses.
The resulting plan is a blueprint for creating a public art program in Huntsville — the first sustained public art initiative for any city in Alabama. It includes

a vision, describes key opportunities for projects, sets out an administrative and funding framework, and outlines ongoing approaches to education and outreach.
VISION
Huntsville’s vision for public art outlines how public art can impact the future growth and development of the city. The Public Art Master Plan recommends that public art in Huntsville should:
• contribute to the quality and unique character of Huntsville’s public spaces and built environment;
• build pride, ownership and connectivity throughout the entire Huntsville community;
• make the community’s creative energy and commitment to the arts a visible and tangible part of the experience of being in Huntsville; and
• lift the spirit and engage the mind.
PUBLIC ART OPPORTUNITIES
The Public Art Master Plan outlines four approaches that the City, working with Arts Huntsville should pursue to bring new public art projects to the community.
1) The City should take the lead by thoughtfully incorporating public art into major City Capital Projects, including city facilities, parks and streetscapes.
2) The Public Art Program should work with private developers to incorporate public art into major development projects.
3) The Public Art Program should develop a mechanism to support high-quality, neighborhood-scale public art projects that effectively engage community.
4) The Public Art Program should offer projectbased awards for Madison County-based artists to develop and implement art projects that creatively engage public spaces and/or community, and are located at sites in Huntsville.

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ADMINISTRATIVE FRAMEWORK
The Public Art Master Plan recommends the creation of a Public Art Program for the City of Huntsville, to be administered in partnership with Arts Huntsville; the City’s long-time partner in supporting the development, presentation, and promotion of the arts in Huntsville. This relationship would combine City resources, community oversight and professional guidance to ensure a successful Public Art Program.
The plan recommends that day-to-day management of the Public Art Program be delegated to Arts Huntsville. The City would support the program financially, through both capital and operating funds, and own the City’s collection of permanent public art. The City Council would also approve a Public Art Committee to advise on the selection of artists and artwork, the acceptance of gifts and loans, the de-accession of work, and public art policies and guidelines. Arts Huntsville would also develop and present an annual report of its activities and an annual work plan and budget to the City for approval.
The Huntsville Public Art Program should look to multiple sources of funds to support the commissioning and acquisition of new public art, the administration of the program, programming related to public art and the stewardship of the City’s collection. Public art commissioned as part of City Capital Projects would be funded through the City’s Capital Fund. Community Projects and ArtistInitiated Projects would be funded through annual operating funds contributed by the City.
In addition, the Public Art Master Plan addresses administrative procedures regarding the review of gifts and loans and collection management.
EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Finally, the Plan recommends a focus on education and outreach, to inform the community about the City’s Public Art Program and Collection, and to build the skills of local artists to successfully execute public art projects, through programming and ongoing communications.

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The arts are a crucial component to creating Huntsville’s future.

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Huntsville Public Art Plan