Mayor Abramson Announces Effort to Create Public Art Plan

by ekramer on September 23, 2008

Mayor Jerry Abramson announced today that the city has hired a consultant to develop a master plan for public art. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.

Louisville has public art that ranges from men on horses to bike racks, but today Abramson announced that it is spending $50,000 to develop a master plan for public art in the city.

Abramson says that the plan should ensure that public art is not just downtown but throughout the community.

“Whether we see art in terms of the bridges that we develop along the 100-mile loop around the community, whether it’s in Valley Station or Fern Creek or Highview or Prospect, or whether we see it in suburban settings in suburban parks — all that’s in play,” Abramson says.

Meredith Johnson is a consultant hired by the city from a New York-based organization called Creative Time. She will lead the development of the plan including funding options.

“There are a number of funding sources that are possible for a program like this,” Johnson says. “And over the next year, part of our mission through the master-planning process is really to identify what key sources of funding are for the whole breadth of the program, both short-term and long-term.”

Creative Time has been involved in well-known temporary public art projects including the two vertical towers of light that now shine at the World Trade Center every September.

Besides developing funding strategies, the master plan also will involve an inventory of the public art that exists and conversations about public art with diverse groups throughout the community.

Abramson says that the public art program should spur economic development and convey Louisville’s identity. Today, there are more than 350 public art programs across the country at the city, state and national levels.

Johnson says the process to create the plan should take about a year with a series of pilot projects to follow.

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