Arts & Culture

Healthy and Socially Thriving

Community Vitality

FY2023 Budget

City of Boulder Office of Arts and Culture

Serving as Boulder's local arts agency, the Office of Arts and Culture is implementing Boulder’s Community Cultural Plan. Through a set of programs including cultural grants, public art, initiatives for artists, the creative economy, and research, the Office of Arts and Culture seeks to facilitate an alignment in the community around our collective Vision for Culture: Together, we will craft Boulder’s social, physical, and cultural environment to include creativity as an essential ingredient for the wellbeing, prosperity, and joy of everyone in the community.

The FY2023 budget includes temporary funding which will expand the Public Art Program including funding for critical maintenance. And, will add plaques, informational signs, and digital interpretation to help everyone fall in love with the collection. Finally, funding is included for a handful of new commissions as part of the Experiments in Public Art program: a series of engaging, interactive, temporary artworks about the most important conversations in our community.

Public Art Maintenance

Like everything the City of Boulder builds, public artworks have long-term maintenance needs to protect the investment, resolve damage and vandalism, and keep things safe. This funding will be used to update a review of the public art collection and informed by that assessment, prioritize a few of the most important projects that may have safety concerns, require expert technical support, and to protect against expensive deterioration. Some of the funds will also support administrative needs such as coordination and support for departments and updating the collection database.

Sculpture by Melanie Yazzie

Accessible Signage

In August 2021, the Boulder Arts Commission adopted the Public Art Accessible Signage Plan. This guidance document was created as a resource to provide consistent and meaningful information about Boulder’s public art collection. It includes standards for content, look, and materials. The plan details accessibility recommendations for each artwork including integration of multiple languages, tactile reproductions, and audio components. Additional off-site opportunities include storytelling, online content, and more.

Experiments in Public Art

Experiments in Public Art is a series of temporary, interactive artworks that has been deployed from time to time in response to community need. This proposal will fund one or two new commissions which will be responsive and tactical: deploying artists to creatively address challenging conversations and bring innovation to projects that are important to our community.

The Experiments in Public Art program accomplishes these goals through temporary Civic Practice projects that are meaningful to the lives of community members and visitors. The interactive works of art have three goals: a) the artists test new ways to create interactive experiences, b) residents and visitors participate in edifying, engaging artworks which collaboratively explore the most important conversations in our community, and c) the work of government is improved through the thoughtful, creative exchange of ideas. It is modeled on successful Civic Practice programs in places like New York, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Denver. Previous series of Experiments have addressed the 2013 flood, climate adaptation, healing immediately following the March 2021 tragedy, and more.

A portion of the funding will be used for administration of the program.