Did you know the City of Ithaca has a Public Art Commission? Well, I just found out that it does.
The PAC is an advisory committee to the City of Ithaca on decisions about and implementation of public art. PAC receives and reviews proposals for public art projects as well as donations of public sculptures, etc. to the City of Ithaca. Anyone who has a concrete idea (and funding) for a public art project can and should present their proposal to PAC. I’m assuming it would be a good idea to get on their agenda…
Clearly not many artists know they can present their proposals for recommendation and approval, so do tell them. PAC doesn’t seem to have a yearly budget, and unlike some exemplary government public art programs around the country (of course, in bigger cities like Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chapel Hill, NYC, among others) the City of Ithaca doesn’t currently employ the “percent for art” funding program. (That explains a lot.) Currently most of the public art we encounter in the city has either been donated, privately commissioned, part of the grant-funded Art in the Heart of the Downtown Alliance, or otherwise grant-funded.
The good news is PAC has recently received some funding to support their first open call for proposals for (the first, I think) public art project funded by the City, which should be coming out soon, so look out for it. In the meantime, we really need to do something to get that Percent For Art funding mechanism in place here.