Supporting innovative temporary public art projects that enhance the vibrancy of cities.
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Public Art Challenge encourages mayors to partner with artists, elevating the value of including the creative sector when developing solutions to significant urban issues. The program supports temporary public art projects that celebrate creativity, enhance urban identity, encourage public-private collaborations, and strengthen local economies.
Over 600 cities have applied to the three challenges, where mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more submit proposals for projects that demonstrate close partnership between artists, arts organizations and city government, with selected cities receiving up to $1 million each.
Announced in June 2023, the 17 finalists for the latest round of the Public Art Challenge are: Alameda, CA; Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Columbus, OH; Honolulu, HI; Houston, TX; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Raleigh, NC; Salt Lake City, UT; and San Diego, CA. The finalists were selected from 154 cities who applied across 40 states.
Up to 10 winners will be selected and announced in Fall 2023 to execute their projects over the next two years.
Through The Power of Art, I have come to better understand the arts as a positive force for bringing communities together. Public art projects like this serve as an important reminder that there is always more to unite than divide us, particularly as we embark on our shared journey of resilience.
- Christine Hunschofsky, Former Mayor of Parkland, FL, Power of Art
While we maintain a laser focus on what are traditionally seen as ‘bread and butter’ issues in cities, I have also come to recognize that arts and culture can play a vital role in development and place-making.
- Karen Freeman-Wilson, Former Mayor of Gary, IN, ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen
There is a dynamic conversation taking place in this country about how cities activate and catalyze public art to address some of their cities’ most pressing challenges.
- Danielle Brazell, Former General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Current: LA
There’s just so many points in history where art has been utilized as a means of changing a culture. Art has the ability to inspire a community, and that is part and parcel of what we’re working on in the City of Jackson.
- Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Mayor of Jackson, MS, Fertile Ground
Public art is art that seeks to reach the public outside of the typical channels … (and) goes beyond those boundaries to reach the public rim.
- Rick Lowe, Artist, Tulsa, OK, Greenwood Art Project
The Greenwood Art Project will help encourage connections and engage citizens to understand the dangers of hatred, the power of resilience and the importance of reconciliation.
- G.T. Bynum, Mayor of Tulsa, OK, Greenwood Art Project
‘A New View’ is all about envisioning a future for the city, with art playing a central role in reinforcing Camden as a place for creativity and innovation…Partnering with artists, our city will reclaim these public spaces, and showcase how art can make a space more dynamic, attract community, and change neighborhood perception.
- Francisco Moran, Former Mayor of Camden, NJ, A New View