Supporting Innovative Temporary Public Art Projects that Enhance the Vibrancy of Cities

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Program works to showcase the potential of artists to act as civic leaders, drawing attention to and encouraging dialogue around pressing problems. The Public Art Challenge, founded to further this work, supports temporary public art projects that engage communities and enrich the quality of life in cities.

The program, launched in 2014, engages mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to collaborate with artists and arts organizations to develop temporary public art projects that address civic issues.

In 2015, we announced the first round of winning teams – Los Angeles, California; Gary, Indiana; Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, New York (a collaborative project). Their projects, which all opened in 2016, spurred civic leaders and residents, as well as local nonprofits and businesses, to work together to advance solutions to critical urban challenges such as abandoned properties, environmental sustainability, community-police relations, and creative sector economic development.

In 2018, we announced the second round of this challenge. If you’re interested in applying, please check out our FAQ page for more information about the eligibility, program, and application process. To apply, click here.

The Public Art Challenge is part of the American Cities Initiative, a suite of investments that empower cities to generate innovation and advance policy that moves the nation forward.


“The Public Art Challenge brings people together to look at issues from new perspectives and uncover new solutions. The winning projects from the first competition all made a real and lasting impact in their cities.”

-Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City