U.S. cities are required to have 30,000 residents or more to apply.
Applications must be submitted by the mayor or chief executive of the host city on behalf of a collaboration between the city and an artist and/or arts organization.
- Innovative public art project
- Potential for positive impact on the host city
- Proof of clear, specific partnership between local government and artists and/or arts organizations
- Commitment to evaluating outcomes
- Evidence of technical feasibility of the project idea and its implementation (i.e. staff, consultants, fabricators, engineers, strategy for regulatory approvals, etc.)
- Appropriate budget and capacity to leverage other sources of support
- Strong marketing and audience engagement strategies
Dates & Deadlines
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will Bloomberg Philanthropies award to a single project?
Up to $1 million will be awarded by Bloomberg Philanthropies for selected projects. The grant may not be used to fund 100% of project costs. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed group of supporters for each project.
What is the duration of the grant?
Grant funds will be available for development and execution of the project over a maximum of 24 months following the announcement of final awards.
Is this an annual competition?
The Public Art Challenge does not open for applications annually. Once we select winners for the 2018 round, we will work with those teams to execute their projects over a two-year period.
Does someone from City Hall have to submit the application? Can a private citizen or non-governmental entity apply? What about a city agency?
Your application must be submitted by the mayor or chief official of your city. The application must be on behalf of a collaboration between the host city and an artist and/or arts organization.
Can a city submit multiple applications?
No, each city can only submit one application for one project.
Can applications be from partnerships of two or more cities, city and regional governments, or other combinations of government entities (multiple agencies)?
Yes, partnerships and multi-site projects are welcome. Cities may apply as part of a consortium but only one city can serve as the lead applicant. Information about all consortium members will need to be included in the application materials.
Does the application have to be for a new public art project or can it be an in-progress project?
Bloomberg Philanthropies encourages all applicants to submit new ideas for temporary public art projects that have the potential for positive impact on the host city. However, projects that are in development and have not yet been realized will also be considered.
How do you define “temporary public art”?
We are looking for projects that are presented and experienced by the public within the 2-year grant period of this program. We are not undertaking support for artwork designed to become a permanent element of a city. But we do hope to enhance the long-term capacity for robust public-private collaborations and community involvement through the process of planning, developing and implementing each project.
What types of temporary public art projects will be considered?
We encourage submissions from all artistic disciplines for projects that fulfill the selection criteria. Visual and performing arts, including multimedia projects, will be considered.
Does the artist or artists creating work for this project have to be confirmed when the application is submitted?
The artist or artists do not have to be confirmed at the time your application is submitted. However, if that is the case, the application must include details on how the team will structure the selection process to pick the artist(s) and identify the experts who will lead the review, selection and curatorial process for the artistic component of your project.
What project expenses are eligible for support from Bloomberg Philanthropies?
Public Art Challenge grants can be used for any project related expenditures including artist and curator fees, design team outlays, artwork production and maintenance, administrative overhead and fundraising costs. Funds may also be used to cover expenses for project evaluation, public programming and community engagement activities, and communications, such as marketing and media relations. The application’s budget template includes a set of expense categories to help provide guidance; it also provides space for applicants to suggest additional line items that may be more unique to their proposal. While the use of our funds is intended to be flexible, Bloomberg Philanthropies will not fund 100% of project costs. Grant payment schedules will be determined based on individual projects.
Do in-kind contributions count as part of the total project budget?
Yes, in-kind contributions count and you will be asked to itemize them as part of your application. However, compelling proposals will also include meaningful cash contributions as evidence of a robust public-private partnership in support of your project.
Will projects outside the United States be funded?
Only projects presented in cities in the 50 United States, and territories including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the US Virgin Islands and the Northern Marianas, will be considered.
Process & Review
Who will review my application?
Bloomberg Philanthropies staff and a jury of experts will review all applications and select winners.
Should we submit a letter of support for our work?
Please provide only those materials and information specified on the online application. The last page of the Public Art Challenge application will require an uploaded request letter signed by your city’s mayor or chief executive before you can submit your application. The letter must:
- Describe the project for which you are seeking Bloomberg Philanthropies support
- Introduce all key collaborators, including artists, arts organizations, city agencies, and private sector groups
- Explain the goals of this project and the potential difference if will make for your city
You can find all other submission requirements on the online form.
What are the legal terms and conditions applicants must agree to?
The complete terms and conditions are available here.
Am I considered a new applicant if I have received a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies in the past?
Yes. All prospective grantees are considered new to this program, even if you have used our application portal for a previous grant. If you are starting a new Public Art Challenge application, please click on “START APPLICATION.” If you are returning to the application portal to access a saved Public Art Challenge application, please click on “RETURN TO APPLICATION.”
Should I create login credentials?
If you have never used the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ application portal, please create a username and password. Your username should be the email address that you want connected to this application and that should receive important application-related correspondence.
If you created login information for a past application, please use your previously created login credentials.
When filling out the online application, will I be able to I save my work and return to it prior to submission?
Yes, you will be prompted to create a log in and password when you first enter the online application. This will allow you and others as needed to input the requested information prior to submitting the complete application. Please note that only one person can be logged in at any time.
I have forgotten my password for the online form. How may I retrieve it?
You can change your password at the prompt on the online form. If unable to do so, please email email@example.com or call 212-205-0222.