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.
We invite mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for projects that demonstrate close partnership between artists, arts organizations and city government, with selected cities receiving up to $1 million each over two years.
Anchorage, AK – SEED Community
The City of Anchorage partnered with the Anchorage Museum on SEED Lab, a vacant building transformed into an incubator and convening space for artists, designers, and community members to create projects addressing climate change, immigration, and indigenous issues.
Camden, NJ – A New View
The City of Camden transformed 6 illegal dumping sites into venues for public art alongside major transportation hubs, including highways, railways, and bike paths, to increase civic pride and improve perception of the city to the 65,000 people traveling through Camden daily.
Coral Springs, FL – The Power of Art
The City of Coral Springs and Parkland, Florida partnered with the Coral Springs Museum of Art to help their communities heal following the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Jackson, MS – Improving Access to Healthy Food
The City of Jackson proposes a city-wide exhibition with installations and performances to promote dialogue and inform policy related to food access. Installations and performances that explore food sovereignty, nutrition, domestic hunger, and the agrarian landscape will be deployed across areas of the city experiencing food access issues.
Tulsa, OK – Greenwood Art Project
The City of Tulsa proposes a public art project that celebrates a vibrant community in the Historic Greenwood District known as Black Wall Street. Comprised of black-owned businesses that emerged in the early 20th century, in 1921, Black Wall Street was subject to both racially motivated attacks and destructive urban renewal projects in the 1950s. A team of artists will develop artwork that deepens the collective understanding of the Greenwood story.
Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, NY – Breathing Lights
The goal of Breathing Lights was to spark conversation about the issues of vacancy and urban revitalization among residents and policymakers. Artist Adam Frelin, architect Barbara Nelson, and more than 90 public and private sector partners, came together to bring the installation and a series of related public programming to life from September 30 – November 30, 2016.Learn More
Gary, IN – ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen
The City of Gary transformed an underutilized downtown building into a cultural hub that showcases visual and culinary arts.
Los Angeles, CA – CURRENT: LA Water
The City of Los Angeles presented CURRENT:LA Water, the city’s first public art biennial, from July 16 – August 14, 2016. This project included 15 multidisciplinary works of art sited in parks and public spaces along the Los Angeles River, touching all 15 city council districts.
Spartanburg, SC – Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light
With the goal of improving police-community relations and creating safer, more vibrant public spaces, the city of Spartanburg, SC worked with artist Erwin Redl on Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light.