Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, NY Bloomberg Philanthropies Gary, IN Los Angeles, CA Spartanburg, SC

Launch of the Public Art Challenge for Cities across the United States

Inviting Mayors to Apply for funding that will Support Innovative Public Art Projects

Bloomberg Philanthropies is launching a new program to support temporary public art projects that engage communities, enhance creativity and enrich the vibrancy of cities. Bloomberg Philanthropies is inviting mayors in cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for innovative temporary public art projects that demonstrate close collaboration between artists, or arts organizations and city government. At least three cities will be selected to receive up to $1 million each over two years.

“Public art projects play a vital role in bringing new energy to cities – along with new visitors and more economic activity,” said Michael R. Bloomberg. “New York City hosted nearly 500 temporary public art installations during my time as mayor, and we saw just how powerful they can be. Bloomberg Philanthropies remains strongly committed to supporting public art and artists – and to helping more citizens experience familiar places in exciting new ways.”

As part of the program, the Bloomberg Philanthropies grant will cover development, execution and project related expenditures but will not fund 100% of project costs. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters. Submissions for visual and performing arts, including multimedia installations, will be considered. Applications will be evaluated on their ability to develop and execute dynamic public art projects that establish or strengthen public-private partnerships between local government and other funders, and include strong audience engagement strategies as well as a commitment to evaluating outcomes and impact on the host city.

“The Public Art Challenge is an incredible opportunity to transform the way cities embrace creativity and prompt public-private partnerships to support the arts,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Art should not only be accessible in museums and theaters, but also in public spaces, encouraging citizens to appreciate new forms of expression every day. I want to thank Bloomberg Philanthropies for pursuing this innovative initiative in support of public art programming.”

“The streetscape provides an enormous canvas for artists working in all disciplines,” said artist Ann Hamilton. “This program will forge new connections between artists and their cities, and create new audiences for the art of our time and place.”

“As Chairman of the NEA, I saw firsthand the impact of public art on communities around the country,” said former National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman. “Bravo to Bloomberg Philanthropies for this effort to put arts and culture at the core of civic life.”

Beginning on October 13, 2014 eligible cities can submit applications. Following a review period, finalists will be selected and asked to submit a full proposal in February 2015. At least three cities will be selected in May to execute their projects over a maximum of 24 months. The application as well as more information on criteria and deadlines can be found on

Bloomberg Philanthropies has a proven track record of supporting creative and innovative public art that enlivens urban landscapes. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies supported artist Tobias Rehberger’s Dazzle Ship in London; We the People, Dahn Vo’s multi-site exhibition in New York City, organized by Public Art Fund; and Doug and Mike Starn’s Big Bambú installation in Jerusalem.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $452 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero,

More Updates:

Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, NY

Learning From Two Months of Illuminating Abandoned Homes

Albany, Schenectady, and Troy, NY

Breathing Lights project comes to a close

See All Updates