Integrating the Arts and Heritage in Design Teams
In addition to great designers and architects, every design team for regional projects resulting from SevenSO should include artists and others involved with the arts and who know the region’s history. The arts can be used to communicate and celebrate the region’s diverse cultural traditions, history, and distinctive heritages and strengthen civic pride and identity. Art can be integrated outside or inside of buildings, improving the very elements of the built structures. Artists can help make public buildings great by creatively designing features that incorporate art into such areas as floors, fences, facades, and finishes, thereby creating surprises and refuges. Artists also can be part of the teams that plan for entire neighborhoods or districts, developing innovative solutions for streetscapes and quality design criteria for buildings
and helping create gateways, street furniture, plazas, gardens, and other features that define or redefine the environment.
Local Policies that Involve Artists and Public Art in Public Capital Projects
Communities around the region and country are putting in place a policy that requires that artists and public art be a part of all new regional public capital construction or reconstruction projects resulting from Seven50. In places where this is being done, artists are working as part of the teams that design places like transit stations, libraries, community centers, government office buildings, educational and health institutions, museums, courthouses, garages, hospitals, , gateways, plazas, and parks. The most effective strategy for success is to involve artists from the inception of a project through its completion. The fact that each of the Seven50 counties has a public art program under- scores the importance of integrating art as part of the civic realm and creating public buildings where employees and visitors find celebratory features. One way to finance such programs is to require that a percentage of the capital costs of all new public facilities be dedicated to public art.
Martin County and the City of Stuart, for example, generates funding for public art by allocating a percentage of the construction costs of new or remodeled county buildings, regional parks greater than 50 acres, and parking facilities. Monroe County also allocates a percentage for art programs as part of any new major county construction. A similar program in Miami-Dade County requires that one and a half percent of the capital costs of all new local government buildings be dedicated to public art. At the federal level, the GSA’s Art in Architecture Program commissions American artists to create publicly scaled and permanently installed artworks for federal buildings.
“The arts are a natural component to furthering this Administration’s commitment to creating more livable, walkable, environmentally sustainable communities,” said HUD Secretary Donovan. “They can play a key role as a partner that is able to enhance the unique characteristics of communities and increase our economic competitiveness through sup- porting creativity and innovation.”
“The arts are creative placemakers,” said former NEA Chairman Landesman. “We are able to work alongside federal agencies like HUD to help create places where people want to live work and play, both today and in the future.”