910.455.9840 jaxarts@jaxarts.com

Public Art Planning

developing a sense of place

What is Public Art?

Public art is an expression of people and place. Public art is typically created in response to its location, context and community. It can interpret the history of the place, its people and may at times address a social or environmental issue. When created in collaboration with the community, it reflects the ideas and values of those for whom it’s created.

Why Public Art?

Public art strengthens revitalization efforts, creates revenue and has positive social impact. Communities who invest in cultural arts development experience higher civic engagement and lower poverty rates. In Southeastern North Carolina, nonprofit and culture sectors alone create a $114 million impact.  Art partnerships transform downtown districts, attract new business, increase tourism and sustain economic development.

Benefits of Cultural Arts Development



NC communities are transforming downtown districts through effective art partnerships.  Art and space-making create inviting atmospheres for residents and tourists to explore.

a sense of place

Sense of Place

The processes and products of cultural arts development help a community form a unique, resilient sense of place.  Cultural traditions, historical significance and values are preserved.

civic engagement


Communities that invest in arts and space planning have higher cultural engagement and civic engagement.  Citizens feel more pride in a place that is visually attractive and well planned.

design team collaboration

Creative Collaboration

Public art projects often involve interdisciplinary teams.  Professionals like artists, planners, landscape architects, engineers and others can work together on many types of projects.

Cultural Tourism

Cultural Tourism

The development of cultural resources, public art and space-making increase cultural tourism.  This increases revenue and supports local businesses and jobs in the community.
Appreciating Art

Enhance Art Appreciation

Art designed and developed for a shared community space attracts attention. This creates opportunities for increased appreciation of art and discussions around the art and its subject(s).

First Steps: Funding a City-Wide Plan

This fall, the Jacksonville City Council authorized a joint grant application in partnership with the Council for the Arts.  On September 26th, a joint application was submitted to the National Endowment for the Arts for an Our Town Grant*.  Notification of award status (whether approved or denied) will be available in April of 2017.  Applying for an Our Town Grant is a competitive process at the national level. Jacksonville’s application will be judged against many competitive applications.

If a grant is awarded in April of 2017, funds will be available in the fall of 2017 for the City of Jacksonville and the Council for the Arts to begin the process of completing a City-Wide Public Art Masterplan.  The process will involve several months of community engagement activities, gathering local history and collecting public input. Funds would be allocated over fiscal years 2017-2018.

*NOTE: This is a competitive process and funds are not guaranteed.  The Council for the Arts applauds the City of Jacksonville’s leadership for collaborating on the grant application and for valuing the arts as a means to improve quality of life and strengthen revitalization efforts in our community.