Simplified: Mayor Paul TenHaken's administration is looking to get the city more involved in the arts through a new commission focused on public art, securing grants and promoting economic impact through the arts.

Why it matters

  • The proposed commission would advise the mayor and the City Council on public art – especially how to use art to "activate public space," according to a presentation from Planning Director Jeff Eckhoff on Tuesday.
  • The long-term plan would include hiring an arts coordinator within the city, a position TenHaken proposed last year but ultimately did not get approval from the council to fund.
  • The commission – which would be made up largely of business and community leaders – would also work to secure grant funding for local artists, Eckhoff said.
"I hope people, especially artists, understand that we're not going to go in and tell them what to do," Eckhoff said. "We want to be a resource."

What happens next?

It's possible the arts coordinator position could come up in budget discussions in the coming weeks.

Regardless, Eckhoff said the creation of the arts commission is the goal right now.

"I'm hoping with the commission, we can help build that vision of what we think the city's role in the arts should be," he said.