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Public Art Agencies

Public art in Philadelphia is initiated by many different agencies, including the Association for Public Art, the City of Philadelphia, the Department of Recreation Mural Arts Program, the Redevelopment Authority, state and federal agencies, universities, museums, developers, corporations, civic groups, private donors, and artists.

Government Public Art Agencies

The City of Philadelphia Public Art Office and Percent for Art Program

The City of Philadelphia Public Art Office is responsible for the municipal public art collection in its entirety and is the centralized agency for all City public-art-related responsibilities, including the selection, purchasing, commissioning, conservation, maintenance, and day-to-day management of the City’s public art collection. The office administers the municipal Percent for Art Program, which was established in 1959 when City Council passed an ordinance—the first of its kind in the nation—mandating that a percentage of construction costs for municipal projects be set aside for fine arts. Through the Conservation and Collection Management Program, the office also oversees the preservation and maintenance of the City’s art collection. For more information about work donated to or commissioned by the City, or placed on City property, contact:

Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy
Public Art Program
116 City Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tel.: 215.686.4596
http://www.phila.gov/publicart/
http://creativephl.org

The City of Philadelphia Art Commission

The Philadelphia Art Commission is appointed by the Mayor and composed of art and design professionals and the Commissioner of Public Property. It serves as an approval body for the design and location of public buildings, works of art acquired by the City, and encroachments into or over the public right-of-way. The Commission also reviews conservation and relocation plans for City-owned sculptures and public artworks. For information about the Art Commission, contact:

Philadelphia Art Commission
1515 Arch Street, 12th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Tel.: 215.683.2095

The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

Established in 1984, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has created an outdoor array of more than 3,000 painted walls for the enjoyment and inspiration of Philadelphia residents and visitors. In addition to mural painting, the program offers art education and youth development programs at recreation centers and other community sites throughout the city. For information about the city’s painted murals, contact:

City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Lincoln Financial Mural Arts Center
Thomas-Eakins House
1727-29 Mount Vernon Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Tel.: 215.685.0750
www.muralarts.org
www.muralfarm.org

The Philadelphia International Airport Exhibitions Program

The Exhibitions Program organizes and presents rotating exhibitions throughout the Philadelphia International Airport. It seeks to humanize the airport environment; provide visibility for Philadelphia’s unique cultural life; and to enhance and enrich the experience of the traveling public. The Exhibitions Program provides millions of visitors from a global community access to a wide variety of art forms including fine arts, crafts, design, and photography by artists from the Philadelphia area. For more information, about the Airport Exhibitions Program, please contact:

Exhibitions Program
Philadelphia International Airport
Terminal E
Philadelphia, PA 19153
Tel: 215.937.6208
http://151.204.51.5/art.html

Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Fine Arts Program

In 1959, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (RDA) adopted the first “One Percent for Fine Arts” program in the United States, thus making the commissioning of new works of public art integral to the urban renewal process. For each project built on land acquired from and assembled by the RDA, the selected developer must budget no less than one percent of the total building construction cost toward commissioning original, site-specific works of public art. For information about works commissioned through the RDA’s Fine Arts Program, contact:

Director of the Fine Arts Program
Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority
1234 Market Street, 16th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tel.: 215.209.8619
www.phila.gov/rda

SEPTA’s Art in Transit Program

SEPTA’s Art in Transit Program is designed to incorporate art elements into renovation and construction projects for selected stations and public transportation facilities.  The program allocates up to one percent of the construction budget of capitally funded projects for the design, fabrication, and installation of permanent public art. The purpose of the Art in Transit Program is to create a more welcoming and dynamic transit environment for regular and new riders and to foster a sense of pride within the surrounding community.  For information about works commissioned through SEPTA’s Art in Transit Program, contact:

SEPTA Art in Transit Program
1234 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tel.: 215-580-3633
http://septa.org/ait/

General Services Administration, Art in Architecture Program

The federal Art in Architecture Program was established in 1963 in response to the recommendations of President Kennedy’s Ad Hoc Committee on Federal Office Space. Through the program, a maximum of 2 percent of the estimated cost of constructing or purchasing federal buildings or of completing major repairs and alterations of existing buildings is allocated for public art. For information about works commissioned on federal government property since 1963, contact:

Fine Arts Officer, GSA
20 N. 8th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tel.: 215.446.4623
www.gsa.gov/artinarchitecture

Nonprofit Public Art Agencies

The Artfront Partnership

Since 1994, the Artfront Partnership has contributed to the revitalization of Philadelphia’s Center City by commissioning artists to transform empty storefronts into new artworks, or “Artfronts.” Conceived as a way of integrating the resources of the arts and business communities, the project has expanded nontraditional exhibition opportunities for regional artists and architects and created new venues in which the public can experience art.
For information about works commissioned through the Artfront Partnership, contact:

Marsha Moss
Artfront Partnership
220 Locust Street, 27-D
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Tel.: 215.925.3384
Email: marshamos@aol.com
www.sculpture.org/documents/scmag98/artfrnt/sm-artfr.shtml

Association for Public Art (formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association)

Founded in 1872, the Association for Public Art is the nation’s first private, nonprofit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning. The Association commissions, preserves, promotes and interprets public art in Philadelphia.

Association for Public Art
1528 Walnut Street, Suite 1000
Philadelphia, PA 19102-3627
Tel.: 215.546.7550
Fax: 215.546.2363
www.associationforpublicart.org

For research about works commissioned by the Art Association before 1976, contact:

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Manuscript Collection (Fairmount Park Art Association Archives)
1300 Locust Street, Library
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tel.: 215.732.6200
www.hsp.org

Cosacosa art at large, Inc.

Cosacosa art at large, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that creates new art specific to Philadelphia neighborhoods and public spaces. Programs seek to deliver interactive “dialogues through art” and use a range of visual and performing arts to engage children and adults from diverse backgrounds to examine community-based issues. For more information on Cosacosa’s programs and commissions, contact:

Cosacosa art at large, Inc.
4427 Main Street
Philadelphia, PA 19127
Tel: 215.385.2554
Email: info@cosacosa.org
www.cosacosa.org

NetworkArts

Since 1993 NetworkArts, a nonprofit organization, has worked with children to create mosaic murals in schools, community centers, and public spaces throughout greater Philadelphia. Mural workshops offer curricula that allow students to explore the arts, sciences, and humanities, while creating public artworks to beautify their communities. For information about NetworkArts programs and commissions, contact:

NetworkArts
P.O. Box 4066
Philadelphia, PA 19118-8066
Tel: 215.592.1990
Email: info@networkarts.org
www.networkarts.org

Village of Arts and Humanities

The Village of Arts and Humanities is a community-based arts, education, and neighborhood development organization located in North Philadelphia. The organization seeks to build community through arts-based programs in education, land transformation, construction and economic development. Since 1986 the Village has worked with residents of North Philadelphia to reclaim abandoned space by creating a series of “art parks” and gardens. For information about the Village programs and commissions, contact:

The Village of Arts and Humanities
2544 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19133
Tel.: 215.225.3949
www.villagearts.org