June 2016

Caroline Vincent, Director of Public Art

This year, Metro Arts has embarked on a new initiative that will help us imagine a new future for public art in Nashville—a future in which public art is a critical component of creative community investment, citizen engagement, and strengthening Nashville’s creative work force.

Light Meander by artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan

Light Meander by artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan; Photography by Stacey Irvin

This vision for public art is a direct outcome of our strategic plan, Crafting a Creative City, which was completed last year after extensive community engagement, and the Nashville Next comprehensive plan, which was also completed last year. This initiative, called A Public Art Community Investment Plan, will be completed over the next several months.

Right now, our consulting team is in the process of learning more about Nashville, our arts community, and different visions for its future. To assist with the process, we have formed community advisory groups that are helping us think about how investments in public art can help to build Nashville’s public art ecosystem and improve access to, and participation in, the arts for everyone in Nashville. We have also been organizing focus groups of artists and consulting with numerous Metro agencies and departments to identify opportunities for future collaborations.

Recently, we completed an Internet survey that generated nearly 1,000 responses to questions about the public art Nashville has commissioned to date and directions we might pursue in the future. The findings of that survey can be found on our website.

Our consulting team has also completed a “benchmarking” study that examines a variety of ways in which public art agencies and independent arts organizations throughout the U.S. have developed projects and programs that are directed towards the vision Metro Arts has for public art. One finding is that cities of Nashville’s size often rely on a broad ecosystem of arts organizations—public agencies, museums, university programs, independent arts organizations, and artist collaboratives—to achieve goals that are as ambitious as Nashville’s.

We urge you to follow and participate in this process. Please visit our website at publicart.nashville.gov.

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