About the Public Art Ordinance
The City of Charlotte’s Public Art Ordinance was first established in 1981, and updated in 2003. The purpose of the ordinance is to include public art “in appropriate capital improvements projects that will promote the cultural heritage and artistic development of the city, enhance the city's character and identity, contribute to economic development and tourism, add warmth, dignity, beauty and accessibility to public spaces, and expand the experience and participation of citizens with visual arts.”
Any capital project paid for wholly or in part for the construction or substantial renovation of any building, facility or open space to which the public is generally invited, including projects in the Business Corridor Program, with exceptions for legal restrictions and CATS.
The ordinance specifies that the funds for public art are based on “an amount equal to one percent (1%) of the projected construction costs at the time the project is included in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan.”
In choosing sites for Public Artwork, criteria include:
Funding source - Public Artwork will be placed on sites associated with the funding source: General Fund, Aviation, or Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Department.
Visibility - Eligible sites include any public building, facility or open space that is accessible and available to citizens. Highly visible sites associated with projects intended to improve the appearance or aesthetic quality of an area, such as a streetscape or business corridor improvements, are also included.
The City’s public art program is a collaboration of the Charlotte City Council, City staff, the Public Art Commission, the Arts & Science Council, and community stakeholders. City Council adopts the public art allocation annually, participates on artist selection panels, and receives project status updates. City staff works with the Public Art Commission and Arts & Science Council to discuss potential projects, suggest possible locations and timelines, and engage community stakeholders. The role of the Public Art Commission includes selection of artists, review of project designs, and approval of artwork. Public Art Commissioners are appointed by the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and the Arts & Science Council. The Arts & Science Council administers the public art program through contracts with both the City and County.