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Civic Art      
Los Angeles County Arts Commission Arts Education Arts Resources Grants and Professional Growth Ford Theatres Public Special Events Publications and Announcements


In December 2004, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted the County's first Civic Art Policy which allocates one percent of design and construction costs on new County capital projects to a Civic Art Special Fund.  Civic art dollars are flexible and, in most cases, may be pooled.  The policy is structured to allow for integrated permanent public art enhancements, temporary art commissions, restoration of historic artworks, and the creation of cultural spaces or activities.

Civic Art provides leadership in the development of high quality civic spaces by integrating artists into the planning and design process at the earliest possible opportunity; encouraging innovative approaches to civic art; and providing access to artistic experiences of the highest caliber for the residents of Los Angeles County.

Since establishing its first budget in mid-2006, the Civic Art Program has commissioned over 50 artists to create artwork for public libraries, parks, pool houses, community centers, sheriff stations, prisons, and health centers.  It has also undertaken a comprehensive inventory of County-owned public art, hired art conservators to examine artworks, and initiated restoration activities.

Civic Art follows these guiding principles: 1) to achieve high quality artwork and art experiences, 2) to be innovative, 3) to facilitate art that is site-specific, 4) to encourage community participation and civic engagement, and 5) to transform people, places and communities.


Oceanic Subdivision mythograph

Christine Nguyen,
Oceanic Cosmic Whisper, 2012

Porcelain Enamel Tile Mural, 14 ft x 8 ft

Malibu Library,
23519 Civic Center Way,
Malibu, CA 90265

Anne Marie Karlsen,
Subdivisions, 2008

Floor to Ceiling Glass Mural, 20 ft x 15 ft

Lawndale Library,
14715 Burin Ave.,
Lawndale, CA 90260

Mythograph, Inc.,
Fluid Dynamics, 2012

Color Concrete Stain, 14,000 sq ft

Alondra Park,
3850 W. Manhattan Beach
Lawndale, CA 90260


Typically, artists are commissioned from a Resource List of Pre-Qualified Artists compiled every two years after an open call.  Open and invitational RFQs are also used depending on project needs, scope and timeline. Artists are encouraged to join the public art opportunities email list at Click on “Artist Opportunities” under “Civic Art.”

The Civic Art Program is staffed by a director, an art collection manager and project managers. For more information contact:  Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Civic Art Program, 1055 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA  90017, (213) 202-3987 or


The County’s Civic Art Policy allocates 1% of the design and construction costs of County capital projects for civic art. Artworks are integrated into libraries, fire stations, health clinics, courthouses and numerous other County facilities. View our Active Projects to see projects currently underway. Completed projects can be found in the County Collection.

The Policy was adopted in December 2004 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and revised on November 18, 2008.

Highlights of the Policy include:

  • Civic art program goals and objectives;
  • How projects are implemented;
  • Which capital projects are eligible for the civic art allocation; and
  • Allowable expenditures.

In addition to adding permanent visual artworks to County facilities, civic art funds can also be used for temporary works of art, workshops, art events, conservation and education. Capital projects which are exempt from the policy include projects which cost less than $500,000; streets; underground projects; flood control channels; and airport runways.

Originally a part of the Policy, the Civic Art Procedures were separated from the Policy in 2008 to allow for more flexibility in adapting procedures to current conditions. Included are procedures for:

  • Artist selection;
  • Financial management;
  • Maintenance and conservation of artworks;
  • Gifts and loans of artworks to the County; and
  • Deaccessioning artworks from the County Collection.

The Civic Art Program is identifying and documenting all historic and contemporary County-owned public art for the first time. Visit the County Collection to see the wide array of artworks throughout the county or download a copy of the 2009 Los Angeles County's Civic Art Collection Report.

For more information about the Civic Art Program, please contact