Public Art in Private Development Ordinance Passes

"Down the Block" by FREELANDBUCK.


Funds will be used for public art, cultural facilities, conservation, and artistic and cultural services

The LA County Board of Supervisors voted today to adopt the Public Art in Private Development (PAPD) ordinance to expand arts and cultural resources for County residents. The ordinance allocates a 1% fee from the building valuation of eligible private sector commercial, industrial, and residential development projects, excluding affordable housing, in unincorporated areas of the County to fund public art, cultural facilities, conservation, and artistic and cultural services and programs within the project’s site area.

In 2004, the County of Los Angeles adopted the Civic Art Policy, which directs 1% of the cost of County-funded building projects to fund civic art. Expanding that policy by creating a PAPD was a motion by Supervisor Solis and a recommendation from the 2017 LA County Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative (CEII) to expand arts and culture opportunities for residents in the County, enhance quality of life, and support the arts professionals in Los Angeles’ creative economy.

While there are similar ordinances in other California cities, including several cities within the County region, this is the first public art in private development ordinance for LA County, bringing parity in arts resources to its unincorporated communities.

It is also one of the nation’s most innovative public art ordinances by design. Other ordinances have often been restricted to physical art works such as sculptures. But funds generated by the PAPD ordinance can be used to support a wide range of art and cultural resources in four program categories—to create art works, provide arts programming, support new or existing cultural facilities, or conservation projects for historic cultural resources at or within a five-mile radius of the building site.

The LA County Department of Arts and Culture developed PAPD in close coordination with its Arts Commission, and the County’s departments of Regional Planning, Public Works, and County Counsel. Adoption of the ordinance follows multiple years of research and consultation with scores of stakeholders from commercial and housing developers to community groups to artists and cultural advisory committee members. It was recommended by vote of the Regional Planning Commission and presented at public hearings before its final adoption by the Board of Supervisors.

"Our lives are enriched when everyone can experience the arts, but many of LA County’s unincorporated areas face disparities in their access to artistic and cultural resources. The passage of today’s Public Art in Private Development ordinance will address and dismantle historical inequities in services, investments, and opportunities," said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. "I am grateful for the hard work of the Department of Arts and Culture and Arts Commission in ensuring this ordinance will benefit our diverse neighborhoods, and proud that LA County is ensuring that equity and inclusivity in the arts will become a reality for all residents."

"Art is a vital part of healthy communities and equitable development. By adopting the County’s Public Art in Private Development ordinance, the Board of Supervisors takes an important step in integrating art into the built environment of our lives, connecting more people to arts and culture in their community, and expanding cultural equity for unincorporated areas," said LA County Department of Arts and Culture Director Kristin Sakoda. "As a result, there will be more public art, more support for cultural organizations, more projects employing local artists and creative workers, more investment in vibrant neighborhoods, and more opportunities to participate in cultural life for the County’s diverse communities. We look forward to launching this important new program and seeing its impact for decades to come."

”It has been a long road, but after 23 years of advocacy and support, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission is so proud to have been a part of this victory for local arts and culture. I am thrilled that the Public Art in Private Development Ordinance passed today, and that the Department of Arts and Culture will be able to bring more resources, equitably distributed, to the people of LA County,” said Constance Jolcuvar, Arts Commission President.  

"The role of public art in place-making is intrinsically linked to the economic and cultural vitality of a community. Public art can define a community’s newly emerging identity as well as act as a mirror to its cultural heritage," said Amy Bodek, LA County’s Director of Regional Planning. "We are thrilled to support our sister department, the LA County Department of Arts and Culture, in laying the groundwork for making public art more accessible to future generations."

"The Public Art in Private Development ordinance expands arts resources in our communities where arts are most needed and builds upon the County’s anti-racist policy agenda. I am thrilled that departments, including Arts and Culture, are engaged in efforts to move the County toward a unified, collaborative, anti-racist strategic approach that eliminates structural racism and bias," said D’Artagnan Scorza, Ph.D., Executive Director of Racial Equity for Los Angeles County.