In 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 of County capital projects to a Civic Art Special Fund.
The Department of Arts and Culture's Civic Art Program (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 LA County. Working with leading artists, emerging public artists, County departments, and communities, Civic Art creates artwork, design, public engagement activities, exhibitions, temporary art, and event-based programming for new and renovated facilities throughout LA County. The program has commissioned work for capital projects for public libraries, parks, pools, community centers, jails, and health centers.
LA County is the largest municipal jurisdiction in the United States serving a population of over ten million people. The County covers more than 4,000 square miles ranging from mountains to beaches and encompasses 88 cities and 137 unincorporated areas. In response to a complex governing structure, large geographic area, diverse populations served, and the changing nature of the public art field, Civic Art is developing new approaches to public engagement, project scoping, and management and collections care.
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 Active Projects page to see projects currently underway. Completed projects can be found in the County Collection.
The Policy was adopted in December 2004 by the LA County Board of Supervisors and revised on November 18, 2008, August 11, 2015, and August 4, 2020.
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
- 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 that cost less than $500,000, streets, underground projects, and airport runways.
In August 2015, a revision to the Civic Art Policy was adopted by the Board of Supervisors that extended the civic art requirement to include Developer Delivered County Capital Projects. The County determines the delivery method for civic art either through 1.) the Department of Arts and Culture (Arts and Culture) or 2.) the developer retaining a professional art consultant from Arts and Culture's preapproved list.
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
- Developer delivered County capital projects
- Financial procedures
- Maintenance and conservation of artworks
- Gifts and loans of artworks to the County
- Acquisitions and accessions
- Deaccessioning artworks from the County Collection
Civic Art 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. For more information about Civic Art, please contact CivicArt@arts.lacounty.gov.