Public Art Staffing Options

Public Art Report

Allocating funds for dedicated public art staff is key to implementing the recommendations in this report. Opportunities for partnerships, collaborations, projects exist, but without dedicated leadership these opportunities mostly go un-tapped.

A useful comparison is the City of Hillsboro, OR. In 2009, consultants Bill Flood and Valerie Otani wrote the public art master plan for the City of Hillsboro. Included were staffing options, and in 2011, the city created a 32 hour position to supervise the public art program and hired Valerie Otani. Hillsboro has no percent for art ordinance, so for the first year and a half of the program, there was very little funding. Nonetheless, through partnerships and funds from a capital project, several artworks were realized. In 2013, funds were allocated from the general fund, and by 2015 many major projects are under way, most with funds from a developer, partnerships and as voluntary allotments from capital projects. Having a staff person in place makes it possible to implement projects that other departments want but do not have the expertise to realize.

Following are options for staffing. Beaverton Arts Commission board members inquired if public art staff functions might be included in staffing plans for the performing arts and culture center.

Option 1 - $164,000

1 full-time staff($56,000 + .77 benefits = $99,120)

Signature art project ($60,000)

Marketing materials ($2,000)

Maintenance reserve fund ($3,000)

A full time staff position capitalizes on the opportunities embedded within existing City projects and utilizes art in place-making, wayfinding and branding. Staff would: 

  1. monitor City capital improvement budgets, planning and urban renewal plans to incorporate art early in the planning process; 
  2. be positioned to contribute to the implementation of placemaking projects in the Creekside plan; 
  3. assist with activating areas with signature art projects, for example the proposed Arts & Culture Center and Westgate development; 
  4. monitor the condition of the existing City public art collection, track maintenance needs and increase visibility of the art program through marketing and social media; 
  5. engage in resource development (including grants) to support public art; and, 
  6. implement this report/plan.

Option 2 - $99,000

1 full-time staff ($60,000 + .77 benefits = $99,120)

As above, without funding for a signature art project. Staff would assist in implementation of art components from other city projects, plan for future projects and seek grant funding.

Option 3 - $95,000

Part-time staff person or contractor ($30,000)

Signature art project ($60,000)

Marketing and maintenance ($5,000)

Scaled-back version of Option 1, with part-time staff focused on managing an initial art project. Part-time staff or contractor might have limited capacity to serve as a resource to other projects within the city or participate in long range planning.

Option 4 - $25,000

(Status quo with marketing and materials added)

Contract with consultant or the Regional Arts & Culture Council to manage projects ($23,000)

Marketing, materials ($2,000)

Similar to Option 3, without a City-sponsored art project. Maintaining the current temporary sculpture and mural program and Ten Tiny Dances. Consultant(s) would be alert to opportunities for projects, form partnerships and seek grants for project funding, as limited time permits.

Option 5 - $0

No new program dollars.

Use existing City staff to move forward Plan values and recommendations

Limited impact, depending on capacity of City staff and Percent for Art program funds generated. The City’s Arts Program could choose to allocate funds for temporary sculpture or murals.