The Arlington County Board voted 5 to 0 this month to approve an update to the Public Art Master Plan (PAMP) that will better serve placemaking efforts and improve the quality of public spaces around the County. The update, which is part of the County’s overall Comprehensive Plan, details the vision and guiding principles of public art in Arlington and sets priorities and themes centered around goals to integrate, expand, connect and engage through public art installations around the County.
The update recognizes that both Arlington and the practice of public art have evolved since the County’s initial Public Art Policy and PAMP were first adopted in the early 2000s and responds to new County priorities, such as equity and biophilia. It also incorporates new approaches to public art, including creative placemaking, civic practice and social practice.
“This update serves as a guide to improve the quality of public spaces in Arlington, while creating an overall sense of place,” said Arlington County Board Chair Matt de Ferranti. “Through collaborative work, public art will serve as a resource to support County-wide priorities and neighborhood-specific characteristics that will continue to tell Arlington’s unique stories.”
Community engagement and collaboration were important components of the Public Art Master Plan update, just as they are to the process of creating any public art project. Arlington Public Art conducted various public outreach initiatives to help solicit input from the community, including numerous interviews, a questionnaire, focus groups, and artist-led community engagement projects.
The County Board directed staff to consider equity and diversity throughout the implementation of the PAMP, including diversity of location, diversity of artists, and diversity of art itself.
About Arlington Public Art
Arlington is home to more than seventy permanent public art projects. Projects are directly commissioned to be integrated into various County capital improvement projects, commissioned by developers as part of the site plan process, and initiated by community groups. Arlington’s history of developer-funded public art projects stemming from County planning objectives began in 1979 with the commission of Nancy Holt’s Dark Star Park in Rosslyn. The Program also partners with local arts organizations, artists and community organizations to develop and present interpretative projects, temporary works, exhibitions and more. Arlington Public Art is a program of Arlington Cultural Affairs.
About Arlington Cultural Affairs
Arlington Cultural Affairs is a division of Arlington Economic Development and delivers public activities and programs as Arlington Arts. Its mission is to create, support, and promote the arts, connecting artists and community to reflect the diversity of Arlington by providing material support to artists and arts organizations in the form of grants, facilities, and theater technology; integrating award-winning public art into our built environment; and presenting high quality performing, literary, visual and new media programs across the County.
(Source: Arlington Cultural Affairs)