§ 2.40.070. Art in municipal places  

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  • A. Purpose—The intent of this section is to promote and encourage private and public programs to further the development and public awareness of, and interest in, the fine arts and cultural properties, to increase employment opportunities in the arts, to encourage the integration of art into the architecture of municipal structures for the city, and to provide for the citizens of the city high quality, publicly accessible works of art, which contribute to the urban landscape and symbolize the city's sense of place.

    B. For this section, the following definitions apply:

    1. "Acquisition" means the acquiring of works of art by purchase, exchange, or gift.

    2. "Capital improvements program" means all projects financed by general obligation bonds and revenue bonds, and certificates of obligation, except for capital acquisitions and the Plaza Theatre Project.

    3. "Project" means any construction activity undertaken pursuant to the capital improvements program.

    4. "Commission" means the selections and contracting of an artist or artist team to the task of creating a work of art for a fee.

    5. "Museums and cultural affairs advisory board" means the board established under the provisions of Chapter 2.40 of the City of El Paso Municipal Code.

    6. "Public art committee" (PAC) means a subcommittee of the museums and cultural affairs advisory board appointed to oversee quality control of the public art program and projects and to recommend the scope of projects, artworks, and artists for the public art program.

    7. "Public art program" means the process for administration, selection, approval, funding, acquisition, or commissioning of public works of art under this section.

    8. "Public art plan" means an annual prioritized list, to be recommended by the museums and cultural affairs advisory board and approved by the city council, of public art projects, including budgets, location, artist selection process and recommended design approaches, developed by the PAC in consultation with city departments anticipating capital improvement projects.

    9. "Work of art" means any public art project that is a work of visual art, including but not limited to, a drawing, painting, mural, fresco, sculpture, mosaic, photograph, work of calligraphy, work of graphic art (including an etching), works in clay, textile, fiber, wood, metal, plastic, glass, stone, concrete, and like materials, or mixed media (including a collage, assemblage, or any combination of the foregoing art media). For projects that involve no structure, a work of art may include a combination of landscaping and landscape design (including some natural and manufactured materials such as rocks, fountains, reflecting pools, sculpture, screen, benches, and other types of streetscapes. A work of art may include an artist participating in master planning, conceptual development, design development, construction drawings, or construction oversight for any municipal project. Except as provided herein, the term "work of art" excludes the performing arts of dance, music, theatre, or the literary arts, unless expressed in or combined with a work of visual art or design.

    C. Funding of the public art program:

    1. Projects in the capital improvements program shall include an amount for works of art equal to two percent of the total funding available for the project whether funded by general obligation bonds, revenue bonds or certificates of obligation, but shall not include capital acquisitions or the Plaza Theatre Project; provided, however, that if the bond election ordinance, the bond ordinance authorizing revenue bonds, other appropriate laws or regulations, or an official interpretation by the State Attorney General regarding allowable uses for funds which it is providing for the project precludes art as an expenditure of funds, the amount of funds so restricted shall be excluded from the total funding available in calculating the amount to be committed to works of art.

    2. In order to ensure that works of art have sufficient public visibility and impact, funds generated from the various capital improvements program projects, if allowed by law, may be pooled or aggregated together and utilized for one or more large works of art as recommend by the museums and cultural affairs advisory board and PAC and upon approval by city council.

    3. Funds generated as described in Section C.1 above shall be budgeted as part of the capital improvements program budget. Additional private or public contributions for works of art may be added to these funds and shall be budgeted in a similar manner. Such contributions may be earmarked for particular projects. A fund or funds will be established within the museums and cultural affairs department (MCAD) for public art program funds to be administered by the director of the MCAD.

    4. No more than fifteen percent of the total amount for works of art may be expended for the administrative costs of the public art program. Examples of administrative costs shall include, but not be limited to, direct administrative costs of conducting a competition or search for a work of art, education and marketing efforts, and of employing consultants for planning and research and project management.

    D. Public art plan: The museums and cultural affairs advisory board shall submit an annual public art plan to the city council for approval. The public art plan shall include new projects to be initiated in the following fiscal year, and shall describe the planned location, proposed budget, timetable and artist selection process for each project; as well as updates on public art projects in progress.

    E. An artist or artist team will be contracted for the commissioning or purchase of art. Progress payments may be made to the artist for works of art that have been recommended by the museums and cultural affairs advisory board and approved by the city manager and/or council. Such payments may reimburse the artist for the cost of materials. The city, through MCAD, may negotiate a final payment to the artist or artist team that will be withheld until completion of the work and accession into the city's public art collection. The final payment shall be no less than fifteen percent. If feasible, and if the law allows, the city, through MCAD, may negotiate a payment of up to twenty percent of the total project cost to the artist once the contract is signed for the purchase of material, design work, or labor.

    F. Nothing contained herein shall preclude funding the acquisition of art for municipal property in other ways.

(Ord. No. 17424, § 1, 9-21-2010)


Ord. No. 17424, § 1, adopted September 21, 2010, amended § 2.40.070 in its entirety to read as herein set out. Former § 2.40.070, pertained to cultural affairs advisory board—duties, and derived from Ord. No. 16764 §§ 8, 9, 2007; Ord. 16196 § 4, 2005.