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Dec 21

Go Art Go!

Posted on December 21, 2021 at 8:40 AM by Ceci Vasconcellos


Monday, November 15, 2021 will forever be marked as a special day in local history – not because on this day our headlines read Covid cases rising again, we found a solution to climate change, or gas prices reached $5 per gallon. Rather, this day will forever be momentous….wait for it…. because the Percent for Art Funding Ordinance was passed by City Council! 


 This is a huge step forward for the Las Cruces Public Art (LCPA) program. The ordinance establishes a requirement that two percent -- yes TWO! -- of future General Obligation (GO) Bonds be automatically allocated toward the funding of public art related to the purpose of the GO bond and a small percentage of that amount will be allocated to maintaining our current public art collection. 

Percent for Art is an industry standard for funding public art (and maintenance) programs. Having this funding mechanism in place will help not only to acquire new art but also help to provide funding for the maintenance that is so badly needed to keep all the beautiful work of our artists in viewable shape for the public good, which aligns with Elevate Las Cruces and the City’s strategic plan for public art.

Of course, this is only one way of raising funds for our program. We will need to diversify our funding sources to include grants, partnerships, the General Fund, and private fundraising. This ordinance is a key step in our progress! 

The City Art Board had been working toward the creation of this ordinance since its inception in 2013. Through countless hours of research, debate, the LCPA master planning process, and working with various Art Program Coordinators, they never gave up. It has taken some time, and they deserve a loud shout out for the work that they did to make this happen. 

Thank you to all past and present City Art Board members who helped move the ordinance along. Thank you to City staff who offered guidance, advice, and helped draft the language. And most importantly, thank you Mayor, City Council and residents of Las Cruces for supporting the LCPA and approving Percent for Art. Let’s all look forward to the public art our community will receive from our new ordinance!

Rubber Ducks blog is brought to you by the Las Cruces Public Art program to share ideas, information, discussions, trends, and all things public art.