The Bloomington Arts Commission and the Department of Economic and Sustainable Development announced the 2023-27 Public Art Master Plan and Community Art Grants.
The Public Art Master Plan will help the Bloomington community know all the different types of public art, explain how public art is funded and selected, highlight current examples of public art in Bloomington and provide tools for artists and community members to engage in the process of installing public art.
The previous Public Art Master Plan was from Jan. 2015. The main differences between the old and new plans are the specific examples of public art in Bloomington, the new definition of public art and a glossary.
The new definition of public art explains what is considered public art, lists specific types of public art and who can create the art.
Holly Warren, assistant director for the arts of the Economic and Sustainable Development Commission in Bloomington, said the purpose of the new master plan is to answer questions the public may have about public art.
“Say a neighborhood wants to do a new mural, there are examples of how a neighborhood has applied for a grant in the past,” Warren said. “These are all the things you need to know about how to get funding, how to recruit an artist and other things to think about.”
Warren said the new master plan was already in progress when she started her position September 2021.
“What I really want to make a collective effort on is having a community wide understanding of what public art is and I think this plan does that a lot better than the previous one,” Warren said.
As part of the new plan’s release, the Bloomington Arts Commission is offering 10 grants of up to $1,000 each to Bloomington locals to initiate public art projects in neighborhoods across the city, according to a city of Bloomington news release. The applications for the Community Art Grants will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis through Friday, Dec. 1 at 11:59 p.m.
Bloomington Arts Commission Chair Gerard Pannekoek, said the grant recipients will be chosen by a subcommittee made up of commission members. He said these microgrants are different from the commission's annual grant cycle.
“These microgrants are unique to the release of the master plan,” Pannekoek said. “This specific batch of funding is to invigorate the broader Bloomington community in creating public art with the resources described in the plan.”
Local artists, presenters, neighborhood groups, youth groups and private business owners are eligible for the grants. All forms of artwork including sculptures, murals, dance, performances or events showing artwork will be considered for the grants.
Specific examples of public art in Bloomington include murals, sculptures, memorials, integrated architectural or landscape architectural work, community art, digital new media, performance art, theater, music and dance of all genres and festivals.
“The Plan and the new Community Art Grant program will help build the momentum of the Bloomington community’s awesome and inspiring creativity,” Mayor John Hamilton said in the news release. “Together, these tools and resources will enable residents to take artistic ownership of their neighborhoods.”