Public Notice: Transit for Art for Transit
Call to artists: Jump into the billion-dollar pool
By Nick Barbaro, Fri., Jan. 17, 2020
Here's a little-noted (as of yet) feature of the ambitious Project Connect mobility plan being floated this week by the city and Capital Metro (see "City and Cap Metro Contemplate How to Make a 'Real City' Transit System"): If the city and Capital Metro were to build out their wet dream of a $10 billion transit system, as much as 2% of the city's eligible construction budget could be dedicated to public art and artists through the city Economic Development Department's Art in Public Places program, which funds projects through a 2% share of the estimated budgets for eligible city capital improvement projects.
That money's just a gleam in Steve Adler's eye for now, but what's for real is that same 2% share of the eligible construction costs in the $482 million in Corridor Construction Program spending that voters approved in 2016. That funding stream is starting to become available now. To manage the process, AIPP and the city Corridor Program Office have created an artist pool for artists interested in getting commissions for public art projects, in order to "provide a streamlined application and selection process." Budgets for each art project will range from $40,000 to $200,000. Artists or artist teams applying have until Feb. 13 at 5pm to submit a résumé, examples of work, a letter of interest, and more, at www.publicartist.org/austinaipp. The city has set up two information sessions to help guide artists through the process: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 6-8pm at the George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina; and Saturday, Feb. 8, 11am-1pm at the Asian American Cultural Center, 11713 Jollyville Rd.[Ed. note: This item has been changed from the original, which implied that AIPP receives a full 2% of all spending, rather than of just the part of the budget paid for by the city, and spent on capital improvement projects.]
Worth noting: The city's Joint Sustainability Committee – with a mission to "advise Council on matters related to conservation and sustainability," and a membership appointed by each of 12 other city commissions – passed a unanimous resolution at its final meeting of 2019 that "requests the Austin City Council to conduct an equity-impact analysis (which includes a displacement study) utilizing the Equity Office and City Demographer. The study should be conducted and available before third reading [of the revised Land Development Code] so City policymakers, taxpayers and the public know and understand the impact of proposed zoning revisions and up-zoning on Austin's African American and Latino communities, which historically have been discriminated against by city policies and practices (including the 1928 plan, redlining, restrictive covenants, school segregation and attendance boundaries, etc.). Having such a tool, in addition to the September 2018 UT Austin 'Uprooted' study, could prove invaluable in helping the City Council to produce a zoning code that is fair, equitable and balanced. Where burden of change may be felt, adequate policy should be proposed to help community mitigate impact and build resilience."
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