After Two Years Of Planning, Akron Has A Public Art Plan

Public art projects in Akron will now be commissioned by a nine person board, which reflects the diversity of the city.
Public art projects in Akron will now be commissioned by a nine person board, which reflects the diversity of the city. [Marn Arehart / WKSU]
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Akron officials unveiled a new cultural plan Monday after two years of community forums and public review. And residents have overwhelmingly asked for more public art in the city.

Nicole Mullet on the Akron Cultural Plan

The plan’s guiding principles include celebrating the city’s arts and providing opportunities for residents to experience its culture. Nicole Mullet, executive director of the non-profit ArtsNow, says that will happen thanks to a new, nine-person Public Art Commission.

“By merit of having a commission that is diverse and reflects the city – not only geographically, but in terms of race and gender identity and age – we’re going to be able to ensure that the community as a whole is reflected," she said.

Akron City Council will consider a funding proposal that would redirect 1 percent of future special tax incentive districts from developers to public art projects.

The proposal to fund those projects is not a new tax on residents, Mullet said.

“One percent of the TIF (Tax Increment Financing) give-back program would -- instead of going to developers -- be committed to resourcing public art. A TIF that would normally go back to [developers] would be committed to beautifying the city and, hopefully, making their business projects that much more desirable,” she said.

The funds will go toward commissioning and also maintaining public art in the city. Those projects will be overseen by the new Public Art Commission, Mullet added.

Anyone interested in applying for a role on the commission can find details at the Akron Public Art Program website.

See the executive summary of the cultural plan below.

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