Public Art in Ft. Worth: A Two Percent Dissolution?

by Paula Newton July 21, 2013
Night shot of Tommy Fitzpatrick's public art project

Night shot of Tommy Fitzpatrick’s public art project

The Fort Worth City Council plans to call for a $292 bond election in May 2014 to build new roads, parks and facilities. In order to educate voters and to get community input about the various proposals, the City Council is holding a series of district and citywide meetings. A 2001 City Council ordinance, which requires two percent of capital programs to go to public art projects connected to infrastructure in the package, is now being called into question.

Councilman Jungus Jordan, of Southwest District 6, has proposed eliminating the public art money and moving the cash to transportation and parks. Last week, Jordon expanded on his proposal, suggesting that council members could pool the savings with the public art money, divide it, and let them pick projects in their districts they want included in the bond package.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram interviewed Mayor Betsy Price and several council members on their views about eliminating the two percent program. “I’m a big proponent of public art,” said Price, after the recent unveiling of a project by Austin artist Tommy Fitzpatrick atop the Fort Worth Police Crime Lab. But, she added, “It’s up to the voters.”

For those who would like to add their two cents to the two percent discussion, the next community meeting is this Thursday. The City Council has published a full schedule of locations and dates of the meetings to be held in the next few months.

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