In Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, Percent for Public Art laws are already on the books, but are largely ignored and not being enforced.
Government contracts for public art benefit artists, architects and skilled labor alike. The economic opportunities that come with Percent for Art projects are defined by: 60% of public art budgets routinely go towards the fabrication and installation of an artwork; 20% towards the artist’s authorship. Examples of people who work on fabrication and installation are plumbers, electricians, welders, carpenters, general contractors, plus workers with expertise with tile and concrete. Essentially, this insures that artists get paid to think and to build on a large scale, engaging the eyes, ears, and interest of all citizens.
That’s why we created a petition addressed to Allegheny County’s Executive, Pittsburgh’s Mayor, and this year’s candidates for Pittsburgh Mayor and Pittsburgh City Council.
Percent for Art Campaign in Pittsburgh’s City Paper and Post- Gazette: Ms. Speranza said the petition advocates for art and jobs. About 60 percent of the money set aside for public art pays carpenters, plumbers, electricians, tile installers, welders and cement workers . . . “We know we have fair wage laws that are not enforced, that many environmental laws are not enforced. We as citizens have to make our government enforce our laws.” http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/petition-urges- including-art-in-public-building-projects-675628/
“But neither law is currently enforced, acknowledge both City of Pittsburgh public- art manager Morton Brown and Fizgerald spokesperson Amie Downs.” http://www.pghcitypaper.com/Blogh/archives/2013/02/15/petition-sparks- discussion-of-city-county-arts-funding
Here’s Why People are Inspired to Sign:
With a viable Percent for Art program, Pittsburgh will also present economic opportunity to working artists, architects and skilled laborers. #161 Kathleen Hann
An important step to making our cities attractive to businesses and residents alike- -dedication to art and placemaking does matter! #95 Susie Leong
This an excellent resource to improve cultural tourism and bring better opportunities not just to artists but also to other sectors in the local economy. #121 Jose Antonio Aguirre
We need more jobs… “Art is Work” #72 Tina Walker