(Photo Credit: Radical Raleigh by Ian Wenstrand)

Raleigh’s public art program is young and dynamic.

The program is built on a foundational vision of channeling Raleigh’s creative life into the public spaces of the city and of connecting communities, whether defined by geography or other commonality or shared interest. It has secured ongoing funding through a flexible percent-for-art mechanism and has a highly professional staff. The program has built strong connections, reservoirs of good will and creative partnerships within both city government and the broader community. Its innovative use of resources and openness to partnerships have helped the program build a record of artistic accomplishment.

This public art plan follows from Creative Life, Raleigh’s citywide cultural plan, and is a priority of the City’s strategic plan. However, this plan was undertaken during a time that was traumatic for both Raleigh and the nation at large. The planning process occurred when the nation was battling the Covid-19 pandemic; coming to grips with systemic racism, police brutality, income inequality and gun violence; and seeing its democratic processes tested. Furthermore, the planning occurred during a moment in Raleigh’s history when the city has been experiencing extraordinary growth and transformation, with residents experiencing both the optimism of new ideas and economic opportunity and the reality of cultural and physical displacement.

With that context in mind, this plan imagines a program that will continue its focus on the city’s creative, public and connective lives. It imagines a program that embraces innovative approaches to identifying projects that provide new understanding of the how the is lived, experienced, remembered and imagined. It imagines a program for which the creation of public art is only one leg of its mission, along with the equally important tasks of supporting and strengthening Raleigh’s network of artists and related professionals, connecting people through creative and civic processes, and engaging the full range of 

the city’s cultural resources. And it imagines a program that will address past and persistent equity issues — addressing who participates in public processes, who benefits from public resources, and whose creative practices and stories are represented in the art that the program supports.

With this plan, Raleigh Arts embarks on a future in which public art is a vital and vigorous force for building a city into which artists and communities can pour their visions for creating a lively, healthy, sustainable, connected and equitable society.

You can scroll to the bottom of this page to review the full Draft Public Art Strategic Plan Document. 

Introduction Video: DRAFT Public Art Strategic Plan


Goal 1: Public Art Ecosystem - Nurture Artists, Arts Professionals and Organizations
Raleigh Arts will cultivate an expanding ecosystem of public artists, curators, and organizations with the capacity to initiate and collaborate on public art projects, involving more creative voices and building creative capacity.

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Goal 2: Community - Involve and Connect
Raleigh will be a community connected through arts and culture, where every person is empowered to lead the creative life they envision.

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Goal 3: Leadership - Encourage Public Art Across City Initiatives
Public art will provide a creative bridge between the activities of City government, Raleigh’s arts community, and the people who live in, work in, and visit the city. 

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Goal 4: Equity - Ensure Inclusive Access to Resources and Processes
Work hand in hand with under-represented communities to reflect cultural heritage, recognize creative voices, and catalyze change.

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Goal 5: Capacity - Strengthen the Program’s Ability to Meet the Community’s Needs
Public art staff resources will be aligned with community expectations for public art that strengthens the public art ecosystem, builds community, provides leadership in public and private development, and advances equity.

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Goal 6: Reach - Resource Public Art Projects that Reflect the Community’s Vision
Funding for public art projects will be increased to meet the community’s goals of bringing public art to more locations in more communities through projects in a range of scales and variety of media.

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Please share your information if you'd like updates on the project as we move forward!

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Please share with us the general area of where you live so we can ensure we are receiving feedback from every corner of Raleigh!

Project Timeline

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