The Redevelopment Authority pioneered the Percent for Art Program in March 1959, becoming the first city in the United States to create a program requiring developers to commission art as part of the development process. The Redevelopment Authority’s Percent for Art Program obligates developers who are building on land acquired and assembled by the Authority to dedicate at least one percent of the total building construction costs toward the commissioning of original, site-specific works of art. Since the inception of the Program, nearly 400 works of public art have been installed in all areas of Philadelphia. Works of public art can be found in such diverse developments as high-rise commercial and residential towers, housing for families and the elderly, shopping plazas, parks, hotels, universities, schools and libraries.
The Authority’s Fine Art guidelines are structured to ensure that an early dialogue exists between the redeveloper, architect and artist. Each art project is more than a single or isolated work – the public space in its entirety is considered, in order to make the greatest contribution to the urban fabric, the streetscape, and the places that citizens populate. Each project is completely site-specific.
The Fine Arts Committee, a standing committee appointed by the Redevelopment Authority, is composed of civic leaders and visual arts professionals – educators, curators, artists, architect and landscape architect – who are sensitive to, and knowledgeable about, the many complex issues of public art. The Committee is responsible for the review of all fine arts proposals and monitors their progress from concept through the various design phases and ultimate installation and public dedication.
Email Julia Guerrero for more information regarding the Percent for Art Projects or download the Program Introduction Packet and Fine Art Policy, which discuss the process of initiating a Percent for Art Project.