Marquette adopts new policy to fund public art

MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — Marquette has created a new city fund to grow and leverage money for public art.

The Marquette City Commission recently unanimously approved establishing the Public Art Fund and an official oversight body, the Mining Journal reported.

The seven-member Marquette Public Art Commission will administer an annual contribution of $30,000 from the city’s general fund to be put toward commissioning, purchasing and maintaining public art in the city.

Tiina Harris, manager of the Marquette Arts and Culture Center, said public art draws people to a city and is an indicator of a vibrant, healthy creative community and a high quality of life. She said it also enhances property value and tourism, making the city more interesting and beautiful.

“It’s there for the community to enjoy. They’re going to be a part of it. They can participate in it,” Harris said.

Harris defined public art as being temporary or permanent works of art displayed in public as the product of a skilled artist or group of artists. She said it can be in the form of architectural, sculptural, lighting, visual, sound, digital, or a variety of other art.

The policy was created by the Public Art Task Force in accordance with the City of Marquette Community Master Plan that was adopted in 2015.