The Duluth City Council is proceeding with forming a permanent Duluth Public Arts Commission. At its Feb. 25 work session, the council informally agreed to place revised guidelines for DPAC creation on the agenda for action at the March 11 council meeting.
The proposed Duluth Public Arts Commission would support performing arts, promote public art projects, and encourage developers to install public art.
The guidelines also allow establishment of a Performing Art and Acquisition Fund (PAAF) to be managed by DPAC.
The first significant task of the DPAC would be to create a public art master plan, estimated to cost $75,000. This would require separate approval by the council.
Developers with projects in excess of $1 million would be referred to DPAC and briefed on opportunities for contributing to the arts as outlined in the Duluth Public Arts Master Plan.
Designated members of the DPAC would encourage developers to voluntarily contribute an art project or amount of money equal to the value of one percent of new, non‐city initiated, construction or renovation projects. Single‐family residential developments and projects with their own master art plan would be excluded.
The revised document addressed the issue of DPAC’s composition by requiring that five of the nine commission members live in the city. Councilman Billy Jones had expressed concern during a past work session that the initial draft did not require a minimum number of city residents to serve on the commission.
City Manager Tim Shearer clarified another issue that had been raised in previous discussion concerning potential conflicts of interest by artist DPAC members. Shearer said that artists who serve on the commission would not be allowed to submit entries in competitions for public art projects in the city.
DPAC members would be appointed by the council. One or two city staff would serve as ex‐officio members and offer input and guidance. They would be non-voting members of the commission.
One member of the commission would be a member of the Duluth City Council, who would vote only in case of a tie. Four members would be arts professionals (artist, performing artist, architect, landscape architect, curator, arts writer, arts educator, arts administrator or individual with an art degree).
The balance of membership would be citizens and business owners within the city with no less than five of the members at any given time being residents of Duluth.
Each member would be appointed to four-year terms. Their terms would be staggered every two years. Initially, five members would be appointed to four-year terms and four members appointed to two-year terms to create the staggered terms.
The DPAC chairperson would be appointed for a two-year term by a majority vote of the commission. The city council representative could not serve as the chairperson.
The commission would be required to hold periodic meetings at Duluth City Hall that would be open to the public and subject to open meetings and public records laws.
The Performing Art and Acquisition Fund would be a separate, dedicated, interest-bearing, and revolving account established in the city’s General Fund into which public art donations would be deposited, transferred, and used for the acquisition, commissioning, performance, exhibition and conservation of public art as recommended by the DPAC and approved by the city manager. The PAAF could also receive donations from individuals, businesses, developers, foundations, and others in support of the city’s public arts program.
DPAC would be required to submit an annual report to the city council for review. The report would include a detailed accounting of monies spent or earmarked for future expenditures in the PAAF. Also, it would include public art projects, related community and educational programs, and art conservation projects that were completed in the previous year, that are ongoing, or that would be initiated during the coming fiscal year.