COMMUNITIES USE PUBLIC ART TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES
June 23, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 23, 2005
CONTACT: Scott Slemmons, email@example.com
LUBBOCK – Communities and universities wishing to enhance their ability to attract
and retain residents and businesses are increasingly turning to percent-for-art funding
programs that allow them to buy and install public art. The programs give communities
the option to create environments that people want to live and work in, providing
an important boost to economic development at the local level.
At Texas Tech University, public art manager Cecilia Carter Browne said percent-for-art
programs require a small portion of the total cost of all capital programs or construction
to be spent on public art. Such programs can provide important benefits for community
residents, businesses and employees.
"Learning and working in an interesting, aesthetically pleasing environment has a
powerful impact on our quality of life," Browne said. "Ultimately, this satisfaction
aids in recruiting and retaining high quality faculty, staff and students. Of course,
there are ripple effects from these factors that impact the long-term economic health
and reputation of a community or university. It's important to create an environment
that people want to live and work in, and you do that by creating communities and
workplaces that are more interesting and aesthetically pleasing."
Texas Tech University started its percent-for-art program almost five years ago. The
university allocates 1 percent of the estimated total cost of each new construction
project and each repair and rehabilitation project that exceeds $500,000 for the acquisition
of public art, along with an additional 1 percent for landscape enhancements. Texas
Tech – one of only two Texas universities with a public art program – now displays
artwork by some of the best-known artists in the nation.
Browne said she considers Texas Tech's public art collection to be among the strongest
at a university in the country.
"We have sculptures by Jesus Moroles, Tom Otterness, Peter Woytuk, Larry Kirkland,
Terry Allen and so many more," said Browne. "We have works of art on the way by Deborah
Butterfield, Farley Tobin and Shan Shan Sheng, too. Our collection grows larger and
more interesting every year, and we're attracting some of today's leading artists."
Browne said Texas Tech seeks to enrich the cultural and intellectual life of its campuses
by building and maintaining a unique collection of public art.
"The arts play a vital role in expanding our capacity to think critically, creatively
and broadly," said Browne. "Experiencing the world from a different vantage point
is particularly appropriate within a university, because the paradigm shift one experiences
in a learning environment is often a portal for discovery and personal growth."
CONTACT: Cecilia Carter Browne, public art manager, Texas Tech University, (806)
742-1170, extension 319, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.