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Politics & Government

What is Art? Asks the Mayor's Office

public art_daveynin Flickr.JPG

The public this week will have its first opportunity to give input on Pittsburgh’s efforts to build a comprehensive public art and design plan.  The first two of six public meetings on ARTPGH and DESIGNPGH will be held Tuesday night and a spokesperson for the city is encouraging everyone to attend.

“We’ll ask residents what is important to them,” said City Spokesperson Joanna Doven.  “What do they even think art is in the city of Pittsburgh… What do residents care about most?”

Doven said the goal is to get Pittsburghers to help shape the plan.

The first set of meetings will be held Tuesday night.  Sessions at the Carnegie Library Brookline (708 Brookline Blvd., 15226) and the Kaufmann Center (1825 Center Ave., 15219) begin at 6:00pm. 

Doven said the meetings will begin with city staff and consultants explaining what the comprehensive plan is, why it is needed, and then looking at the overarching intention of ARTPGH and DESIGNPGH.  “What the process will be for… [shaping] new policies and procedures for future developments and future city projects,” said Doven.

The meetings will continue Wednesday night at 6:00 at The Brashear Association (2005 Sarah St., 15203) and the Schenley Ice Rink (1 Overlook Dr., 15207).  Thursday’s meetings also begin at 6:00 at the Kingsley Association (6435 Frankstown Ave., 15206) and The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (10 Children’s Way, 15212). 

Doven said the Mayor’s office has placed a priority on public art because it feels the installments help to make Pittsburgh more livable.  She notes it is expensive to launch any public art project.  However, Doven said the money can be found if the project is good. 

“We have the generous foundations here and the state programs and federal programs.  You can get them funded. It’s difficult, but we can do it and we can do it even more if we have a plan moving forward,” said Doven.

The next round of public meetings will come in March of 2013 when the city will take input on any changes made to the plans. The plans are part of the city's larger PLANPGH effort.