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Crestwood Public Art Exploration Begins

Volunteer arts task force is commissioned to recommend a public art master plan for the city.

Now that ArtSpace in is almost a thing of the past, the hopes to develop a new identity building on the success of ArtSpace as one of the arts and culture.

According to Nikki Koehnemann, assistant to the city administrator, arts and culture will help bring in a new, creative class of residents, businesses and tourists.

Dan Tierney of the Regional Arts Commission spoke to the Board of Aldermen at the Jan. 24 meeting about public arts and the benefits it can have in the community. He made a similar presentation to the economical development commission March 6. That commission serves as a recommending body.

“Based on that presentation they have voted to recommend establishing a public arts task force to investigate the need for public art in Crestwood and drafting a master plan,” Koehnemann said.

The task force is a “pre-step” into forming an arts commission. The task force, consisting of no more than 11 volunteers, will gauge and document community interest. A member of the economic development commission will serve as the task force chair. Staff will issue a call for volunteers and the committee will review resumes and nominate individuals.

“The task force is on a voluntary basis and requires no budgetary commitment,” Koehnemann said. “It wouldn’t be a considerable amount of staff time—city staff simply serves as a liaison to the committee.”

Once the process gets rolling, it typically takes about two years to come up with a plan. Tierney also has volunteered to serve on a pro bono basis and assist through the process, including facilitating discussions. According to Koehnemann, Tierney has helped other cities establish arts commissions.

Alderman Jerry Miguel asked further about budget, especially in regard to surveys, and Koehnemann pointed out that the only cost would be minimal printing costs for public hearing notices and handouts.

The master arts plan shall include a definition of public art; an inventory of existing public art in Crestwood; an establishment of how public art shall be selected, maintained and deassessed; research funding opportunities; establishing where art can be located; and establishing the format and composition of the arts commission.

Once established, the arts commission, typically comprised of seven members, will then oversee implementation of an arts master plan.

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