By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Last week, the City Commission voted to increase the Art in Public Places (AiPP) funding – allocating two percent of all construction to the program and expanding the definition of projects that are eligible for AiPP contributions.
In 1995, the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places (AiPP) program was adopted with a mission to enhance the aesthetic environment of the city by incorporating works of art on public property.
Since then, the program has grown to one of the leading AiPP programs in the nation by curating public art by noted international artists. The AiPP program has been funded by 1.5 percent of all hard costs of city capital improvement projects, including new construction.
“Investing in arts and culture not only has intrinsic benefits, but economic ones — including increasing property value,” noted Mayor Dan Gelber. “The augmented funding is sure to bring more opportunity to our arts community and larger than life ideas to fruition, which will ultimately elevate our leading public art program to newer heights.”
The allocated funds are expected to make a significant difference considering the city’s frequent and large-scale building and improvements as a result of the $439 million general obligation bond program.
“This funding increase in the policy makes Miami Beach one of the most progressive AiPP cities in the country,” added Tourism and Culture Director Matt Kenny.
By the end of 2019, Miami Beach will firm up its role as a leader in public art with the opening of six major public art projects at the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center. At $7 million, these projects present the largest single commission by municipal percent-for-art program in the U.S.
In May this year, the convention center unveiled new site-specific permanent works by Ellen Harvey, Joseph Kosuth, Joep van Lieshout, and Sarah Morris. Also in 2019 the Elmgreen & Dragset sculpture “Bent Pool” will completed by the end of the year.
The Miami Beach Convention Center is the hub for Art Basel Miami Beach, which is North America’s most comprehensive international contemporary art fair with hundreds of galleries showcasing works. In its 18th edition, Art Basel 2019 will bring thousands to South Beach from December 5th through December 8th.
“When you are a true arts and culture destination, two things happen: you attract sophisticated tourists and your residents have more interesting things to do,” Gelber said to Forbes in an interview. “Using our entire city as a canvass improves our quality of life and provides wonderful amenities for our residents.”