We see the public art program as one tool for community development and belonging. We will strive to run a public art program that is centred on dynamic exchanges between artists and community, that reflects who we are and what we value as a city, that Calgarians can connect with and that reaches everyone in every corner of our city. We believe this program will reflect the rich ethnocultural diversity of Calgary, amplify all stories including Indigenous voices to tell the stories of Mohkínsstisi, and one that will offer many community engagement opportunities for Calgarians. 2021 marked the first year in a three-year transition of this program from The City to Calgary Arts Development.
We still have a long way to go in fully transitioning the program but in 2021 we dipped our toes in by running two public art microgrant programs — an artist-initiated microgrant program and a community-run microgrant program. The community-run microgrant program committed $97,723 to 11 projects across Calgary. The artist-initiated microgrant program supported four projects with $140,653.
Public Art continues to be a huge learning curve for us, but we are excited and energized by the process.