In 2021 and 2022 we hired a strong team of staff with experience delivering public art projects.
Throughout 2022 we continued to work closely with The City of Calgary Arts & Culture Business Unit to transfer knowledge, processes and projects, and connected with various other business units to build relationships. We worked collaboratively alongside the City’s Public Art Partnerships team to deepen our understanding of the public art program, its successes and challenges, and to connect with the Mohkinsstsis Guiding Circle. We undertook several engagement and communications initiatives including developing and launching the public art section of the Calgary Arts Development website, launching an online application platform for public artists to apply to our Calls to Artists and programs, and releasing a new annual art magazine titled Create Calgary with feature articles about the history of the municipal public art collection.
Additionally, we launched and ran several projects and programs including the Artist-Led and Community-Led Public Art Microgrant program; the Open Spaces: Window to a View program (public art window exhibition space at the Centre Street LRT platform); the Centre City Banners program; and a Call to Artists for a mural in Calgary’s Chinatown. CADA’s public art team began offering sessions to students at City Hall School, and through this program have connected with 120 students and teachers directly on public art in their city and the processes involved. Our team began cultivating community relationships with groups and artists connected to future public art projects, particularly the Treaty 7 and Métis communities.
Our team has been working with the transition consultant Art + Public to develop an Evaluation and Engagement Strategy and Toolkit, to align with their 2020 Public Art Community Engagement Report commissioned by the Arts & Culture business unit, to provide us with specific tools to examine our impact and report back to The City and Calgarians on what they have expressed they would like to see in a public art program.
invested in community-initiated public art projects
invested in artist-initiated public art projects
As reported in our 2021 civic partner report, the Artist-Initiated Public Art Microgrants and Community-Initiated Public Art Microgrants provided one-time funding of $250,000 overall to support local artists and community groups who work with them. Up to $40,000 was available for each artist-led project, and up to $10,000 for each community-led project. These microgrants recognized that public art opportunities can come from grassroots ideas that are initiated by professional artists and communities. Community groups, associations and collectives were asked to hire and collaborate with local artists to realize projects in public spaces. These projects supported local artists impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also realizing the ideas and needs of community groups. Funding for this program was provided through a grant The City of Calgary received from the Government of Alberta, for COVID-19 pandemic relief initiatives. We completed the program in 2022, and all projects except for one that was delayed, have been installed.