What is public art?
Public art, as defined by our city ordinance, is “any work of art that is visually accessible to the public and located on land or structures owned or controlled by the City of North Adams, that are not otherwise leased or assigned.”

Further, the ordinance defines a work of art as “any painting, mural decoration, statue, bas-relief, sculpture, monument, fountain, arch, ornamental gateway, or other structure of a permanent character intended for ornament or commemoration.”

If I want to install an artwork on private property, do I need to apply through the PAC?

Is performance art considered public art?
Performance art including music, theater, dance, puppetry, spoken word, film, and some participatory events require an entertainment license to be completed and submitted to the North Adams License Board.

Can I apply with a short-term temporary, long-term temporary, or permanent project?
Yes, public art projects may be temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent.

Do you offer funding for public art projects?
Not at this time. There are other ways to fund an art project – see our Resources page for more information.

What if I’m not ready to complete and/or submit an application to the PAC?
We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the process, or provide advice or recommendations as you explore where, when, and how to develop your public art project. Email us at publicarts@northadams-ma.gov with your inquiries. We will do our best to help you via email before calling you to a Commission meeting.

What criteria do you use to evaluate an application?
We approve public art applications based on the following conditions:

  1. Completeness of application
  2. Availability of and/or permission to use requested site
  3. Minimal to no public safety or environmental risks
  4. Preserves design and function of the area surrounding the requested site and, if temporary or semi-permanent, comprehensive restoration plan of project location

The PAC also considers whether proposals align with our Core Principles:

  1. Enhance the community’s visual environment
  2. Promote awareness of the city’s social, cultural, and historical composition
  3. Encourage a spirit of collaboration
  4. Expand public knowledge of the visual arts

What happens after my proposal is approved?
An approval may be granted with condition(s) that require you to take additional actions or make adjustments to your proposal. We will inform you of any other city departments, boards, or commissions you may need to speak with relating to public safety, parks and recreation, community development, or tourism. We will also let you know of contract or insurance requirements you will need to meet before you begin fabrication and/or installation.

How can I make a comment to the PAC or express my opinion about a public art issue?
We love and value hearing from the public. If you wish to make a public comment or ask a question, please attend one of our meetings. Upcoming meeting date(s) and past meeting minutes can be found on the Minutes page. You may send the commission a written communication and request that it is read at a meeting only if you are an applicant and the comment or question is related to your proposal. The application can be found on our Submit page or can be downloaded here