Oakland, CA Public Art

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Oakland, CA, US

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Type: Ordinance

Status: Adopted on 4/16/02

Source File: (missing)


For Immediate Release
April 17, 2002


OAKLAND, Calif (April 17, 2002) - The Port of Oakland Board of Port Commissioners voted unanimously to adopt a precedent - setting public art ordinance Tuesday, April 16, 2002. This ordinance is unique in the United States because it includes three different methods of funding - one for each of the Port's Revenue Divisions - as opposed to the "one size fits all" traditional approach to public art legislation.

Typically, public art ordinances nation-wide only commission visual art. The Port's public art ordinance is also exceptional for its legislated commitment to commission artwork in any discipline or medium, including visual, performance, literary and media art.

Board President Phil Tagami said, " This public art ordinance is one example of the Port of Oakland's genuine commitment to community. It is a unique opportunity for us to share benefits of our business activities in a way that supports our local culture and artists. " Tagami added, " This is one of the directives that the Board wanted to achieve this year. We are pleased that this significant ordinance could be realized with the leadership of Commissioner Darlene Ayers-Johnson."

The Port of Oakland is only the second Port in the United States to establish a Public Art Program. The program will be administered by the Communications Division and includes oversight of the Public Art Committee (PAC), an advisory body responsible for preparation of an annual Public Art Plan and development of program policies and implementation procedures. Membership in the PAC includes four staff representatives from the Port, one Port commissioner, and five arts representatives, at least three who are practicing artists.

Port of Oakland Executive Director Tay Yoshitani said, " We are excited to put forward another progressive element to our leadership role as not only a port, but as a good corporate citizen. We hope that this precedent-setting ordinance will inspire other ports around the country to expand their cultural contribution into new arenas." Port of Oakland Director of Communications Harold Jones stated, " This legislated commitment to performing, media and literary arts in addition to visual art, will enhance our local cultural environment. The Port's public art ordinance offers us the opportunity to change a space to a place, where people come to visit the Port knowing they will walk away with a fuller, richer experience."

Funding of the Public Art Program is legislated as follows: Aviation will set aside not less than one-percent (1%) of public facilities and development projects, excluding construction of roadways, utilities, airfield projects and non-Port funded tenant developments; Maritime will make an annual budget allocation of not less than $150,000; and Commercial Real Estate will require developers to set aside one-half percent (0.5%) of the building valuation for development projects with up to $150,000 for projects with 50,000 square feet or more of new construction and up to $50,000 for new projects with less than 50,000 square feet.The Public Art Ordinance includes policies and procedures for the review and acceptance of gifts and loans of public art to the Port to insure that donated works of art are evaluated to meet the Port's artistic standards and enhance its public art collection. Maintenance, conservation and the periodic evaluation of the Port's collection of public art are important components of the newly adopted Public Art Ordinance.

The Port of Oakland, established in 1927, is an independent department of the City of Oakland employing some 600 people. The Port extends approximately 19 miles along the east side of the Oakland Estuary from the border of the City of Emeryville immediately north of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, to the south to the border of the City of San Leandro. Supporting some 44,000 jobs and generating nearly $7 billion in annual economic impact, the Port of Oakland is a tremendous economic engine for Northern California. The Port of Oakland's three revenue-generating divisions are Maritime, Aviation and Commercial Real Estate. The Port oversees Oakland International Airport, Oakland's seaport - home of the giant container cranes, and more than 1,000 acres of real estate including Jack London Square, Oakland's premiere entertainment spot along the waterfront.