Friday, May 30, 2008

Advocacy At Work: Thank You.

Dear Friends,

I would like to express my most sincere thanks to those of you who have taken the time to voice your support of the UrbanArt Commission and the Percent-for-Art program to your elected Memphis City Council representatives.

I've heard from members of the Council as well as their administrative staff that they have received numerous calls and emails praising the work of the UAC and the role of public art in strengthening the social and cultural health of our city.

I am incredibly proud of your efforts in communicating our collective belief in the importance of public art in such a fast, and effective manner. Your advocacy is invaluable.

Please encourage your friends and colleagues to express their support with an email to their Council representative as well. All City Council contact information is publicly available at the City's website.

If you are interested to learn of UrbanArt projects by district, please contact us at, for a comprehensive list.

Here are some quick facts for your reference:

• The UrbanArt Commission is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works as a subcontractor for the City of Memphis to administer the Percent-for-Art Program.

• Operating funds are termed ‘O&M’ for Operating and Maintenance, this is the section of the City budget that compensates UrbanArt for administering the Percent-for-Art Program. UrbanArt’s ‘O&M’ budget for FY09 is $130,000.

• Percent-for-Art projects are funded by the City’s Capital Improvements Plan, or the ‘CIP’ budget. UrbanArt’s CIP budget is 1% of the budget for new construction on all City-funded building projects. The sum UrbanArt is allocated is capped by law, never to exceed $1M in any single fiscal year.

As for the current state of affairs, we will keep you updated on this issue as developments progress.

Thank you again for supporting us, and for letting your city know that art matters.

Be well,

John Weeden,
Executive Director

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