Placing Art on City Property: Artistic Utility Boxes, Painted Intersections and Other Projects
Neighborhood organizations or other groups may apply to place artworks on City property or within the Right of Way. The policies related to these applications are outlined in the City's Public Art Policies and Procedures, for Gifts and Loans and Encroachment Permits, and in other City policies and ordinances on issues such as banner permits, signage, encroachment in the right of way, and special service districts.
Please check out the permit instructions below! The instructions should provide a clear understanding on the opportunities for placing art on city property or in the Right of Way, and the application process for those opportunities.
Table of Contents
- Starting a Public Art Project
- Public Art Permits for 2017
- Application Cycles
- Application Forms, Examples, and Helpful Tools
Starting a Public Art Project
Here is a list of helpful questions to consider while developing a public art project.
Determine the Property Owner!
Before submitting an application, applicants need to determine whether desired locations are City property or within the right of way. Desired locations could alsobe on private property, Hennepin County property or on the property of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Projects proposed for the Midtown Greenway may be permitted by the City or County, but all are reviewed first by the Minneapolis Arts Commission.
Contact us early in your planning process!
To find out whether your desired locations require City approval, which policies may affect your proposal, which review bodies need to be involved, and what the review timeline may be, contact the City's Public Arts Administrator, Mary Altman.
Most applications are approved!
One of the main purposes of the review process is to educate applicants about technical issues that need to be addressed in order for their projects to be successful. The Arts Commission and its Public Art Advisory Panel often make recommendations to the applicant to strengthen their projects, including ideas like:
- Maintenance, to ensure projects have longer life spans;
- Avoiding damage from maintenance equipment and vandalism;
- Addressing public safety and handicapped accessibility;
- Supporting artist's copyrights;
- Developing projects at a scale that is doable.
Check out The Placemaking Hub!
It's a one-stop-shop with information on how communities and neighborhoods can enhance and beautify their streets and public spaces.
Public Art Permits for 2017
1) Paint The Pavement Projects
These projects allow artistic paintings on sidewalks and residential street intersections! Apply for these projects during the first two application cycles for the best results. The third application cycle is open to these applications, however be aware of the annual fall clean sweeps.
2) Utility Box Projects
Most city-owned utility boxes operate traffic signals and are eligible for art. There are two options for placing art on utility boxes: Artist-Designed Utility Boxes AND Minneapolis Art Wraps.
Artist-Designed Utility Boxes:
These projects allow commissioned artists to create custom designs for utility boxes. Apply for these projects during any of the three application cycles.
Minneapolis Art Wraps:
This is the quick and easy way to place art on utility boxes! Choose from one of the 12 pre-approved art wrap designs created by local artists. Applications are accepted ALL YEAR and are not limited to the three application cycles.
3) Other Art Projects!
Do you have a different idea? The City also permits a variety of other public art projects such as: artistic banners, bike racks, sculptural works, benches, waste containers, murals, mosaics, etc. These projects may be proposed for City property (like a City-owned building or lot), OR within the city's Right of Way. Apply for these projects in any of the three application cycles!
All projects must submit applications during one of the three application cycles!
(Does NOT include the Art Wrap option for Utility Boxes)
|Art Permit Timeline 2017||Cycle 1||Cycle 2||Cycle 3|
|Pre-Application Due||April 7||June 9||August 11|
|Confirmation of Eligible Site||April 21||June 23||August 25|
|Arts commission Application Due||April 26||June 28||August 30|
|Public Art Advisory Panel Meeting||May 3||July 5||September 6|
|Arts Commission Meeting||May 17||July 19||September 20|
|Applicant Notified||May 18||July 20||September 21|
|Encroachment Permit Materials Due||May 19||July 21||September 22|
|Applicant Receives Permit||June 2||August 4||October 6|
|Earliest Start Date||June 3||August 5||October 7|
Application Forms, Examples, and Helpful Tools!
Check the locations eligibility
- Check and see if your location is in the Right of Way! This is also a helpful tool to create maps or the pre-application!
- Make sure your location is not due for construction soon! Check here:
- Marked roads are NOT eligible for Paint the Pavement; also make sure your intersection isn't leading to a marked road!
- Most of the eligible utility boxes are located on the corners of signalized intersections, here's a map of the City's traffic signals, check it out.
Need Help Finding a Neighborhood Organization or Special Service District?
- Neighborhood Organizations:
- Special Service Districts:
Materials, can I use this?
- Make sure you check out this website:
- Also look through this:
Encroachment and Obstruction Permits
- For information on Encroachment Permits go to:
- For information on Obstruction Permits go to:
- Blank for Pre-Application for Utility Boxes (both options)
- Application Forms:
Last updated Apr 3, 2017