Community Planning & Economic Development

Public Arts Administration
105 5th Avenue South, Room 200
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Permission to Place Art on Minneapolis City Property

Neighborhood organizations or other groups may apply to place artworks on City property or within the right of way. The policies that govern decisions regarding these applications are outlined in the City of Minneapolis  Public Art Policies and Procedures, for Gifts and Loans and Encroachment Permits, as well as other City policies and ordinances on issues such as banner permits, signage, encroachment in the right of way, and special service districts.

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. To that end, the Arts Commission and the Public Art Advisory Panel often make recommendations to the applicant for strengthening their projects, including ideas for:

Find a list of technical questions to consider in developing a public art project.

Paint the Pavement Projects

Painted intersections (“Paint the Pavement”) projects are allowed on sidewalks and residential streets. (They are not allowed at or on school crossings, intersections with marked crosswalks, signalized intersections, State- and County-designated roads, or any roadway approaching a major arterial). There are three deadlines during 2014 for submitting these projects.

Wrapped and Painted Utility Boxes

The City of Minneapolis permits requests from citizen groups and non-profit organizations paint or wrap City-owned utility boxes. Most city-owned utility boxes operate traffic signals. Map of signalized intersections. There are two options for wrapping and painting city-owned boxes.

All Other Public Art Proposals
To be located on City Property or in the Right of Way

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 may be proposed for City property (a City-owned building or lot), or for the Right of Way.

Sample Approved Applications


Property Owner: Before submitting an application, we strongly recommend you determine whether your desired locations are City property or within the right of way. Desired locations could also be 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.

Last updated Mar 26, 2014