A 21st Century Plan for Public Art in Montgomery County
Public art has emerged as an important part of the fabric of Montgomery County over the past thirty years. More than three hundred works of art can be found in urban centers like Rockville, Bethesda and Silver Spring, and in the county’s parks, schools and community facilities.
In 2014, The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County embarked on a “Roadmap” process that will chart new directions for public art in the County – where it should be located, what types of projects should be developed, and how it should foster community life, economic vitality and cultural diversity.
It involved a review of program documentation; numerous interviews with staff of County agencies involved with public art, infrastructure development and planning; visits to most of the non-school artworks in the collection; a public internet survey; “lunch and learn” presentations with planning and transportation staff; review of numerous County planning documents, including the general plan, growth management plan, and area or sector plans; and monthly meetings with either full the Trust Steering Committee or a special Roadmap committee.
The first half of this Roadmap is devoted to raising the creative ambitions for public art in Montgomery County, and identifying projects that are likely candidates for success. The second half is devoted to discussing how the Trust can shift from a reactive to a pro-active posture — how it can start the long and patient process of working strategically and connecting the public agencies and communities it works with the most innovative practices that can be found in public art.