January 27, 2012
On Thursday, February 2, the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure Committee is meeting to consider legislation that could end federal support for public art projects.
Since 1992, the federal Transportation Enhancement program has provided more than $148 million to support 296 projects for transportation-related museums, and the "Landscape" category (which includes public art) is the second most popular grant category (following pedestrian/bicycle trails and walkways) receiving 19% of total TE funding.
Examples of popular TE Projects Include:
- A $316,000 grant for a Seattle project to enhance the city's "International District" along Highway 99 including new lighting and a solar-lit sculptural project.
- The North Carolina Transportation Museum: A $5 million transportation enhancement project has been completed in Spencer, NC which celebrates and interprets the history of all forms of transportation. This National Historic Landmark is one of North Carolina's most popular tourism sites.
- A $380,000 grant to the Point Pleasant Mural project in West Virginia, which serves as both as a cultural tourism destination and an exhibition for students learning about the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774.
The legislation to be considered by the House Committee threatens the dedicated funding, and eligibility, for important economic development projects like these.
Please write your member of Congress today to convey the message that the Transportation Enhancements program should continue supporting public art and museums!