In 2017, Americans for the Arts conducted a survey of the nation’s public art programs. The purpose of the survey was to better understand and appreciate current organizational structures, plans, diversity requirements, and educational components of public art programs in the United States.
The survey process was designed by Americans for the Arts staff in consultation with the Public Art Network Advisory Council, a membership-based body of expert public art professionals from around the country. The questionnaire was a long-form survey sent directly to the 728 U.S. public art programs that have been identified by Americans for the Arts. In addition, a general survey was made available online through public art publications and social media which would allow unknown programs to participate. A total of 227 programs responded and provided details about their programs, staffing, revenue, collection management, and artists selection process.
Public art programs work to engage their communities with the visual arts. Each of the 728 U.S. public art programs is unique to the community that it serves, and each evolves with its community—no two are exactly
alike. However, they all share the goal of enabling artists to create works in the public realm while engaging community members and building healthier, vibrant communities through public art.