Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Tall ionic marble columns in the foreground of a photo of a multi-story interior courtyard space with a spouting fountain. Visible in the background are arches lining the walls and a matching set of marble columns.

The Art in Architecture program of the General Services Administration (GSA) is looking for public comment on revisions to clarify the policies to collect, manage, fund, and commission visual art in federal buildings. The public may submit comments via this portal by Monday, April 4. Remember to cite FMR Case 2021-02 in all correspondences, including comments. 

The public comment period aims to better understand how the Art in Architecture program can promote the goals articulated in a January 2021 Executive Order signed by President Biden; promote civic engagement, participation, and democratic values; and advance social ties and economic development at the community level.

The Art in Architecture program is a percent-for-art program that allows for commissioned visual artworks for federal buildings that fall under the jurisdiction of the GSA. The Art in Architecture program is part of the Fine Arts program, one of the nation's oldest and largest public art collections. Art programs in federal buildings aim to create a better environment for conducting government business and offer a space to equitably represent the diversity of the nation and to support the arts in communities that have federal buildings. 

In accordance with Executive Order (E.O.) 13985, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” issued by President Biden on January 20, 2021, all agencies are directed to “promote [. . .] equitable opportunities” for access to programs and services. Previous definitions of acceptable art styles limited participation in Art in Architecture programs, and thus art projects in the past did not necessarily reflect the diversity of the communities in which they were located. Increasing equitable access for artists of different backgrounds and art styles to participate in these programs is a priority for achieving the goals of E.O. 13985. 

Full details about the program, the comment process and where to comment can be found on Regulations.gov. Specific questions for the comment period are outlined in Section VII, Request for Public Comment.

For clarification of content, contact Mr. Chris Coneeney, Director, Real Property Policy Division, Office of Government-wide Policy, at 202.208.2956 or [email protected]. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat Division at 202.501.4755 or [email protected]. Please cite FMR Case 2021-02.

Pictured: Interior of the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kristina Volgenau on Unsplash.