In 2018 the City of Coronado’s Cultural Arts Commission initiated a strategic planning process. Coronado CREATES presents a vision and pathway forward in continuing to develop arts and cultural resources for the community. The strategic plan received by the Coronado City Council in 2019 is for both the City of Coronado and the City’s partners, including the Port of San Diego, Coronado nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, schools, artists, donors and funding agencies, and others that work to further arts and culture. A goal of Coronado CREATES called for a new public art plan as a starting point for the growth of Coronado’s public art collection. The 2020 Coronado Public Art Master Plan (DRAFT) is an update of the 2013 Coronado Public Art Plan.
After seeking initial public input and surveying the community about Coronado’s Public Art Program the Cultural Arts Commission has worked to update the 2013 Public Art Master Plan and in March 2020 adopted an updated draft document. The Commission is now seeking additional public review and comments on the draft 2020 Public Art Master Plan document. Additional public review of this plan and on‐going discussions and decisions regarding public art will strengthen the City’s commitment to arts and culture and incorporate arts and culture as a regular part of City Council planning.
What is Public Art - Public art is a simple concept and yet at times can be very controversial. The term refers to works of art in any media that have been planned and executed with the intention of being sited or staged in the public domain, usually outside and/or places that are publicly accessible to all.
However, when considering why public art matters, and why we should support it, the answer is more interesting and complex.
Why Public Art Matters - An article by the Americans for the Arts states that:
“Cities gain value through public art – cultural, social, and economic value. Public art is a distinguishing part of our public history and our evolving culture. It reflects and reveals our society, adds meaning to our cities and uniqueness to our communities. Public art humanizes the built environment and invigorates public spaces. It provides an intersection between past, present, and future, between disciplines, and between ideas. Public art is freely accessible.”
Research tells us that public art provides a sense of place, wonder, and memory. Art encourages connection to a location for residents through cultural and historical understanding, and by highlighting what is unique about the places where people live, work, and play. Public art also makes communities more vibrant and sustainable economically. People want to move to places that are memorable, activated, and supportive of the arts. By engaging in public art as a tool for growth and sustainability, communities can thrive economically.
Public Art is not a new concept in Coronado. The City has an existing collection of over 75 works of public art. The oldest pieces in the collection were completed in 1938 and in the last decade the collection has taken on new importance and relevance in the community. The City recently launched the Coronado Public Art Smartphone App placing the entire collection in the palm of citizen’s hands.
It is a time of great change and development in Coronado, and there is momentum for directly addressing the current and future art collection in the City and updating the public art plan to ensure its continued growth, sustainability, and popularity in the community. Our planning process has engaged the community at all levels, helping us better understand attitudes and aspirations for the public art program in Coronado. The City and the Cultural Arts Commission invite you to review the draft document and submit your comments online at the link below. In September the Commission will announce a series of online meetings presenting the plan and seeking public comments.
It is Public Art and your opinion matters.