The Phoenix City Council established the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture Public Art Program in 1986 to help create a more beautiful and vibrant city. The program is funded through an ordinance that allocates one percent of the Phoenix Capital Improvement Program to enhancing the design of public buildings, infrastructure and spaces. In the past 28 years, it has created more than 180 projects and become a national innovator by involving artists in unique collaborations with other design professionals to design public buildings and spaces. The projects range from new parks, community centers and canal trails, to bridges, streetscapes, overpasses, transit centers, recycling centers and other key infrastructure.
The Public Art Program has garnered numerous awards for design excellence, including two Design for Transportation Awards from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Endowment for the Arts, several Valley Forward Association Environmental Excellence Awards and other local and national recognition.
The Program has brought positive national and international media attention to the City of Phoenix through articles in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Art in America, The Atlantic Monthly and Landscape Architecture, among others.