Lewisville Leader > News
City likely to expand arts board responsibilities
Changes could be coming to Lewisville's newly established arts advisory board, and officials hope it will result in more art around the city.
During Monday's Lewisville City Council meeting, members will vote on an ordinance that will expand the duties of the arts board. The additions would include giving the board the responsibility to receive proposals if someone wants to propose public art. The board would also be responsible to review the proposals and make a recommendation to the council.
"Right now there's not a board that advises the council on performance art, installations or other public art," said Councilman Neil Ferguson. "I am very satisfied that this board is now settled and established, but we've never given them the full scope of what they will be responsible for."
The artwork that the board will be responsible for is permanent installations around the city.
"Recently, the city staff wondered if there should be an organized effort to buy Slicker Shy because it's becoming identifiable with Lewisville," said James Kunke, community relations and tourism director. "It turns out we don't have a process in place to buy it. This has been discussed as a duty for the arts board, but it wasn't ever implemented."
Currently, the arts board advises the city council on the distribution of grant funds in support of cultural tourism, it receives reviews and evaluates funding applications for grant funds, it advises the arts center manager on proposed exhibits/events when deemed necessary and it may be consulted when questions come up on community standards for proposed events and exhibits.
"I'm the staff person who works alongside the board. I have a background in public art and can advise the board on the questions that need to be looked at and help devise a public art policy. I'm there to provide professional guidance in the decision-making process," said Jim Wear, manager of the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater. "You want resident input on public art, which is why the board is made up of residents. Public art is supposed to be about the people, for the people, and it should become part of the community."
Funding for public art will continue to come from the hotel/motel tax. State law allows a city to use up to 15 percent of the tax on "arts supports" per year.
"That's where the art grant program comes from. In the past we've kept the amount spent on art at between 10-11 percent," Kunke said.
Kunke said the new duties of the arts board will go into effect at the end of October, but it will keep the same nine members. The guidelines for public art must be drafted by the arts board with the council's input.