Art Commission Adds Public Commentary

The monthly meetings of the Ann Arbor public art commission will now include another opportunity for public commentary, following action at AAPAC’s July 25, 2012 meeting. Commissioners voted to add a second three-minute public commentary slot at the end of its meetings. Previously, members of the public could formally address AAPAC only at the beginning of each meeting.

The issue of adding another public commentary slot was raised at AAPAC’s June 27, 2012 meeting by commissioner John Kotarski. The intent would be for people to have the opportunity to give before a decision by AAPAC, then provide feedback after that decision is made, he said. Before AAPAC made a decision about public commentary, the commission last month directed Aaron Seagraves, the city’s public art administrator, to research the public commentary practices of other city of Ann Arbor commissions and boards. The majority of those entities include two slots for public commentary. Most of them limit speaking turns to three minutes per speaker.

At Wednesday’s meeting, one person – Thomas Partridge – spoke during public commentary. He urged commissioners to advocate for art projects that emphasized political, social and justice-oriented themes, as well as artwork that has an obvious connection to people.

The brief was filed from the basement conference room at city hall, 301 E. Huron St., where the AAPAC meeting was held. A more detailed report will follow.