Pro-Art Millage Campaign Launched

A campaign committee to advocate for the proposed public art millage has been formed. Citizens for Art in Public Places filed its statement of organization with the state bureau of elections, stating its formation date as Aug. 28, 2012. Jeremy Peters is listed as the group’s treasurer, and the address listed on the statement corresponds with the Arts Alliance office at the NEW Center, 1100 N. Main.

Deb Polich, the alliance’s executive director, attended the Aug. 22, 2012 meeting of the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission, where she and AAPAC chair Marsha Chamberlin indicated they would help lead the effort to pass the millage. [See Chronicle coverage: "Art Commission Strategizes as Millage Looms."]

On Aug. 20, the Ann Arbor city council had voted unanimously to put a millage on the Nov. 6 ballot that, if approved by voters, would fund art in public places. The 0.1 mill tax would generate about $450,000 per year and be in place for four years. Those dollars would temporarily replace the current funding mechanism for the city’s Percent for Art program, which would be suspended for the duration of the millage.

Millage dollars would allow for more flexibility in the types of public art that can be funded compared to the existing program, which requires that projects paid for with Percent for Art funds must be permanent, located on public property, and tied in some way to their capital funding source. The current program, created by the city council in 2007, requires that 1% of the budget for any capital improvement project be set aside for public art, up to a cap of $250,000 per project.

The millage will be listed on the Nov. 6 ballot in Ann Arbor as Proposal B. The “B for Art” campaign has launched a website, Facebook page and Twitter account (@BforART). The group’s email address at is citizensforartinpublicplaces