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City of Riverside Reaches Out to Community on Public Art

Riverside, Ca. The City of Riverside is reaching out to the arts community on several fronts to further the creation, display and enjoyment of public art around Riverside.

The City Hall ART! program is an opportunity to highlight artists and the art organizations that improve our quality of life in Riverside. Selected art pieces will be displayed on floors of City Hall – first, third and seventh – that are accessed most by the public. There is no charge for artists to apply to have their art displayed, and there is no payment. Applications are due by Dec. 3.

The art that is chosen as a result of this process will replace art that has been on display at City Hall for many years. The City has a separate process for purchasing art for display in libraries and community centers, although that process could be folded into a larger, citywide selection process later.

“Public art from local artists injects life into our public spaces that reflects our values as a community,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “I look forward to seeing this work displayed and discussed in the halls and corridors where we do the public’s business.”

On another front, Riverside is creating a new public art application to streamline the process through which public art is created and celebrated. The application, which can be filed at no cost, allows for a mutual approval process involving the property owner, the artist and the City, therefore reducing the potential for conflicts with city codes or ordinances. It also will enable the City to track and promote new pieces of public art as they are produced so the public can enjoy the work.

Finally, in order to assist in the creation of public art, the City is in its second year of offering micro-grants of $500 to $1,000 to help individual and/or emerging artists accomplish projects in Riverside that are accessible to the public. The two-year pilot program is in its second year, which means the art must be completed by June 30, 2020.

These micro-grants are meant to assist artists who have a great idea or vision, but lack resources. The project funded by the micro-grant must be accessible to the public. For example, the work could end up in a coffee shop, a museum or gallery, or at the monthly Arts Walk event downtown.

“Local artists are the life blood of a healthy community,” Mayor Pro Tem Andy Melendrez said. “They inject excitement and enthusiasm into our lives, and I look forward to seeing the work that is created with an assist from the micro-grant program.”

Artists must be at least 18 years old, demonstrate the ability to complete the project described, and prepare a single-page application/proposal. Applicants may only receive one grant per year; and grant recipients must attend an annual reception. A single-page, post-project report also is required.

Information and Applications are available at

For more information, please email

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