To support public art in the City of Madison and recognize that superior and diverse cultural assets and attractions enhance the quality of life and its citizens.


  • To create engaging opportunities for the citizens of Madison and its visitors to experience art in public parks and public spaces;
  • To embrace Madison’s identity as an historic city, while promoting Madison as a vibrant community open to new and enriching experiences for its citizens and its visitors;
  • To promote a public arts program to attract new businesses seeking a lively and engaged community where art is an integral part of the City’s plan and identity.

The purpose of these guidelines is to establish a process for the selection, purchase, commission, placement and maintenance of works of art under the City’s Public Art Program. These guidelines apply to projects undertaken by the Madison Public Arts Commission funded through the City of Madison budget, grants, and donations. These guidelines will be advisory to projects undertaken by other city boards and departments in consultation with the Madison Public Arts Commission. These guidelines shall not apply to public art that is not part of the City of Madison’s Public Art Program and located on private property even if such works of art are the result of consultation with the Madison Public Arts Commission.

 Programs created by the Public Arts Commission may have guidelines and procedures specific to those programs but will nonetheless operate under these overarching guides.

It is the intent of the Public Arts Commission to aid and otherwise guide the selection and placement of publicly accessible works of arts in Madison in order to expand the experiences of the citizens of Madison. Accomplishing this through mutually beneficial community partnerships with local organizations, schools, and businesses to help reach this goal is encouraged. 

This goal shall be realized through:

  • The commission of artists and works of art which represent an expression of our time, contribute to a sense of Madison’s identity, and entail some measure of public significance;
  • The nurturing of the artistic vitality of the City of Madison through the encouragement of local artistic endeavors;
  • The encouragement of public dialogue that increases public understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts through appropriate public education forums and works of art;
  • The commission of a broad range of works of art, reflective of the overall diversity of current works in the field of visual art;
  • The commission of works of visual art varying in style, scale, medium, form, and intent representative of the local, regional, national and international arts communities and the rich diversity of Madison.

These statements are contained in the larger PAC Guidelines and Procedures document