From June 1-14, 2020, the City of Madison commissioned artists to create a visual response on boarded windows up and down State Street businesses. In less than two weeks, over a half mile span of storefronts, functioned as a powerfully moving outdoor gallery of art expressing the emotions of social injustice.
The project inspired important community conversations about the destructive impact institutional racism has on our community and our nation. The scale and scope of the project allowed the City to employ artists who had lost income due to COVID-19 in record numbers. The success of the project led many of the artists to receive additional commissions and other arts opportunities.
Friends of the Madison Arts Commission have created a fund that will be used to supplement the Madison Arts Commission's public art budget for art projects with an emphasis on racial equity and social justice. We look forward to using these funds to create artistic opportunities for artists of color in the City of Madison. Thank you for supporting this effort.
In 2016, the City of Madison’s Art Commission and Downtown Coordinating Committee authorized a pilot test to wrap four City owned utility boxes with artwork. In 2017/2018, over twenty more boxes were wrapped. Due to the positive public reaction to the program, the Madison Arts Commission, continued the program through a couple of rounds of invitations to artists. Currently, there are more than 30 boxes installed throughout the city.
Neighborhood demand for this program currently exceeds available resources. To help grow this popular program citywide, Friends of Madison Arts Commission is developing a program to Support a Utility Box Installation in your neighborhood.
In developing this program, the Madison Arts Commission intended this program to highlight, encourage and promote local artists by giving them exposure in the public realm. Artists are invited to submit images of their artwork for consideration. Artists will be compensated up to $400 for a license of each image used in the program. This project’s funds will be used to pay artists and cover the costs of installing the art on utility boxes.
More details about this project will be released in the next couple of months. We’re excited to be able to support and to continue this popular citywide program. Please click the button below if you'd like to contribute to this project.
Clean-up is underway after riots broke out the previous night in downtown Madison
Credit to Amber Arnold, State Journal