Hoboken, NJ - Tuesday, June 26th, 2018
In a surprise announcement at the Waterfront Arts Gala on Monday evening, Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla signed an executive order to help fund public art installations throughout the city.
The order declares that all city bond ordinances shall be drafted to include a provision dedicating one percent towards public art installations. This is meant to revitalize neighborhoods, promote economic prosperity, and improve the physical and psychological well-being of residents.
“Art is a fundamental part of improving quality of life, but it’s too often an afterthought,” said Bhalla. “My Administration is committed to not only keep public arts projects funded, but on the forefront of my agenda as Mayor. I’m also proud to say Hoboken is one of the first municipalities in our state to adopt a ‘percent for art’ policy, and I encourage other municipalities to also invest in the arts.”
The first implementation of the order will be an interactive sculpture at Southwest Park, which will be financed by the next bond ordinance. A community meeting on the sculpture will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 28 at the Southwest Park Terrace.
Based on the amount the City bonds on an annual basis, the effect is significant. For context, had this executive order been in place in 2017, the City would have allocated nearly $200,000 towards the public arts trust.
The executive order was signed during the inaugural Waterfront Arts Gala, which raised funds for Hoboken’s Cultural Affairs department. The brand-new event was a stellar success thanks to organizing by Cultural Affairs Administrator Geri Fallo. Ticket sales and donations from the sold-out event brought in more than $15,000 for the Cultural Affairs department. The department does not receive funding from the city’s budget and relies on fundraisers, such as the Gala, to finance year-round cultural and arts events.