The Power of Public Art in Montgomery County, Texas

Discover how public art has been a part of Montgomery County since 1974 and how it has been used to build and inspire communities. Learn about the 1% program for capital projects set aside for works of art and how it dates back to the late 1970s.

The Power of Public Art in Montgomery County, Texas

Public art has been a part of Montgomery County, Texas since 1974, when developers began offering it as a service in exchange for greater density as part of the Zoning Ordinance's optional methods standards. The county's Public Arts Trust works to build and inspire communities through the creation of places and to encourage artists dedicated to public art. In 1983, the county adopted a program that required 1% of certain capital projects to be set aside for the acquisition and commissioning of works of art. This program dates back to the late 1970s, when County Councilman William Hanna, former mayor of Rockville, established a county-wide program that funded art as a percentage of capital projects.

Creating public artworks is an option under Montgomery County's urban review process when applications are submitted in downtown and transit areas. Four commissioners, chosen from a quarter of the county's population, serve on the commissioner's court along with the county judge. The Public Art Coordinator is available to answer any specific questions about public art in Montgomery County. The Heard Museum of Natural Science's & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney, Texas offers natural science programs for children ages 3 to 13. Students in grades seven through twelve can choose à la carte in core and elective classes to best meet their needs and time constraints.

The summer offers weekly workshops in many different areas, such as construction, artist discovery, theater arts, and many more. A leader in the nonprofit arts and culture sector, he has held executive positions at the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, the Smithsonian Institute and the Recording Industry Association of the United States. He has his Texas Superintendent certification and his mission is to provide a consent-based educational experience so that students and parents can participate. Significant works of public art have been installed in Silver Spring, Bethesda, White Flint and Wheaton.

If you are interested in learning more about what type of feedback and critiques are offered to members of an art group in Montgomery County, Texas, contact the Public Art Coordinator for more information.