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Jacksonville City Council Approves More Than $400,000 For Public Art

The Jacksonville City Council has approved plans aimed at drawing businesses and visitors Downtown. Yesterday, the Council voted 16-to-1 to set aside $2.5 million for the Downtown Investment Authority. A large chunk of that money is for public art.

More than $400,000 for art in Jacksonville’s urban core is approved under the plan. As soon June, the first projects could spring up. The Cultural Council’s Art in Public Places Director, Christie Holechek, says the council is eyeing 18 city-owned utility boxes for decoration. Other plans include murals and sculptures.

"Using these projects, we can actually bring development, visual enhancement to the city at a pretty rapid level and a street-level engagement as well," she said. 

Holechek says the budget also accounts for live events around art installations. The projects will be seen as pilots that can eventually be expanded to other neighborhoods.

And for artists interested in applying for commissions, the council will soon hold workshops on preparing a portfolio.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP