City and County of San FranciscoSan Francisco Arts Commission


Date: November 27, 2002
To: The Honorable Members of the Visual Arts Committee
From: Judy Moran, Project Manager, Public Arts Program
Re: Art on Market Street

The Arts Commission is exploring the reactivation of the Market Street Art in Transit Temporary Projects Program in 2003. This program, which commissioned a wide range of temporary projects, including dance, performance, installations, and music concerts, was active from 1992 until 1998. This popular program sponsored dancers on the face of the Ferry Building, banners at United Nations Plaza, a puppet theatre, slide projections of people waving to be viewed by passengers riding on the Muni Metro, a temporary urban apple orchard, and a book of historic photographs and text about Market Street, among numerous other imaginative events. The Temporary Projects program was an important promotional asset for the Arts Commission as the events were typically covered by the media.

Proposed Art on Market Street --Temporary Projects program

Staff has the following recommendations for reactivating the Temporary Projects program:

1. Name change: Staff is proposing changing the name of the program to Art on Market Street for both the Temporary Projects and the Kiosk Poster Series as the current program is no longer focussed on transit.

2. Commissions: Staff is proposing commissioning between two to three temporary projects per year, in the late Spring to early Fall, to avoid rainy weather. The project amounts will range between $5,000 to $25,000, allowing for a diverse program of activities that vary in scope. The total maximum budget annually for all temporary projects will be $35,000.

3. Application process: As with the Kiosk Poster Series, the Temporary Projects will be an annual competitive process, with applications reviewed by a peer panel of artists and art professionals. The projects would be restricted to Bay Area artists.

History of the Temporary Project Program

Public Utilities Commission (PUC) funds, generated by the reconstruction of mid-Market Street in 1991, combined with funds from Gannett, funded the Market Street Art in Transit Program program, which included six to eight Temporary Projects and five exhibitions in the Kiosk Poster Series annually. By 1998, the original PUC funds had been reduced to a level at which the budget was insufficient for supporting the continuation of the original scope of the Temporary Projects. Fortunately, the Kiosk Poster Series has been able to continue due to the ongoing annual donation of Gannett funds.

Over the past five years, the Arts Commission has accumulated an annual surplus of the Gannett funds, which, combined with the remaining amount of PUC funds, is sufficient to permit the Arts Commission to reactivate the Market Street Temporary Projects program for the near future on a modest scale.

The Arts Commission staff looks forward to bringing this innovative program back to Market Street.