About Public Art for Public Schools

The New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) are committed to creating the best possible educational environment for New York City's school children. Public art is an integral component of that environment.

Founded in 1989, the mission of Public Art for Public Schools (PAPS), a unit of the New York City Department of Education and a program of the New York City School Construction Authority, in collaboration with the Percent for Art program of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, is to commission art for new buildings and protect and conserve all existing artworks.   To achieve that mission, PAPS oversees four programs: Percent for Art, Sites for Students, Conservation, and Adopt-an-Artwork.

Percent for Art

Working through the Department of Cultural Affairs, DOE and SCA provide direct commissions to artists for the independent creation of permanent artworks for new school buildings. For more information see our Art Collection or visit the Percent for Art Web site.   Interested artists can also download a Percent for Art registry application on that site.

Sites for Students

The Sites for Students program stresses art education as a component in the creation of permanent public art for new schools. Professional artists/art educators are commissioned to collaborate with students in the conceptualization and creation of projects for these buildings. By inviting students to work with professional artists in designing art for their schools, it is hoped that the artwork will have increased relevance for its immediate audience (and be less vulnerable to vandalism). Click here to download an application to the Sites for Students program and here you will find some answers to frequently asked questions.


Public Art for Public Schools manages a professional conservation program as the curator of a collection of over 1,300 objects dispersed throughout the school system. To assist in this process, PAPS periodically issues Requests for Proposals to conserve sculptures, painted and mosaic murals, paintings, or stained glass. If you would like to be considered for a Request for Proposal, send a letter of interest, three sample treatment reports, resume, and three references to: Grace Ramirez Gaston, Program Manager, Public Art for Public Schools, NYC School Construction Authority, 30-30 Thomson Avenue, L.I.C., NY 11101.


Public Art for Public Schools also oversees distribution of art donated to the NYC public schools or relocated from existing sites. If you are a school administrator interested in artworks for adoption, send an e-mail to Public Art for Public Schools.