In 1982 the Percent for Art law was put into place, ensuring the 1% of the budget for all capital projects for the city would be dedicated to the creation and inclusion of public art. The public schools have been one of those beneficiaries. Project images from this section as well as other Percent for Art work for students to look at and discuss. How have themes and ideas about public art in the school changed over time? What attitudes do people have about public art today? Discuss debates about the role of public art, and any public debates that relate to a specific work of art. Do students think that art is an important part of our built environment?
Students can research the history of government supported public art in New York City, and other cities as well: Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle, Phoenix, Houston, and St. Louis are all examples of cities with public art programs. Have students identify a work of art that has caused controversy or debate and have them develop an argument in support or not in support of the work of art. Students can conduct surveys and interviews to help support their own ideas and include them as part of their argument. Select two or three of the best essays to appear in the school newspaper.