Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans Announces Next Steps in Public Arts Initiatives

City of Rochester 

Press Release 

Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans Announces Next Steps in Public Arts Initiatives

(Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023) – Mayor Malik D. Evans was joined today by City officials and members of the City’s Arts and Creative Community Committee (AC3) to announce several opportunities for artists and other community members to engage in public arts initiatives.

Mayor Evans committed to investing in public art through the City’s Percent for the Arts Program early in his first year in office. His administration will set aside 1% of the total development costs of the City’s qualifying capital (infrastructure) projects to help fund public art in the community. For fiscal year (FY) 21-22, the City allocated $236,000, and for FY22-23, it has set aside another $236,000 for arts projects.

Today, the Mayor announced two Calls for Art for the Public Art Equity Project, which will use FY21-22 funds and be administered by two local partners:

Roc Arts United is administering a call for mosaic art to create at least two significant, site-specific, sculptural mosaic artworks that capture the contemporary spirit and memory of a neighborhood. The project, titled LOCUS : FOCUS, will “set in stone” tangible community connections to public spaces.

Aria Strategies LLC is administering a call for mural art under the theme My Rochester. The project will explore what Rochester means and has meant to artists and communities from different backgrounds and lived experiences.

For both components of the Public Art Equity Project, priority will be given to Rochester-area artists and community partners. Those interested in responding to the calls for art can learn more at

Next month, the City plans to announce a Call for Art for its ArtsBloom project, through which it will invest $100,000 for arts education, performance art, and/or temporary art. Also in March, a Request for Proposals (RFP) will be issued to help the City identify and contract with a qualified consultant to facilitate the process of developing an Arts & Culture Plan. Updates and details will be announced and will be posted on the City’s arts web page.

“A thriving Rochester includes a thriving arts sector and art that is accessible to all,” said Mayor Evans. “The City will continue to partner with local artists, bringing vitality and creativity to our community, and will also fulfill our commitment to making continued investments in public art.”

In addition to investing through its Percent for the Arts Program, the City of Rochester is also pursuing grants and funding from other sources. This week, Mayor Evans will submit the first portion of a grant proposal to the Bloomberg Public Arts Challenge. The City is pursuing up to $1 million in funding for a project it calls “Centering Youth: Acknowledging Trauma and Healing through Public Art."

The Bloomberg Public Art Challenge invites mayors and artists to submit proposals for innovative public art projects designed to address local challenges. The program was launched in 2014 to help mayors of cities with more than 30,000 residents to collaborate with artists and arts organizations to develop projects that enrich the quality of life in their cities.

While the first phase of the Bloomberg Philanthropies grant proposal is being reviewed, the City is preparing for the second round of the grant application by issuing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) this week to identify partner artists and arts-based and youth-based organizations that would work to implement the “Centering Youth” project should it be selected.

“The City of Rochester has a lot of exciting projects, all coming together at the same time,” said City Planning Manager Kevin Kelley, who coordinates City’s arts initiatives. “Rochester is blessed with a flourishing arts scene and so many gifted artists, we are confident that we will continue to find talented and willing partners to help us invigorate our city with amazing public art.”

The City encourages anyone interested in learning more about all of the different public arts activities and opportunities to visit its website – – for details and a full listing.


News Media: For more information, contact Communications Director Barbara Pierce at