Established in 1988 by the Palm Springs City Council, The Public Arts Commission consists of seven members, appointed by the Council, to serve at the pleasure of the Council.

Under the direction of the Department of Economic Development, the Commission’s purpose is to implement a visual Public Arts Program for the residents and visitors of Palm Springs; to add to the economic viability of the community; and to enhance the environment and unique character of Palm Springs by providing for the acquisition and maintenance of quality works of art.

The commission promotes the philosophy that the arts are critical to the quality of life and livability of a city. Research indicates that there is a strong link between support of the arts and a city’s economic viability. The long-term vitality and competitiveness of a city are strengthened by an investment in the arts.

The expression of art not only improves the aesthetics of a city but improves the perception of the city as a great place to live and work.

Funding for the Program comes from fees collected for new development and remodel projects. Should a developer choose not to include artwork as part of a project’s aesthetic treatment, a fee may be paid in lieu of artwork placement. The fee is calculated as a percentage of the building permit valuation – ¼% for residential (the first $100,000 for individual homes is exempt), and ½% for commercial. Hundreds of projects contribute to the fund each year, in varying amounts. As sufficient funds accumulate, projects are carefully considered to most effectively utilize these funds.