Established in 1988 by the Palm Springs City Council, the Public Arts Commission consists of seven members appointed by the Council to provide recommendations on procurement and placement of public art.

Under the direction of the Department of Community & Economic Development, the Commission’s purpose is to provide recommendations to the City Council on public art; to add to the economic vitality 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.

The goal of the Public Arts Commission of the City of Palm Springs is to engage our community in our public art collection, create a dialogue on the importance of public art and to determine a vision for the next years of stewardship for public arts in Palm Springs.


The Palm Springs Public Arts Commission is dedicated to the cultural enrichment of our civic environment in its role as an advocate for the arts in the City of Palm Springs. To strengthen the role of the arts and culture in city government, the Public Arts Commission supports and develops arts and cultural programs that encourage community participation, visitor attraction, economic development, and cultural partnerships in order to grow the identity of Palm Springs as an innovative and creative community. Click Here for a direct link to more information.


Funding for the Public Arts Program comes from fees collected for new development and remodel projects. Public Art Funds may be used for projects on public or private property subject to City Council approval.  Developers who wish to install art-in-lieu-of-fees should refer to the guidelines below. In addition, there are separate guidelines for Murals.

Helpful Links:

Developer Information
Art Mural Application
Art Mural Ordinance

For more information, contact Jay Virata, Director of Community & Economic Development.