(ABOVE: via City of Hoboken)
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla took the stage at last night’s inaugural Waterfront Arts Gala to sign an executive order declaring all city bond ordinances shall be drafted to include a provision dedicating one percent towards public art installations.
“Art is a fundamental part of improving quality of life, but it’s too often an afterthought,” said Bhalla. “My Administration is committed to not only keep public arts projects funded, but on the forefront of my agenda as Mayor. I’m also proud to say Hoboken is one of the first municipalities in our state to adopt a ‘percent for art’ policy, and I encourage other municipalities to also invest in the arts.”
The first project to be financed by the next bond ordinance is an interactive sculpture at Southwest Park. A community meeting on the sculpture will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 28 at the Southwest Park Terrance.
“The mayor’s art bond proclamation is certainly a giant leap for Hoboken’s arts community, and will be applauded by our residents and visitors alike,” says Al Barsky, of Barsky Gallery (49 Harrison Street). “I look forward to the day when our great little city is highly regarded for its’ world-class art and cultural initiatives.”
According to the City, the bonds’ contribution to local arts will be fairly significant. Based on 2017 figures, the City would have allocated nearly $200,000 towards the public arts trust.
The executive order was signed at the sold-out Waterfront Arts Gala, which brought in more than $15,000 for the Hoboken’s Cultural Affairs department, organized by Director Geri Fallo. The department does not receive funding from the city’s budget and relies on fundraisers, such as the Gala, to finance year-round cultural and arts events.