Public Art Program

Since the birth of the NEON District in 2013, new murals and sculpture projects have multiplied, some through the City of Norfolk’s Public Art Commission and some through grassroots, community planning. The combination of these efforts makes for an inclusive, welcoming arts community in Norfolk. To encourage more successful implementation of public art projects in NEON, the Downtown Norfolk Council has created a Public Art Program, led by the NEON District Committee.

The Public Art Program is available to property owners, tenants or artists interested in undertaking professionally crafted artistic designs that enhance the street environment and bring life to the NEON District. The Public Art Program aims to reduce the material and design costs to working artists, and to provide additional and meaningful incentives to property owners and tenants. The program guidelines and requirements are here.

There are two facets to the Public Art Program:

  • Artists with a design for a NEON District location can apply for a micro-grant of up to $599 for costs associated with the artistic project, such as design fees or materials. Once an artist has secured permission from the property owner, applications and a letter of agreement (see example here) should be submitted to the NEON District Committee for review.
  • Property Owners and tenants within the NEON District boundaries may apply for a matching grant of the funds raised in support of a specific artistic project, up to $2,500.

The NEON District Committee accepts applications on a rolling basis. Artists and interested property owners can contact for a slate of potential projects.

Want to know how to get an edge on the competition for a public art call? Read one expert’s tips here.