Community Planning & Economic Development

Public Arts Administration
105 5th Avenue South, Room 200
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Placing Art on City Property: Artistic Utility Boxes, Painted Intersections and Other Projects

Neighborhood organizations or other groups may apply to place artworks on City property or within the Right of Way. The policies related to these applications are outlined in the City's Public Art Policies and Procedures, for Gifts and Loans and Encroachment Permits, and in other City policies and ordinances on issues such as banner permits, signage, encroachment in the right of way, and special service districts. 

Application cycles for acquiring public art permits in 2019 are as listed below. Please refer to the 2018 instructions until updated versions are posted. You may use the current application packets found on the website for 2019.

2019 Deadlines Cycle 1      
(April -June)
Cycle 2
(June -August)
Cycle 3
(August - October)
Eligibility Request Due - 4:00 p.m. April 5 June 14 August 9
City Confirms Eligibility,
no later than
April 19 June 28 August 23
Minneapolis Arts Commission Application Due – 4:00 p.m. April 24 July 3 August 28
Public Art Advisory Panel Meeting –
Application Review
May 1 July 10 September 4
Minneapolis Arts Commission Meeting - Application Review May 15 July 17 September 18
City informs of Action taken to approve/ deny application, no later than May 17 July 19 September 20
Submit Encroachment Permit as early as
(if project was approved)
May 17 July 19 September 20
City Issues Encroachment Permit
(allow two-week processing time- dependent on when permit application was submitted)

May 31

August 2 October 4
Begin Installation
(You may begin installation of art the following day after the Permit has been issued)
June 1 August 3 October 5


How to start a public art project & helpful tools

Here is a list of helpful questions to consider while developing a public art project. Some other tips include:

  1. Contact us early in your planning process
    Find out whether your desired location requires City approval, which policies relate to your project, and the possible review timeline, contact Talia Moorman

  1. Determine the Property Owner at your desired location
    All art projects on City Property, in the Right of Way (streets and sidewalks), or on the Midtown greenway need to go through the public art permitting process.

    Helpful tools  

  2. Get Support from the Local Community
    Every project should be sponsored by or have the support of an appropriate neighborhood or community organization, and or special service district. Individual artists should reach out to local eligible organizations and find a sponsor, or find out if they are looking for artists for a project.

    Helpful tools:
      •  Letter of Support Example  
      •  Neighborhood Organizations  
      •  Special Service Districts

  1. Involve your community in the process
    This could include workshops with the community to develop the design, involving community members in creating aspects of the artwork, and/or informing community members via newsletter or social media. 

  1. Pick an Artist
    For every project, the City requires an artist be involved and that they be paid a fair stipend. It is also highly recommended that projects select artists through an open call. Artists may also reach out to community organizations for sponsorship, see "Get Support from the Local Community" above for more resources.

    Helpful tools: City Website for calls for artists 

  1. Choose the Materials
    Materials should be able to withstand Minnesota climate and be safe for children and members of the community if they are involved in creating the art.

    Helpful tools: Art Materials Business Guidance and Art and Craft Safety Guide

  1. Follow the application instructions in the appropriate guidelines (Utility Boxes, Paint the Pavement or Custom Projects) 

  1. Be aware of application deadlines!  

2018 Public Art Permits

There are three application cycles for 2018. Applications are accepted on a first come first serve basis. The City may limit the number of applications accepted during a single permit review cycle. Projects generally take two months for approval, please plan accordingly. Installation may not occur until permits are issued.

Custom Public Art Projects

The City permits a variety of temporary and permanent public art projects such as: artistic banners, bike racks, sculptural works, benches, waste containers, murals, mosaics, and much more.


Application forms

Helpful tools & examples

Minneapolis Art Wraps

Artist Designed Utility Boxes

Paint the Pavement

This permit allows artistic paintings on sidewalks and residential street intersections. Apply for these projects during the first two application cycles for the best results. The third application cycle is open, however be aware of the annual fall street sweeps.


Application forms

Helpful tools & examples

 For questions or assistance contact Talia Moorman, (612) 673-2149   


Last updated Jan 31, 2020



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