Community Planning & Economic Development

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

Placing Art on City Property: Artistic Utility Boxes, 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.

2017 Public Art Permitting Process

Instructions and forms for the 2017 Public Art permitting process will be updated and available in March. This includes Utility Boxes, Paint the Pavement, Banners, Murals, Sculptures, and other Public Art Proposals. Listed below are the three cycle timelines along with important application deadlines for 2017.

Art Permit Timeline 2017

Cycle 1

Cycle 2

Cycle 3

Pre-Application Due

April 7

June 9

August 11

Confirmation of Eligible Site

April 21

June 23

August 25

Arts Commission Application Due

April 26

June 28

August 30

Public Art Advisory Panel Meeting

May 3

July 5

September 6

Arts Commission Meeting

May 17

July 19

September 20

Applicant Notified

May 18

July 20

September 21

Encroachment Permit Materials Due

May 19

July 21

September 22

Applicant Receives Permit

June 2

August 4

October 6

Earliest Start Date

June 3

August 5

October 7

Again, the instructions and forms will be updated and available in MARCH. We thank you for your patience, please keep these dates in mind as you begin to think about making the city beautiful!

You may Email Talia Moorman to be put on an email list to be notified when the instructions and forms are available.

Paint the Pavement Projects

Painted intersections (“Paint the Pavement”) projects are allowed on sidewalks and residential streets.

2016 Paint the Pavement cover



2016 Instruction and Deadlines for Paint the Pavement Projects (pdf)                     

2016 Forms and Sample Templates for Paint the Pavement Projects (doc)

Artist-Designed Utility Boxes

Most city-owned utility boxes operate traffic signals. There are two options for wrapping and painting city-owned boxes.

2016 Utility Box cover  



Minneapolis Arts Wraps is a quicker and easier option for wrapping utility boxes that provides 12 pre-approved designs created by local artists for groups to use.

2016 Instructions, Deadlines and Forms for Minneapolis Arts Wraps

2016 Utility Box Instructions_WEB

Custom Artist-Designed Utility Boxes: Neighborhoods and groups may also commission artists to do unique designs for utility boxes. There are three deadlines during 2015 for submitting these projects.

2016 Instructions and Deadlines for Wrapping or Painting Utility Boxes with Custom Artist Designs (pdf)

2016 Forms for Wrapping or Painting Utility Boxes with Custom Artist Designs (word doc)

All Other Public Art Proposals

The City also permits a variety of other public art projects such as artistic banners, bike racks, sculptural works, benches, waste containers, murals, mosaics, etc. These may be proposed for City property (a City-owned building or lot), or for the Right of Way.

2016 Public Art cover





2016 Instructions and Deadlines for All Other Projects (pdf)                                  

2016 Forms for All Other Projects (doc)

Property Owner: Before submitting an application, applicants need to determine whether desired locations are City property or within the right of way. Desired locations could also be on private property, Hennepin County property or on the property of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Projects proposed for the Midtown Greenway may be permitted by the City or County, but all are reviewed first by the Minneapolis Arts Commission.

Contact us early in your planning process: To find out whether your desired locations require City approval, which policies may affect your proposal, which review bodies need to be involved, and what the review timeline may be, contact the City’s Public Arts Administrator, Mary Altman.

Most applications are approved. One of the main purposes of the review process is to educate applicants about technical issues that need to be addressed in order for their projects to be successful. The Arts Commission and its Public Art Advisory Panel often make recommendations to the applicant for strengthening their projects, including ideas for:

Here is a list of helpful questions to consider in developing a public art project.

Placemaking Hub

Last updated Feb 1, 2017



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