Public arts could be step toward uplifting civic pride, council agrees

Maricopa has hired Brandon LaVorgna as its new public-information officer. [Lee Shappell]

Maricopa City Council gave city staff approval to explore creating a public arts initiative that could yield physical displays and performance arts.

City Chief Financial Officer Matt Kozlowski noted many cities across the Valley also recognize the value of art in creating unique community identities.

“You name it, cities are engaging in all sorts of different ideas in this arena,” Kozlowski said. “The commissioning and/or purchasing of unique works for art allows for both residents and visitors alike to partake in the enjoyment of public art and helps to build and design cities with attractive and positive public images that create a sense of community pride and local civic involvement.”

In accordance with state statute, Kozlowski’s team identified a potential funding source through a percentage of the hotel tax the city collects. As the city grows and more hotels move to Maricopa, so, too, does the opportunity to support dedicated art projects.

“This is so exciting because we have an active, passionate art community in Maricopa of all ages, from our little ones up to our seniors who are engaged in arts,” Councilmember Amber Liermann said. “I see this as a sustainable support for the arts in our city and I’m super excited about this.”

Among detail for staff to work out is determining a method for artists to submit project proposals and present their ideas to the council for approval.