Meridith McKinley


Meridith McKinley brings her significant expertise in strategic planning, fundraising, budgeting, and community engagement to Via’s many public art planning projects. Meridith has managed many high-profile public art projects in Missouri, Texas and Virginia, has successfully secured funding for public art and related education programs, and has co-led and authored public art plans for communities throughout North America. Examples include:


  • In 2004, Via was retained by the City of Frisco, Texas to develop a comprehensive Public Art Master Plan to guide the implementation of its recently adopted 2% for art ordinance. Working with City staff and a citizen public art committee, Via developed a plan that provides procedures for commissioning and acquiring works of art and a five-year work plan. McKinley was the project manager for the planning process.  Via continued to work with the City through 2007 to manage the commissioning of 20 works of art valued at over $2.6 million.


  • In Pinellas County, McKinley, in collaboration with urban planner Todd W. Bressi, developed a public art master plan that charted a new generation of artworks sensitively integrated into delicate coastal environments and civic infrastructure.  McKinley organized the stakeholder outreach as part of the planning process, worked with Bressi to frame public art opportunities, and authored recommendations in the plan related to modifying the program’s commissioning processes.


  • In Reston, Va., McKinley again collaborated with Bressi to developed amaster planfor the
    Initiative for Public Art Reston.  The Plan re-interprets the community’s historic tradition of
    incorporating artworks into the earliest stages of planning, recommending projects and initiatives
    with contemporary resonance.


  • McKinley worked with the City of Vancouver to commission six permanent and temporary public artworks, to be unveiled during the 2010 Olympic Games. McKinley is leading a team that includes Vancouver-based curator Karen Henry and urban planner Joost Bakker from Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden to plan for and commission the work.  The program, titled “Mapping + Marking” grew out of a recommendation made in the public art program review conducted by McKinley and Bressi in 2007 to create opportunities for artists to initiate public art projects.


Prior to Via, McKinley worked as a project consultant for Metro Arts in Transit in St. Louis, where she worked on the Delmar MetroLink Station Enhancement Project, the Forest Park MetroLink Transit-Oriented Development Study and served as editor for MetroLink Communities, a development resource guidebook.


McKinley is active in numerous civic organizations in St. Louis.  She is a past board president of St. Louis ArtWorks and currently serves as program committee chair. In 1998 she was elected to the board of Metropolis St. Louis, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to attract and retain young people in the City of St. Louis, and helped to secure Danforth Foundation funding for Metropolis’ leadership development initiatives.  She has served allocation committees for the United Way of Greater St. Louis and served on the board of the Coro-St. Louis Leadership Center from 1998 to 2004.


Meridith is an alumna of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs. She received a Bachelor of Arts with honors from the University of Iowa.