The Downtown St. Louis Public Art Plan advances the vision that public art will support building a dense, inclusive, and culturally vibrant downtown that is a vital anchor to the St. Louis region. Via led this planning process, which grew out of conversations between the Regional Arts Commission, Downtown St. Louis, Inc, and Explore St. Louis about how public art can be a critical tool in the ongoing transformation and resurgence of Downtown. The plan includes a shared vision, set of priorities, and practical strategies built by engaging with and gathering the creative ideas of Downtown residents, workers, visitors, civic organizations, cultural and arts organizations, developers, and businesses. With so many players invested in public art Downtown it was important for Via to facilitate regular meetings of a Downtown Public Art Plan Advisory Committee, in addition to developing online surveys, conducting interviews, and running an interactive hands-on workshop for artists and community stakeholders.
Since the plan’s completion and acceptance, we have continued working with multiple partners to initiate public art projects in Downtown St. Louis, including siting In Search of Truth by Cause Collective at three locations in Downtown over three days in 2019. We also worked with Downtown stakeholders to commission a mural at an entrance to Downtown and to produce InSITE STL, an exhibition of four temporary, site-responsive projects throughout the core of Downtown St. Louis. These projects were designed to achieve the plan’s key goals by encouraging exploration and showcasing Downtown as a place of creativity and possibility.