RA Will Support Public Art, But Not With Large Cash Infusion

Public art at Dogwood PoolReston Association will be giving the Initiative for Public Art Reston (IPAR) its support, a land use policy and in-kind donations.

It will not be giving the nonprofit a $65,000 donation, which the board discussed in March.

The RA Board of Directors voted at its regular monthly meeting last week to:

  • Direct staff to prepare for review by the Board of Directors no later
    than its regular meeting on July 28, 2016 a new Land Use policy resolution that delineates Reston Association’s commitment to public art and collaboration with IPAR.
  • Authorize the donation of in-kind support to IPAR’s operations in
    the form of administrative assistance (office/meeting space).
  • Direct staff to include as part of the Association’s Strategic Capital
    Planning process maintenance/reserve funding for the future installation and upkeep of public art on RA Common Area.

At its regular meeting on March 24, 2016, the Board of Directors considered a motion to increase Reston Association’s support of the Initiative for Public Art Reston in 2016 by allocating $65,000 from the Operating Cash Reserves to fulfill the Association’s obligation to uphold its design and planning foundation principle, “Commitment to the Arts.”

The motion was unanimously tabled until the May 26 board meeting. On Thursday, IPAR founder Joe Ritchey and Executive Director Anne Delaney gave the board an overview of IPAR’s projects and how it can have a impact on future development in Reston.

“Art is an asset,” said South Lakes Director Julie Bitzer, the RA Board’s liaison to IPAR. “We have never had a formal policy to maintain artist’s creations. We need to look at the future.”

The in-kind contributions will come in the form of administrative support such as office and meeting space for a total of about $6,000 annually, RA documents show.

At-Large director RA Wedell said he wanted to ensure that pledging support to IPAR was not an indirect way of giving them more monetary support.

“I think we can all agree that [the suggestion in March] was a total abomination,” he said. “With the budget situation the way it is now, IPAR does not need our money. RA’s budget and assessments are going to be very much in the public eye.”

Wedell was referring to last week’s revelation that the Lake House project is over budget and that RA will move $430,000 from its operating fund to shore up the deficit.

Bitzer assured him that RA’s budget for 2016 and 2017 are already set, so no large general and unexpected donations would go to IPAR. However, individual projects may be discussed as they are presented.

A currently donates $10,000 annually to IPAR.

The jump to $65,000 was presented by former At-Large Director Ken Knueven, who said that the donation fulfills Reston Association’s principle of “Commitment to the Arts.”

“Time is of the essence as IPAR will be setting its 2017 Budget in April 2016 and the Association’s current level of support ($10,000) in implementing the Reston Art Master Plan will not enable the Association to work with developers to select and commission artists to install public art on RA common areas and covenanted properties,” the March proposal said. “Additional annual funding is needed to provide the Association with adequate design management control and oversight of these public art projects.”

There are public art works planned for upcoming RA projects such as the Lake House, the Pony Barn and Hook Road Recreation area. Much of the money for those may end up coming from Friends of Reston and developer proffers.

Photo: Public art at RA’s Dogwood Pool

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