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

by Karen Goff May 31, 2016 at 2:45 pm 20 Comments

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

  • Visionary

    …because they have to spend all of their cash to cover their fukups.

  • Greg

    Although this is a step in the right direction, RA office and meeting space is not free. The RA has too much of it and should not be giving it away. The RA should reduce its leased space and cut the assessment.

    Go get a corporate sponsor and get them to donate $250k. How about soliciting something from Bechtel (so we can put some lipstick on their ugly elevated silver line), Google, Leidos, Microsoft, Sprint and the rest of the very wealthy corporations who have presence or call Reston home.

    • Why do you bother?

      With the hellacious taxes and fees I pay, that meeting space better stay free!
      Totally agree about finding corporate sponsors for other projects, though. Anybody want to sponsor a half-million-dollar Lake House?

      • John Higgins

        Funny you should mention that. It wasn’t long ago that Comstock donated $650,000 for RA to use as is liked, with no strings attached. The money was there for public art, it just came in below the board’s priorities. If another corporation is feeling generous, I hope they have a supply of red ribbon to wrap around the donation.

        • OohLookShiny

          If I recall correctly that 650,000 was squandered on the Lake House. Add another 423,000 and some wtf we could have bought some museum quality art.

          If you had your choice, would you rather we bought the Lake House or funded some art?

          • John Higgins

            I see you got my point.

          • Ming the Merciless

            Is “none of the above” one of the choices?

        • Overrunhell

          Mr. Higgins, weren’t you the Reston Treaurer during the various efforts to redevelop the Lake House, going back to the early 2003 timeframe? I’m aware the property went through a few tries to be redeveloped by the owner at the time. I’m curious about your reactions to all of that while you advised the board and staff. I suspect you worked with a fiscal committee as well.

          • John Higgins

            Yes, I sat at the table from 1999 to 2015. If the previous owners of the Lake House ever discussed redevelopment or sale of the property with RA, that was not brought to the board. You are also correct about the fiscal committee, the treasurer is an ex officio member.

          • Overrunhell

            That’s interesting, as I remember reading about the infamous Save Lake Newport episode which preceded the Save Browns Chapel fiasco. I know RA was mentioned, as was the County. I was curious what the boards were thinking back then…

  • susie

    That is not art.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    I would be willing to take a dump on the doorstep of the Tetra building. We could call it Performance Art in Brown.

  • RoadApples

    Curious ?
    Don’t the lemmings of Reston: love free Public Art?

  • Visionary

    No cash because they’ve spent it all covering-up all their mistakes.

  • da Vinci’s grand grand gr son

    If it wasn’t for Public Funding Leonardo da Vinci would still be scribbling on his bedroom walls. Unless someone is lobbying for an ass tattoo I think we should sponsor it although in some cases even that is Justified. Amen, now fork some cash.

    • Mike M

      That is generally false. Da Vinci was mostly privately funded when he was getting started and after. Moreover, I have seen Da Vinci work. THIS stuff is no Da Vinci, capisce?

      • BB Gunner

        Hung over from the lake house much?

    • Why do you bother?

      I’m all for public funding of the arts. What I’m not about is raising already exorbitant taxes to purchase same – or dead buildings without any plan for rehabbing them.

  • 30yearsinreston

    Can the lake house be demolished
    It would save a lot of money

  • 30yearsinreston

    What cash reserves ?
    Give us a refund on our dues


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