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Tarpon Springs Beacon
Public Art Committee presents status report
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TARPON SPRINGS – The Tarpon Springs Public Art Committee looked both forward and backward during a presentation to the City Commission on July 15.

In the last fiscal year, the committee collaborated with the Plein Air Paint and Photo including a financial contribution and member involvement, created a marketing brochure distributed at the Chamber of Commerce, the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art and at Tarpon Springs events, donated artwork by local artist Joseph Weinzettle and dedicated the Sunburst Mural plaque at Craig Park and the AMA Tarpon Springs statue in Craig Park.

“It’s been a real honor to contribute to what has been a very successful number of years for the cultural arts department,” said Chairman Lynn Pierson.

As of June 16, the Public Art Fund balance sat just above $187,000. According to July’s presentation, the committee is predicting a total budget for Fiscal Year 2015 of $186,621, which would include about $86,000 in reserves for Fiscal Year 2016.

The first step, Pierson said, would be to begin a new search for public art and determine locations deemed possible to install bases for sculptures; such locations include the Tarpon Springs Public Library, the southwest corner of the Mother Meres parking lot, the North Safford Recreation Corridor, Craig Park and the sponge docks. Murals also will be considered at several other locations.

In early March, the Public Art Committee plans to hold a Mermaids & Manatees Festival celebrating the new AMA Mermaid in Craig Park. The festival will serve as the beginning of fundraising to keep the statue in Tarpon Springs, as well as an opportunity for the committee to share its message of the value of public art. Part of the projected budget also includes money for educational opportunities.

In 2015, the first review and update of the committee’s five-year plan will begin, and an inventory of all public art held by the city of Tarpon Springs will be conducted as dictated by the General guidelines.

Fiscal Year 2015 budget

Outreach: $2,000
Marketing and promotion: $5,000
Artists plaques: $500
Education: $5,000
Miscellaneous: $1,000
Public art projects: $86,560
FY 2016 reserves: $86,561
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