Questions Over Public Art Funding At Jail


Jacob Resneck/KMXT

Funding for three public art projects will be made available early next year and the state’s arts council is accepting proposals from artists. But as KMXT’s Jacob Resneck reports, one of the largest projects on Kodiak Island has apparently not been participating in the state-mandated program: the city’s soon-to-be-completed police station and jail.

— (public art pkg) 3:04 "Andrea Noble … their proposals. I’m Jacob Resneck."

Andrea Noble is a program director at the Alaska State Council on the Arts. She explains that the funds come from a percentage of building projects that use state money to set aside funding for public arts projects.


In the Kodiak Island borough, more than $116,000 has been set aside for an arts project for Kodiak’s new swimming pool. Two village projects, gymnasium expansions in Old Harbor and Ouzinkie also raised about $13,000 each and the state arts council plans to fund public art installations there.

So now the school district is putting out requests for artists with proposals such as a mural or sculpture that would compliment the completed projects.


But by far the largest project underway on Kodiak Island is the new $23.7 million police station and jail. The city bonded for about $17 million though nearly $3.5 million came from the state. Cities are required by law to put aside one percent of the state’s contribution into a fund for public arts project for any projects that have a substantial public use.


Yet so far there’s no evidence that’s happened. Kodiak Police Chief T.C. Kamai says he has no knowledge of money being spent on anything other than completion of the police station and jail. City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski is in Juneau this week for a meeting of the Alaska Municipal League. Reached on her cell phone, she told KMXT she wasn’t aware of the requirement but pledged to look into the matter when she returns next week. Former city councilman Terry Haines said he also had no recollection of the subject being raised during planning sessions.

Meanwhile there has been rumbling among those in the local arts community, says Tom Quass the executive director of the Kodiak Arts Council. He says local artists have been wondering when the city would announce an R-F-P, that’s a request for proposal, for a public art installation paid for by the police station project.


The Kodiak Arts Council hasn’t taken any action. It’s yet to write any letters to the city. Quass says he’s not sure how the city will respond.


And for the pool project in Kodiak and the gym projects in Ouzinkie and Old Harbor, artists have until January 31 next year to submit their proposals.

I’m Jacob Resneck


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