Truckee makes first budget commitment to public art, dedicating $25K

Hannah Jones
Truckee is in the process of creating a commission to help bring more public art to Truckee.
Hannah Jones/

Truckee is working on a committee to oversee the installation of public art around town.

The group may have five to seven members and consist of a public art expert, representatives for youth and the visual arts, and community members interested in public art. The group will keep track of public art, develop an annual work plan and find potential sites for public art.

“We wanted to make sure it was something that was relatively manageable and didn’t require too many resources to run, but did the job of getting a community voice that was consistent on public art,” said Town Manager Jeff Loux.

Moving forward with a committee will require more staff involvement and pressure to dedicate more than the initial $25,000, Loux said.

The town hosted a community workshop in June 2018 to examine the structure and goal of a Public Art Master Plan. Participants shared a desire to support art organizations and local artists of all types, including permanent and temporary installations as well as live performance spaces. Some also noted that the art should respect the history of the town. A draft plan was produced in March.

In July, Truckee adopted a Public Art Master Plan that defines what public art is, potential art locations and how it will be funded. The plan dedicates $25,000 to public art in the town’s 2019-2020 budget, the first time the town has made a budget commitment to art.

“There’s been tremendous community interest in it for many years,” said Loux.

Several pieces of public art already exist around town, including unique bike rack designs downtown created through the Truckee Public Arts Commission’s Art Bike Rack Project. Other art projects can be seen placed in the center of roundabouts such as the “Mountain Flowers” sculpture which stands 16 to 18 feet high in the roundabout across from the Truckee Donner Community Center.

Two years ago Truckee became one of 14 designated Cultural Districts in California, following the creation of the Truckee Arts Alliance in 2015. According to the organization’s website, a cultural district is a “well defined geographic area with a high concentration of cultural resources and activities.” To receive the designation, the town had to go through an extensive process of identifying and mapping art, historical and event assets in Truckee.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or

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