Community Planning & Economic Development

Public Arts Administration
105 5th Avenue South, Room 200
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Placing Art on City Property: Artistic Utility Boxes, Painted Intersections and Other Projects

Neighborhood organizations or other groups may apply to place artworks on City property or within the Right of Way. The policies related to these applications are outlined in the City's Public Art Policies and Procedures, for Gifts and Loans and Encroachment Permits, and in other City policies and ordinances on issues such as banner permits, signage, encroachment in the right of way, and special service districts.

Application Cycle

Deadlines 2018

Cycle 1


Cycle 2


Cycle 3



Eligibility Request

April 13June 8August 10

Confirmation of Eligibility from City

April 20June 22August 24

Arts Commission Application

April 25June 27August 29

Public Art Advisory Panel Meeting

May 2July 11September 5

Minneapolis Arts Commission Meeting

May 16July 18September 19

Notification from City of Application Approval

May 18July 20September 21

Encroachment Permit Application

May 18*July 20*September 21*

City Issues Permit

June 1*August 3*October 5*

Begin Installation

June 2*August 4*October 6*

 * These dates indicate the earliest possible timeline for each application cycle. Encroachment permits are accepted on a rolling basis. Please be aware that it takes the City approximately two weeks to process and issue an Encroachment permit.



 How to Start a Public Art Project & helpful Tools

Here is a list of helpful questions to consider while developing a public art project. Some other tips include:

  1. Contact us early in your planning process

Find out whether your desired location requires City approval, which policies relate to your project, and the possible review timeline, contact Talia Moorman at [email protected].


  1. Determine the Property Owner at your desired location

All art projects on City Property, in the Right of Way (streets and sidewalks), or on the Midtown greenway need to go through the public art permitting process.

Helpful Tools:


  1. Get Support from the Local Community

Every project should be sponsored by or have the support of an appropriate neighborhood or community organization, and or special service district. Individual artists should reach out to local eligible organizations and find a sponsor, or find out if they are looking for artists for a project.

Helpful Tools:


  1. Involve your community in the process

This could include workshops with the community to develop the design, involving community members in creating aspects of the artwork, and/or informing community members via newsletter or social media.


  1. Pick an Artist

For every project, the City requires an artist be involved and that they be paid a fair stipend. It is also highly recommended that projects select artists through an open call. Artists may also reach out to community organizations for sponsorship, see "Get Support from the Local Community" above for more resources.

Helpful Tools:


  1. Choose the Materials

Materials should be able to withstand Minnesota climate and be safe for children and members of the community if they are involved in creating the art.

Helpful Tools:


  1. Follow the application instructions in the appropriate guidelines (Utility Boxes, Paint the Pavement or Custom Projects)


  1. Be aware of application deadlines!



2018 Public Art Permits

There are three application cycles for 2018. Applications are accepted on a first come first serve basis. The City may limit the number of applications accepted during a single permit review cycle. Projects generally take two months for approval, please plan accordingly. Installation may not occur until permits are issued.

Custom Public Art Projects

The City permits a variety of temporary and permanent public art projects such as: artistic banners, bike racks, sculptural works, benches, waste containers, murals, mosaics, and much more.


Application Forms:

Helpful Tools & Examples


Minneapolis Art Wraps

This permit is available year round for utility box wrapping using any of the twelve pre-approved designs


Application Forms:

Helpful Tools & Examples


Artist-Designed Utility Boxes

 This permit allows organizations to commission artists to create custom designs for utility boxes.


Application Forms:

Helpful Tools & Examples


Paint the Pavement

This permit allows artistic paintings on sidewalks and residential street intersections. Apply for these projects during the first two application cycles for the best results. The third application cycle is open, however be aware of the annual fall street sweeps.


Application Forms

Helpful Tools & Examples



For questions or assistance contact Talia Moorman: [email protected] 612.673.2149




Last updated Apr 9, 2018



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