Buffalo Arts Commission

Featured Public Art

McKinley Monument

McKinley Monument (1907)

michigan arch

Michigan Avenue Arch (2019)

Mission Statement

  • To act as a responsible steward in maintaining, growing, and curating the City of Buffalo's Public Art Collection in a manner that reflects the unique history and character of the city.
  • To work with the arts community and funders to help create a more vibrant and stimulating environment for all citizens, with an emphasis on artworks that honor the past, interpret the present, and inspire the future.
  • To promote the artistic life of the City neighborhoods, with particular attention to preserving and celebrating the diversity of cultures they represent. 
  • Where appropriate, work actively to be as inclusive as possible in seeking out regional artists and artists of color, and other minorities as candidates for future projects.
  • In collaboration with other local cultural organizations, be proactive in increasing community engagement and public participation in the City's artistic life.

Description of Services

Founded in 1980, the Buffalo Arts Commission is comprised of 15 volunteer members appointed by the Mayor (10) and Common Council President (5). It is the responsibility of the Commission to:

  • Submit to the Mayor and Common Council annual plans for the expenditure of funds commissioning new works of art in the city.
  • Advise the Mayor and Common Council concerning works of art to be acquired by the city, whether by purchase, gift or otherwise, together with their proposed location.
  • Recommend to the Mayor and Common Council suitable practices and procedures for the cataloging, care and maintenance of all works of art belonging to the city.
  • Make periodic reviews with the Mayor, at least annually, of all city capital improvement projects for the purpose of making recommendations on appropriations for works of art.
  • Submit annually a capital budget request based on plans for the conservation of city-owned works of art, plans for the commissioning of new works of art, and the Commission's review and recommendations of projects enhancing the general aesthetic appearance of city property.
  • Advise the Mayor and Common Council concerning the removal or relocation of any works of art presently owned by the City of Buffalo.
  • Advise the Mayor and Common Council concerning the acceptance or declination of works of art offered to the city.
  • Apply for and administer federal, state, and other grants, loans or appropriations for the Commission's acquisition or maintenance of works of art.
  • Assist the city in the formation of city ordinances and policies designed to promote, enhance and strengthen the arts in Buffalo.
  • Hold meetings open to the public to receive comments on Commission activities.
  • Promote the artistic life of city neighborhoods with particular attention paid to preserving and promoting cultural diversity.
  • Serve as official representatives of the Mayor at various arts and cultural functions.