Model

Background

Cost

Advantages

Disadvantages

Independent commissioning trust

This is the model used to commission public art in Wellington.

The Wellington Sculpture Trust receives funding from the Wellington City Council (WCC) to commission public art works to be located on Council owned sites. Commissioning decisions are made independently of the WCC and supported by a panel of art experts. The Wellington Sculpture Trust works closely with WCC officers to select suitable sites and on the project management of installations. Once completed, all public artworks commissioned by the Trust are gifted back to Wellington City.

A similar independent trust model could operate in Dunedin. This Trust would work collaboratively with the Creative Dunedin Partnership (CDP) and Council Officers to develop and deliver on a long term commissioning plan for Dunedin. The Trust would receive grant funding from the Council as well as being able to fundraise from alternative sources for commissions.

Wellington Sculpture Trust reported total expenses of approximately $13k in 2014/15. In Dunedin these potential costs may be minimised with DCC administration support.

∑††† Commissioning decisions on new artworks are made at armís length from the political process.

∑††† An independent trust is able to actively fundraise to augment Council funding, and it is able to attain charitable trust status and receive grants and other donations for its projects.

∑††† Artistic decision making would be supported by an arts / community / iwi advisory panel.

∑††† As an organisation heavily reliant on Council funding, an independent trust is likely to work in the interests of the community.

∑††† Annual funding from Council is potentially more easily built up over a number of years in order to undertake a more ambitious or larger scale project.

∑†† The success of an independent trust will be determined by the skills, experience, and commitment of the trustees.

∑†† Trustees may be hard to find. There is much competition in Dunedin for people with fundraising and other relevant professional skills to serve on trusts and other fundraising entities.

 

In-house commissioning

Under this model a commissioning process would be undertaken by Council officers. There is sufficient expertise on staff in working with artists, commissioning arts projects which engage the public as well as delivering complex builds. Oversight of this process may rest with the Council or via the CEO. A comprehensive process of public engagement and communication would need to be part of this process to ensure transparency.

Incidental costs associated with in-house commissioning will likely be for administration or travel and could be absorbed by departments without requiring additional budget funding.†

∑††† This would provide a nimble and reflexive model and make use of the expertise on staff and community and art world networks Ė especially at the Art Gallery and in community development.

∑††† Potential for lack of public engagement with the process.

∑††† More difficult to raise funds from alternative sources.

∑††† Potential for projects to become stalled in political processes.

Commissioning Panel

Under this option, a Commissioning Panel comprised of experts from within Council and the community would be formed. This is essentially a return to the public art panel model that commissioned public art in Dunedin prior to 2012.

 

Budget for commissions would remain within Council but the commissioning process would be run by a panel of art, design, and heritage experts both from within Council and the wider community as well as representatives of local iwi.† For this model to be successful, it would be imperative that such a panel take a long term and ambitious view during decision making when selecting new commissions.

Incidental costs associated with supporting a commissioning panel will likely be for administration or travel and could be absorbed by departments without requiring additional budget funding.†

∑††† Provides a cohesive opportunity for council officers to work closely with external experts and community representatives.

∑††† More difficult to raise funds from alternative sources.

∑††† Potential for projects to become stalled in political processes.