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Initiated in 2006, the Urban Art Program seeks to promote a diverse and stimulating cultural environment to enrich the quality of life for residents and visitors. The Program encourages the creative interaction of artists, developers, designers, city officials and community members during the design of development projects, in order to develop public art that is meaningful to the site and to the community. The Program anticipates a diverse range of art experiences throughout the city’s commercial districts, enlivening the public space available during the everyday routines of walking to work, eating at a sidewalk café, or shopping. The Urban Art Program was initiated in 2006 with the adoption of the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP). On December 14, 2010, Glendale City Council adopted ordinances to expand the program city-wide. 


What You Need to Know

Projects that are subject to the Urban Art Program:

The Program applies to new buildings and structures, or to the alteration or repair of buildings or structures valued at $500,000 or more as determined by the Building Official. Projects located in the commercial and mixed-use zones (specifically the DSP, IMU, IMU-R, SFMU, C1, C2, C3, CR, and CPD zoning districts) are subject to the Program. The requirement does not apply to Industrial or Residential zones. Development applications which have not received a building permit prior to January 14, 2010 shall be subject to the rules and regulations of this ordinance.


The Program provides the option to install the art on-site, or to make an in-lieu payment:

  • On-site art equals 2 percent (2%) of the project value, or

  • In-lieu payment equals 1 percent (1%) of the project value.

History of the Plan

2013/2015 Cultural Arts Plan

The two-year work plan outlines the guiding projects, priorities and policies, General Fund budget, and Urban Art Fund appropriations for the Arts & Culture Commission.  The work plan was approved by City Council in September 2013 and the Commission is actively implementing a variety of projects and programs.  Read the 2013/2015 Cultural Arts Plan HERE

August 14, 2018

The Glendale City Council unanimously approved the Urban Art Program Plan at its meeting. The Plan will be used to inform future Work Plans and activities. The Urban Art Program Plan will:

  • Provide a plan for the careful and responsible management of the Urban Art Fund.

  • Provide project options as the Arts and Culture Commission develops Work Plans over the next ten years.

  • Provide a long-term vision for the development of an arts program that will establish Glendale as an arts destination.

  • Integrate into the City’s planning and design processes to provide maximum benefit to the City.

See a map of the Urban Art Program Plan that was used when creating the plan HERE

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