What is the Association for Public Art?
In May 2012, the Board and membership of the Fairmount Park Art Association voted to change the name of the organization to the Association for Public Art.
Why change our name after 140 years?
The name Association for Public Art (aPA) more clearly communicates our long-established mission to commission, preserve, interpret, and promote public art in Philadelphia. When it was founded in 1872 by a group of civic-minded individuals as the first private nonprofit organization in the United States dedicated to placing art in public spaces, the Association’s initial purpose was to enhance Fairmount Park with sculpture. Its concerns grew beyond the park to the city as a whole, and the Charter was amended in 1906 to express an expanded purview; but the name of our organization was not changed to reflect this wider mission. The organization has continually evolved throughout its 140-year history, proactively responding to developments in civic life, urban planning, and artistic expression. Our new name was chosen to best reflect our work and to distinguish our organization from other local and national public art agencies.
Why this name?
Association for Public Art defines the spirit and work of our organization, and distinguishes the Association from other local and national public art agencies. It is a decisive and timeless change that will hold its relevance as the organization and public art evolve over the next hundred years.
The Association is a vital interpreter and central resource for information about public art in the region. As our projects capture attention near and far, forge new territories in public art and technology, and invite Philadelphia residents and visitors to engage with the city’s public art in new ways, it becomes increasingly important to communicate a definitive identity that states who we are and what we do.