1.1 Why is the project being developed?

It is crucial that the aims and objectives for developing a project are discussed at the outset and agreed by the producer and key partners - i.e. 'what does the project set out to achieve and how does this relate to the proposed funding?' The emphasis on the core aims and objectives, and all associated supporting reasons, will depend on who initiates the project - self initiated artist project, arts organisation, developer or architect, local authority or agency, local community group.

The objectives may be split into different types - e.g. strategic and operational. In approaching agencies for funding to support the delivery of public art projects, importance should be attached to the clear definition of measurable objectives that relate to cultural, social and economic improvement - this list of highlighted 'benefits' can indicate how the project will succeed and have a wider community impact and therefore encourage funding. However, recognise the limitations of your project do not try and address too many objectives. Be ambitious, but realistic.

In relationship to this toolkit, the first guiding reason for developing a public art project should be - to promote the wider role that artists can undertake in a variety of social, environmental and collaborative contexts - to create 'accessible' art that cares about, challenges, and is in a genuine dialogue with the audience, respecting specific site and community.

Other issues that should be considered and highlighted in your project specific list are:

A better sense of identity and local uniqueness
Highlighting hidden historical or cultural issues
Creating an attraction or focus for the community and visitors
Creating a distinct environment
Improving the aesthetics and design of public space or amenities
Assisting orientation to the site
Improving residential or business opportunities for the area
Contributing to the sustainability of the local environment


Encouraging people to use a space
Increasing enjoyment and a sense of safety
Increasing social and psychological well being
Improving a sense of belonging and ownership
Engaging with the community and empowering people to contribute
Stimulating discussion and debate
Expressing a specific form of cultural identity or diversity
Creating education and training opportunities


Increasing access to the arts and artistic innovation
Supporting local artists and providing them with opportunities
Creating added value to a larger project
Attracting external investment/funding
Encouraging tourism and external visitors
Improving an areas social status and economic value
Improving an organisation's status
Challenging accepted conventions

(See Case studies, What is public art? And 4.1 Evaluation for further reference)