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READER WONDERS: Why did art commission for Short Street garage come up short?

1% of $9 million is $90,000 -- not $47,000

COLUMBIA, 1/12/12  (Beat Byte) --  New Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs manager Chris Stevens has answered a Columbia Heart Beat reader inquiry about the Public Art commission for the Short Street garage. 
 
Why is the 1% for art commission only $47,000, our reader -- who asked to remain unidentified -- wondered?   The project is estimated to cost $9,000,000.  One percent of nine million is $90,000.  "Why is the squeeze being put on a project that connects with our only arts district?" 
 
Mr. Stevens responds:   Thanks for the note.  I appreciate you asking.  Here is what I know (although keep in mind I am in my second week).

The total project cost has not yet been determined.  In addition, we do not take land costs into consideration when calculating the budget for the art element.  
 
Because of the short timing of the project and us needing to get the process started, we had to go with the number we were sure of which was $7 million and makes the project cost $70,000.

Out of that $70,000 comes a variety of costs. Here is a breakdown:

$7,000 for lifetime maintenance of the artwork

$3,500 for administration fees (this goes to expenses for advertising the call, the public, any materials associated with the process of brining in the artists and the public opinion portion of the project)

$6,000 contingency (here we are engaging in best practices, as you know things have a tendency to cost more than you think, this also covers any surprise expenses that may arise during the project)

$500 for travel to get the three finalists here to be interviewed by the committee

$6,000 honorarium, as you probably know, this time around we are asking the three finalists to prepare a design proposal specifically for the garage

When you add all of these up you are left with the $47,000 award to the artist (plus they also receive a $2,000 honorarium).

I hope this helps clarify where we came up with the commission for the artist.
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