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Fargo city leaders OK public art plan

Scenes from the North of Normal Frostival Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Snow mural painting at the Depot in downtown Fargo. A giant block of snow was the canvas for creative artists with squirt bottles filled with colored water.Dave Wallis / The Forum

FARGO — City commissioners have approved a plan to encourage public art throughout the city that includes incentives for developers to beautify their buildings.

The vote Monday, Dec. 18, was 4-1 with the dissenter, Commissioner Tony Gehrig, saying he agrees with many things in the plan though not everything.

Commissioner Dave Piepkorn said he's excited by the ideas in the plan for getting more public art without a lot of additional cost to the city. He said he's beginning to see the potential for beautification in every stormwater retention pond he lays eyes on.

Gehrig said he likes ideas for removing red tape to make it easier for event organizers but is not fond of using city tax dollars for parks, which is the function of the Park District. He said he doesn't want to "approve" of a document that he doesn't fully agree with.

Planning Administrator Nicole Crutchfield said approving the Public Art Master Plan is endorsing a vision and giving staff and the public confidence to pursue ideas in it. The commission would still have to approve funding for individual projects, she said.

The plan emerged from the Go 2030 comprehensive plan that the city had worked on several years ago with a lot of public input. A copy of the draft Public Art Master Plan is available at

Tu-Uyen Tran
Tran is an enterprise reporter with the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began his newspaper career in 1999 as a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald, now owned by Forum Communications. He began working for the Forum in September 2014. Tran grew up in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington.
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