Part of the government’s Taking place-project

Art is happening is part of the government’s Taking place-project, an investment in cultural activities in housing areas with a low voter turnout. Responsibility for this government investment is shared by Public Art Agency Sweden and the Swedish Arts Council. The project will be based on the needs and desires of local residents and be characterised by participation by representatives from a wide range of organisations. One of the objectives is to increase efforts to promote culture and democracy in areas with low voter turnout in elections.

The work to produce new public art in these areas will take place over the next three years, 2016-2018. The total sum of the investment is SEK 26 million. Most of that funding will be used to produce art, for artistic work methods in urban planning projects and the development of methods for local participation. There will also be some scope for remuneration in projects where civil sector organisations take part.

Public Art Agency Sweden’s main task in this investment is to produce works of public art while the Swedish Arts Council’s main task is to allocate funding to initiators who apply for funding via the Swedish Arts Council.

What is art?

What art is varies greatly. Art can be a statue or an asphalt pattern. It can also be a social process or the design of an entire environment, such as a playground. Art can be sound or light, or a temporary total experience, as when an artist, for a limited time, transforms a common place into something unusual.

Why art?

Public art is present where people live their everyday lives; in parks and playgrounds, streets and squares, in residential environments and at workplaces. Thus, it is in a good position to involve people who use the site, not only as an audience but also as participants. Working with art can open unexpected perspectives and new ways of expressing desires and needs that would otherwise not receive attention. Art can help make the invisible visible and give a voice to those who are otherwise unheard.

15 Locations Proceed To Next Phase

On 4 October 2016, a decision was reached on where the Public Art Agency Sweden will continue its collaboration with representatives from local communities and local actors in the government initiative Art is Happening.