Metro Nashville is interested in supporting artistic and cultural activation throughout the city.

Metro allows artists or organizations who are working with a professional artist(s) to install artworks in the Metro Right of Way. Artworks, with prior approval and appropriate agreement, may include signal box covers, sidewalks, retaining walls, or other locations deemed appropriate by Metro.

An agreement, appropriate permits and final artwork design must be approved in writing before installation begins. Metro shall also have the final determination on where artwork can be located.

Artwork Criteria

Artworks in right-of-way will not be approved, if the artwork design violates any of the following:

  • Artwork is not allowed to contain inappropriate or offensive images or words.
  • Artworks that convey messages appearing to advertise or promote a commercial entity (corporation or for-profit business) will not be accepted.
  • If the artwork promotes an organization or non-profit entity, a sign permit may be required.
  • Images that create a driver distraction or could be confused with traffic control devices will not be accepted.

In addition to the Artwork in the right-of-way agreement, applicants will be required to obtain a permit for any activity occurring in the right-of-way. This may include temporary sidewalk or traffic lane closures.

Physical structures (sculptures or objects) planned to be located in the right-of-way will require an encroachment permit. Encroachment permits must be approved by the Metropolitan Council. An artwork with a below ground foundation also requires an excavation permit.

Details and requirements related to permits. (General Liability insurance is a requirement of the ROW permit)

Applicant must notify, in writing, any abutting property owners (street, road, alley or right-of-way or fee owner of easement) and the district member of council representing the area of such artwork before Metro approval and agreement may be executed. Documentation of such communications may be required.

Installation, Safety and Maintenance Requirements

  • By approval of an Artwork in the Right of Way, Metro does not accept ownership of said artwork nor any responsibility for future maintenance. Any on-site liability of the artwork or installation of artwork is assumed by the applicant/artist.
  • No artwork can obstruct or cause American with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations in the right-of-way.
  • Any art placed on a sidewalk must be made of an anti-skid resistant material. The material must comply with the American with Disabilities Act.
  • All artwork materials used should be designed for use on the particular surface to be painted (or adhered to). Metro reserves the right to review and approve any materials.
  • The applicant shall clean and prime surfaces prior to the application of materials unless this requirement is waived in the agreement.
  • Paint and other materials shall be applied according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Vinyl wraps must be professionally installed.
  • Ventilation channels on utility boxes shall not be covered with paint or other materials.
  • Anti-graffiti coatings are encouraged. Removal of graffiti often results in the removal of the anti-graffiti coating as well so it may need to be reapplied.
  • If artwork is tagged with graffiti or damaged within the time period approved in the Artwork in Right of Way agreement, Metro will contact the applicant to repair. The applicant has 3 days from notification to abate graffiti and 30 days from notification to repair any other damage. If graffiti is not removed within 3 days, Metro reserves the right to paint over the portion of the artwork where the graffiti is located.
  • Metro reserves the right to remove or cover any artwork if it is determined to be a safety hazard, is too large, interferes with the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, creates a maintenance problem, interferes with public service or other activities in adjacent areas or is otherwise inappropriate for the space.
  • If the Metro-owned property including utility boxes, retaining walls, sidewalk, etc. needs to be repaired or replaced -in part or whole – while the artwork is in place, there is no obligation on the part of Metro to replace, repair or reinstall the artwork. However, the applicant will be given notice so that the artwork can be removed or relocated – should that be possible.

Procedure

  1. Applicant/artist submits application form, plus attachments to Metro Arts.
  2. Metro Arts reviews in collaboration with Metro Public Works.
  3. Both teams make a joint recommendation for approval or disapproval.
  4. If approved, applicant/artist to install artwork must submit signed agreement form and obtain any other required permits.

The Metro Arts Commission is teaming up with the Juvenile Justice Center to identify possible arts interventions for youth in crisis. Thus far, we have recognized a need to map the arts happenings and programming within our already existing network of artists and arts organizations. Metro Arts and Juvenile Court needs to map the arts programming for two reasons: 1. To build a referral list of currently available programming in various neighborhoods that may divert youth and children toward a restorative path. 2. To identify gaps in programming so that Metro Arts, Oasis, JJC, artists and arts organizations can help to create additional tools for children and families in crisis.


The Metro Arts Commission is teaming up with the Juvenile Justice Center to identify possible arts interventions for youth in crisis. Thus far, we have recognized a need to map the arts happenings and programming within our already existing network of artists and arts organizations. Metro Arts and Juvenile Court needs to map the arts programming for two reasons: 1. To build a referral list of currently available programming in various neighborhoods that may divert youth and children toward a restorative path. 2. To identify gaps in programming so that Metro Arts, Oasis, JJC, artists and arts organizations can help to create additional tools for children and families in crisis.


Grant Review Panelist: Metro Arts seeks volunteers to serve as grant application reviewers. No experience required. We provide sufficient orientation so all panelists may serve confidently. Panelists review all submitted application materials online, attend required orientation and review meetings, and score each grant application. Scores are averaged and used to help Metro Arts determine grant awards.

Public Art Selection Panelist: A public art Selection Panel is comprised of artists, community and business representatives, architects, landscape architects and other design professionals and Metro representatives. This panel reviews submissions for a public art project and makes recommendations to the Public Art Committee.


Metro Arts strives to form selection panels that are diverse and appropriate to the specific project or program. Though voluntary, the demographic data and resume upload included in this form will assist Metro Arts in accomplishing this goal.

Metro Arts looks for individuals who are thoughtful, willing to listen to others' opinions and are able to represent a specific viewpoint that is relevant to the public art project. Self nominations are welcome.

Panelist Eligibility Criteria:

Every Metro Arts panelist must work or live in Davidson County, have a keen interest in the arts (as an artist, participant, audience member, donor, educator, etc.), and must not be an employee of Metro government (including Metro Nashville Public Schools) or any applicant organization. All panelists must declare real or perceived conflicts of interests in advance.

When Metro Arts assembles a review panel, we:

1.    seek to achieve diversity among panelists in age, race/cultural identity, council district residency, physical abilities, personal and professional interests, expertise, etc.;

2.    trust all panelists to honestly declare all applicant-related real or perceived conflicts as soon as they become aware that a conflict exists;

3.    expect all panelists to take the review process seriously and honor their commitment to serve as instructed;

4.    recruit panel members who truly care about the arts in our community, as non-artists or artists.


Please understand that not all recommendations will be used.

Thank you!

Metro recently adopted an ordinance and guidelines for the purpose of evaluating potential donated artworks. This policy plans for the fact that there are limited suitable sites on public property for placement of donated artworks and limited public funds for maintenance and conservation of donated artworks. Each artwork will be evaluated by the Public Art Committee and the Metro Arts Commission in addition to the Metro Department accepting the donation.

In order for Metro to evaluate donations, donors are required to provide information about the artwork donation via Submittable. You may also download the donor checklist/worksheet to assist in the process of gathering information about your artwork.

***PLEASE NOTE** Donations of artwork that require the city to pay for costs such as installation, transportation, site preparation or repair are not encouraged. Artwork requiring high or excessive maintenance may be declined.

Ordinance No. BL2015-1277 "D. Unless the metropolitan council has appropriated funding specifically for the installation and maintenance costs for the donated artwork, a donor’s proposal shall include funding adequate to cover all costs for the design, fabrication, insurance, transportation, storage, installation, and maintenance of the proposed artwork for a period of ten years from the date of acceptance, plus contingency funds for reasonable unforeseen circumstances."