Public Art

RC Placemaking


RC Public Art is the City's new arts and culture program that establishes placemaking and public art projects across the city.  The first step in creating RC Public Art is the development of a placemaking and public art strategic plan.  The strategic plan is part of the new General Plan, and will help guide the process of selecting, commissioning, and integrating placemaking and public art projects across the city.  The strategic plan will identify public art types, locations, and programs that will serve to connect the past, celebrate the present, and innovate the future of our growing city through a diverse array of offerings.  At the core of the plan is CommUNITY, where our city is celebrated, engaged, and united through the arts.


Public Art is original works of temporary or permanent art designed and created by an artist or artist-led team that is placed in the public realm and visibly and/or physically accessible to all.

Public art lives in the public realm and it can take shape in many ways as longs as it remains free and accessible to the public.  At its very best, public art brings community together in specific places and provides a nexus of community pride in celebration of the unique and enduring qualities specific to a certain place and its people.

Artwork can be inspiring, provocative, contemplative, engaging, fun, interactive, and functional.  Public art should honor, uncover, amplify, and tell stories about the past; enrich, inform, and celebrate the present; and envision, activate, and innovate the future of a city, town, or region.

Public art occupies public places such as community centers, parks, streets, alley ways, trails, bus stops and transportation infrastructure, schools, as well as private developments that are accessible to the public for free.  Some of the most successful public art is located in unexpected places where community members may be surprised and delighted by seeing and experiencing their city through the transformative eyes of art and culture.  Most importantly, public art occupies the minds and hearts of the community it serves.

Creative Placemaking is the engagement of community members in diverse and unique partnerships with artists, makers, and culture bearers to design, develop, implement and shape a vibrant and inclusive CommUNITY through the arts and culture.

This definition for the City of Rancho Cucamonga is specific to our community and comes out of preliminary strategic planning meetings held throughout the Phase 1 engagement process. The definition is founded in the following principles as outlined by Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa Nicodemus for the National Endowment Art’s Mayors’ Institute on City Design:

“In creative placemaking, partners from public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, tribe, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.”

The City of Rancho Cucamonga seeks to weave these principles into the strategic plan with strong community input

Creative Placekeeping is the engagement of community members in diverse and unique partnerships with artists, makers and culture bearers to honor past and existing cultures, identities, histories, languages and customs in a specific community. At the core of Placekeeping is the celebration and amplification of unheard voices, cultures, customs, groups, places, environments, and processes that have been overlooked, erased, or are at risk of becoming diminished or homogenized by the dominant culture.

Placekeeping as the active care and maintenance of a place and its social fabric by the people who live and work there. It is not just preserving buildings but keeping the cultural memories associated with a locale alive, while supporting the ability of local people to maintain their way of life as they choose.” -US Department of Arts and Culture

In 2017, the City of Rancho Cucamonga adopted a resolution for the arts program.  The Creative Placemaking & Public Art Ordinance No. 912 2017 establishes milestone policy for both the City and private developers to fund and implement new public art projects as the City grows into the future.

To guide the implementation of the public art program, in 2018, the City appointed the Public Art Committee (PAC), to serve as an all-volunteer group of community professionals who advise the City Council regarding the selection, purchase, placement, and maintenance of art installed by the City on City property, and specific expenditures from the City of Rancho Cucamonga Public Art Trust Fund.

The PAC's recommendation to move forward with the development of a Creative Placemaking & Public Art Strategic Plan was approved in 2019.  The City retained the services of a local resident and multidisciplinary arts consultant Monica L. Mahoney, founding director of GEMINI Projects: Environmental Art, Design & Education, to facilitate the strategic planning process.  Ms. Mahoney is working closely with the City leadership team, the PAC, and a diverse community of stakeholders to develop the strategic plan.

We want to hear from you!  Community participation is essential for a comprehensive plan that brings public art to all residents of Rancho Cucamonga.  Stay tuned for ways to get involved and be sure to sign up here to join our email list.  We look forward to hearing your ideas and learning how you envision the arts becoming part of our community.

Links to Public Input coming soon...