February 5, 2003

At its February meeting, the Chicago Transit Board authorized an agreement with the City of Chicago that will incorporate public art into the reconstruction of the Cermak (Douglas) Branch of the Blue Line.

The CTA will partner with the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs to administer the solicitation, selection, design, creation and installation of public art for the eight stations currently undergoing reconstruction.

"Art enhancements help to foster a sense of ownership and identity within each station and the surrounding community," said Valerie B. Jarrett, Chairman. "Incorporating art into the reconstruction project makes the station more attractive and lively, and can help to deter vandalism."

The CTA has included $1 million in its construction budget for the Cermak (Douglas) rehabilitation project for the creation of artwork to be incorporated into the stationhouses, entrances and platforms. Today's Board action authorizes up to $800,000 to be allocated for art procurement and installation and up to $200,000 to be allocated for administrative expenses by the city's Public Arts Program.

"Part of our vision for the reconstruction was not only to improve the functionality of the Blue Line but the form as well, and this program will help us achieve that vision," added CTA President Frank Kruesi. ?This partnership with the city allows us to tap into the knowledge and experience of the staff of the Public Arts Program as they have established a successful model on how to manage this type of project."

The CTA will make the final selection of artwork projects and have ownership rights to all artwork created under this program. As part of this project, the city will establish a project advisory panel made up of city, CTA and community representatives to serve as advisors.

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