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O’Fallon approves formation of a Cultural Arts Commission

By STEPHEN JOHNSON

O’Fallon residents can expect to see more art in public spaces as a result of the City Council establishing a Cultural Arts Commission at its Jan. 12 meeting.

The creation of the commission comes after a year of the city began gauging public opinion and collaborating with Via Partnership, a St. Louis-based public arts consulting group hired to design surveys and draft a plan for how to form the commission.

Councilmember Rose Mack [Ward 2], who sponsored the bill, said the main focus of the commission will be to make O’Fallon more attractive to businesses and more comfortable for residents.

“If we can draw people from outside of our city to come in and maybe have dinner here, or lunch, and get acquainted with our city, I think that’s a plus,” Mack said. “And that’s what I envision this doing.”

O’Fallon will not use any general revenue money to fund the Cultural Arts Commission, but the commission could receive up to 5 percent of O’Fallon’s transient guest tax, which visitors pay when they stay at hotels in the city. The commission will raise funds for projects through private sources, grants and sponsorship deals, all subject to council approval.

The Cultural Arts Commission will comprise five to eight commissioners, with at least five being O’Fallon residents. The council will make an effort to appoint commissioners from various wards in the city, and to give special consideration to candidates, including non-residents, with art expertise. Commissioners will not be compensated. The mayor will appoint commissioners with the advice and consent of the council for one- to three-year staggered terms.

Applications to serve on the commission can be obtained from City Clerk Pam Clement, or from the city’s website [www.ofallon.mo.us]. For more information, potential volunteers can call (636) 379-5555, or email pclement@ofallon.mo.us.

It remains to be seen what kind of art will be commissioned or acquired, or in which public spaces it will be installed.

“It all goes back to where we’re going to go with it,” Mack said. “What is the desire of the commission, and what is the desire of the public? That is going to drive those questions.”

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