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13 State of Practice of Airport Arts Programs 2.1 Airport Arts Program Vision and Mission Statements Most of the airports studied for this synthesis articulate multiple vision and mission stateÂ ments for their rotating visual arts programs. Because those statements can vary widely, analyzing the frequency with which such statements appear can be helpful in understanding the intended focus and purposes of the programs. Table 2 and Figure 2 rank the frequency with which the studied airports articulate specific vision and mission statements for their airport arts programs. The case example airports articulate no fewer than 15 separate statements of their visions and missions that range from presenting a sense of place and local culture (first in frequency) to providing the joy, delight, and inspiration of experiencing the arts (tied for last). In the middle are such mission objectives as enhancing airport aesthetics (such as the area at SFO in Photo 6), relieving passenger stress, and meeting industry standards for airport arts programs. These vision and mission statements are generally found in policy statements, in written guidelines, in official legislative actions, in master plan documents, or on arts program websites. Most of the statements identified in the case examples are straightforward. The interpretation of a programâs vision or mission statement, however, can be somewhat subjective when it is not written clearly, is overly inclusive, or is not in written form. It is noteworthy, also, that the identification of an airport with a particular mission statement reproduced in Table 2 and Figure 2 indicates that the airportâeither in print or in an interviewâarticulated a statement prominently. The absence of the attribution of a particular statement to an airport does not mean that the airport disagrees with or does not adhere to the particular principle. It simply means that no specific articulation of that statement by an airport was presented. Table 2 and Figure 2 identify the frequency, from highest to lowest, with which airports have articulated particular vision and mission statements. Note that there is some overlap, and there were several ties. The frequency ranking allows the reader to gain a sense of how a particular statement fits within the context of the vision and mission statements of other airports. The reader may also, if desired, obtain a sense of an individual airportâs arts program mission by referring to the appropriate case example for that airport in Appendix A. Finally, it should be kept in mind that a statement of an organizationâs vision or mission is, by its very nature, general and that several of the less general mission statements may well be combined under their more general cousinsââenhancing airport aestheticsâ may be argued to be a subset of a broader statement such as âenhancing the customer experience.â What is important to keep in mind, however, is that the mission statements identified in Table 2 and Figure 2 represent the continuum of what airports have articulated as the guiding principles for their arts programs. C H A P T E R 2
14 Visual Arts Programs at Airports Vision/Mission Statement No. of Airports (of 13) Responding Airports Present a sense of local culture and arts; create a sense of place; reflect the vitality and creativity of the areaâs diverse population. 12 AUS/BNA/IND/LAX/MIA/PDX /PHL/SAN/SAT/SEA/SFO/TRK Enhance the customer experience. 10 AUS/BNA/IND/LAX/MIA/PHL /SAN/SAT/SEA/SFO Enhance airport aesthetics; create a visually attractive environment. 9 ALB/BNA/IND/MI/PDX/PHL/ SAN/SAT/SEA Serve as a resource for learning, education, critical thinking, and enrichment. 8 ALB/BNA/MIA/PHL/PDX/SAN/ SAT/SEA Relieve passenger stress. 7 ALB/AUS/IND/LAX/MIA/SAT/ SFO/TRK Generate goodwill for the airport among stakeholders, the community, and administrators. 4 BNA/LAX/PDX/SAN Maintain industry leadership position; position the airport as a creative industry driver; meet industry standards for arts programs. 3 PDX/SAN/SFO Support the local arts community and artists. 3 LAX/MIA/TRK Add a level of sophistication to the airport. 3 ALB/LAX/SFO Serve as a cornerstone for the arts in the geographical area. 2 ALB/TRK Serve a way-finding function. 2 AUS/SAN Provide the joy of experiencing the arts to delight, engage, and inspire. 2 SEA/SFO Focus on international art from destinations served by the airport. 2 MIA/SFO Serve as a cultural ambassador to the region; present the airport in the most favorable light to the public. 2 ALB/IND Pursue high standards of artistic excellence. 2 PDX/SEA Table 2. Airport arts programsâ vision and mission statements. Pre sen t a se ns e o f lo ca l cu ltu re En ha nc e t he cu sto me r e xp eri en ce En ha nc e a irp ort ae sth eti cs Se rve as a res ou rce fo r le arn ing Re lie ve pa sse ng er str ess Cre ate go od wi ll Ma int ain in du str y l ea de rsh ip po siti on Su pp ort lo ca l a rts co mm un ity Ad d l ev el of so ph isti cati on Se rve as a co rne rst on e Se rve a wa y-fi nd ing fu nc tio n Pro vid e t he jo y o f e xp eri en ce Fo cu s o n i nte rna tio na l a rt Se rve as a cu ltu ral am ba ssa do r Pu rsu e h igh st an da rds 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 N um be r o f a irp or ts w ith e ac h go al Figure 2. Airport arts programsâ vision and mission statements, ranked.
State of Practice of Airport Arts Programs 15 2.2 Airport Arts Program Audience and Stakeholders The SAN Arts Master Plan contains a perceptive observation about its arts programâs audience. According to the SAN Arts Master Plan, an airport is ânot a place where people as a whole specifically come to experience the arts,â and most travelers encounter art as an incident to their passage through the airport (Bressi et al., 2019, p. 65). Other airports take a similar view. SFOâs Interpretive Plan, for example, explains that it programs for a captive audience in transit. This audience does not volunteer to view its exhibitions; may not attend similar exhibits in traditional cultural settings; has limited time to engage with art; and represents individuals of all ages, cultures, races, and nationalities. In short, the audience of SFOâs arts program is a diverse one with various interests and motivations [SFO Interpretive Plan (internal document)]. TRKâs arts program manager stated this principle more directly: in her view, there are two audiences for airport art exhibitions. The first is people who are at the airport waiting to board an airplane, and the second is people who are open to an arts experience while they are at the airport waiting to board an airplane. As an airport arts manager, she stages exhibitions for the latter without offending the former, such as the one in the baggage claim area at LAX in Photo 7. The authors of the SAN Arts Master Plan also present an interesting way of looking at the arts programâs audience: in their view, there exists a primary and a secondary audience for the program. The primary audience includes airport customers (passengers, meeters, and greeters) Photo 6. Wynn Bullock, Color Light Abstractions. SFO Terminal 3, Boarding Area F. Photograph courtesy of San Francisco International Airport. Photo 7. Michiko Yao, Passing Rose, installation view of digital photograph on vinyl. LAX Terminal 1. Photograph by Midwest Airport Consultants.
16 Visual Arts Programs at Airports and airport employees (all badged personnel). The secondary audience is much broader and includes arts, civic, and educational and community organizations; all current and future proÂ gram partners; internal arts program stakeholders (airport staff, contractors, and volunteers); and all potential airport customers (Bressi et al., 2019, p. 66). SAN also adds to its audience assessment a segment not generally mentioned by other airportsâthat is, peer organizations and airports throughout the country. (The identification of this audience segment is consistent with the theme of competitiveness among airports discussed in Subsection 2.10.4.) The majority of airport arts program managers interviewed for the case examples either explicitly or implicitly agree with the concept of a primary and secondary audience, and with the composition of the secondary audience tending more toward the traditional definition of âstakeholder.â Another layer of complexity depends on the size of the airport: some airports are focused on an audience within the regional catchment area (e.g., ALB and SAN), while others are focused on a much wider domestic and international audience (e.g., SFO). Still others express a strong awareness of their administrators, governing authorities, and political leaders as stakeholders in the tradiÂ tional sense of the term (e.g., ALB, IND, LAX, MIA, and PHL). 2.3 Staffing Airport Arts Programs All of the studied programs are headed by what is characterized for the purposes of this synthesis as an âarts manager.â Although the actual title varies from airport to airport, the arts manager is generally responsible for the overall operation and management of the program. Managers typically interact with and report to higher executiveÂlevel managersâa director of customer experience, a director of customer service, a marketing administrator, or, in one case, an airport director. It is not common for an arts manager to interact directly with or report to the airportâs governing authority, whether that is a board or some other public body. Arts program managers across airports generally perform the same duties, but some managers have a broader range of responsibilitiesâparticularly those at medium and small airports. Airports with a single arts program staff member typically outsource more work to contractors or other airport departments, and the arts program staffer typically performs a broader range of job duties. (This is the case, for example, at ALB, IND, PDX, SAT, SEA, and TRK.) It is not unusual, for example, for managers at medium and small airports to be responsible for arranging for program services provided by other airport departmentsâmost often cleaning, painting, and electrical services (e.g., as at ALB, AUS, IND, and TRK)âor to perform those services themselves. Several of the arts program managers, or their staff members, perform work for other airport departments. The amount of time spent performing services for other airport departments varies but can be significant. Examples of outÂofÂprogram services include advising on other airport aesthetic or design matters, performing website management and maintenance, and offering graphic design services. Although a significant majorityânine of 13 airportsâof the studied arts programs are managed by a professional with an arts degree and experience in the arts field, there is some disagreement about whether such a degree is a necessary qualification for managing an airport arts program. Those who do not agree that an arts degree is necessary point out that it is not always possible for a small or mediumÂsized airport to hire a degreed professional as a manager, and that tasks that require an arts degree (i.e., mainly curatorial services) can be performed by an employee or a private contractor in a manner similar to programs that hire musicians or outside promoters to coordinate musical performances. Proponents of the retention of a credentialed arts manager argue that having such a person at a managerial level adds a notÂinsignificant level of professionalism to the program. They feel that retaining a credentialed arts manager lends credibility to their advocacy of the program and to efforts to explain artsÂrelated issues to others, such as airport administrators and community members. Proponents also point out
State of Practice of Airport Arts Programs 17 that interactions with arts community members, lenders of art objects, and persons involved in outreach activities are often viewed as more credible when they are performed by a professionally qualified, credentialed arts manager. Despite such disagreements, however, the trend among the studied airports appears to be the hiring of arts program managers and staff members who indeed have professional qualifications or credentials in the arts. Finally, although Table 3 identifies the number of staff employed by the studied airport arts programs, the many differÂ ences among the programs, the status of their employees, and the administrative structures of their respective airports make it difficult to compare staffing levels without additional informaÂ tion and analysis. Accordingly, a more detailed analysis of arts program staffing may be helpful at a later date. 2.4 Airport Arts Programming Process The case example airports follow a variety of program processes, but artist and art selecÂ tions are made either by the program manager or by an arts committee or selection panel. Committees and panels are most often composed of arts professionals, but they can include nonprofessionals with a strong interest in the arts, or community representatives and airport stakeholders. The composition of some arts program panels is prescribed by written policies (e.g., those at BNA and SAN). The programming process usually begins with outreach activities conducted by program managers or their staff. Reported outreach activities include attendance at arts events, museum and gallery openings, and artist studio tours, as well as service on arts boards and selection panels. Some program managers actively encourage, recruit, and mentor artists whom they have discovered or who have been referred to them (e.g., PHL). Other program managers rely on outreach activities in combination with a request for proposal (RFP) or a call for artists (call). Still other program managers rely exclusively on an RFP or a call (e.g., at BNA, LAX, PDX, SAT, and SAN). The exhibit shown in Photo 8 is a product of LAXâs RFP process. None of the case example airports reported difficulty locating or obtaining quality artwork for exhibition. Table 4 identifies the arts programs that have arts committees and who is responsible for selecting artists and artwork for exhibit by the arts program. Table 5 identifies additional arts program management tools. The selection of art and artists in seven programs rests with the program manager (i.e., ALB, AUS, IND, PDX, PHL, SFO, and TRK). Five of those programsâALB, AUS, PHL, SFO, Airport No. of Staff (FTE) Enplanements Passengers ALB 1.5 1.44 million 2.8 million AUS 3 7.7 million 15.8 million IND 1 4.6 million 7 million LAX 4 42.6 million 87.5 million MIA 2 21 million 45 million BNA 4 8 million 16 million PHL 5 15.3 million 31.7 million PDX 1 9.8 million 19.8 million SAN 4 12.1 million 24.2 million SAT 1 4.8 million 10 million SFO 38 29 million 57.7 million SEA 1 27.7 million 49.8 million TRK 0.25 85 thousand N/A Note: FTE = full-time equivalent. Source: FAA, 2019. Table 3. 2018 arts program staff, enplanements, and passengers.
18 Visual Arts Programs at Airports Airport RFP/Call for Artists? Arts Committee? Responsibility for Artist Selection ALB No Yes Program manager AUS No No Program manager IND No Noa Program managerb LAX Yes No Panel MIA No Yes Panel BNA Yes Yes Board PHL Yes No Program manager PDX Yes No Program managerc SAN Yes Yes Panel SFO No No Curators TRK No No Program manager Notes: aWould like to move to arts committee selection model. bAdditional approvals necessary from airport administrators. cProgram manager makes recommendations to customer relations manager. SAT Yes Yes Committee SEA No Yes Committee Table 4. Airport arts programming selection process. and TRKâallow for the exercise of significant curatorial discretion by the arts managers. The other two programs require the manager to obtain additional administrative approvals. (At IND and PDX, the program managerâs selections and recommendations must be confirmed by other administrators.) The remaining six programs select artwork to exhibit either by an arts committee or board or by an appointed selection panel. The case examples in Appendix A explain the selection processes used by each of the programs with boards and panels. Once artists are selected, exhibitions are scheduled from 1 to 3 years in advance and rotate at intervals from 3 to 12 months. Some programs also have longerÂterm temporary exhibits, which remain in place for 2 to 5 years. Though only one of the studied programs holds an arts competition, three programs exhibit artwork from competitions held by third parties. Only a few airports exhibit art related to tourism, and several arts programs do not allow the exhibition of such material, believing the subject matter is better suited to space reserved for commercial advertisements. Some arts programs engage in significant outreach activities Photo 8. Michiko Yao, Hanaguruma, installation view of digital photograph on vinyl. LAX Terminal. Photograph by Midwest Airport Consultants.
State of Practice of Airport Arts Programs 19 directed at youth or exhibit art created by children. AUS, for example, conducts outreach activities with certain schools in the district in which the airport is located. SAN has conducted handsÂon art workshops at the airport for high school students, as well as a contest for art school students in which participants designed an airport logo (San Diego International Airport, 2017). SEA has developed a unique program whereby professional glass artists transform artwork created by children into professionally executed glass sculptures. Finally, SFO curates exhiÂ bitions of original artwork by students in schools, youth organizations, and adult education programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. The exhibitions are curated by SFO professionals on the basis of nominations submitted by school teachers and administrators through an online portal (SFO Plan, 2019, p. 34). Several arts programs exhibit video or film on screens dedicated for temporary exhibitions. IND exhibits commissioned video works on a screen in its main terminal that is used primarily for video advertisements; the arts programâs commissioned video works appear at prescribed times between the advertisements (Indianapolis International Airport, 2019). SAN, SFO, and PDX take a different tack by featuring standÂalone, dedicated theaters that show film and video works throughout the day. PDXâs Hollywood Theatre, for example, is operated in cooperation with a wellÂknown nonprofit cinema located in Portland; the arts programâs cinema is constructed to resemble its namesake, and even features a copy of the original theaterâs marquee (Hollywood Theatre, n.d.). 2.5 2018 Airport Arts Program Budgets Table 6 lists the case example airports by code, 2018 airport arts program budgets, number of enplanements, and arts program CPEs. Figure 3 shows arts program CPEs, with the average CPE for arts programs at $0.02 million. (The CPE average used in Table 7 and Figure 3 does not apply to IND and SEA, for which 2018 budget figures were unavailable.) The 2018 arts program budget data do not include program staff salaries and benefits data, nor do they include any program expenses accounted for in another airport departmentâs budget (e.g., maintenance, Airport Arts Program Master Plan? Other Arts Program Written Documents?* No Noa Yesb No Noc No No Yesd No Noe No Nof Nog No Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No No Notes: aUses scheduling document. bPhase I master planning document primarily addresses issues related to permanent art collection. cMaster plan document is in process. dUses scheduling document and written checklist. eUses written checklist. fUses written document titled Arts Policies. gMaster plan document under consideration. *Documents may include guidelines, policies, and ordinances or other regulations. No No ALB AUS IND LAX MIA BNA PHL PDX SAN SFO TRK SAT SEA No Yes Table 5. Other airport arts program management tools.
20 Visual Arts Programs at Airports Airport 2018 Arts Program Budget Enplanements Arts Program CPE*â ALB $50,000 1.44 million $0.034 AUS $40,000 7.77 million $0.005 IND N/A 4.6 million N/A LAX $615,000 42.6 million $0.014 MIA $270,000 21 million $0.012 BNA $325,000 8 million $0.040 PHL $439,000 15.3 million $0.028 PDX $70,000 9.8 million $0.007 SAN $320,000 12.1 million $0.026 SAT $100,000 4.8 million $0.020 SFO $585,000 27.7 million $0.021 SEA N/A 24 million N/A TRK $10,000 0.085 million $0.117 Average Cost Per Enplanement = $0.020/CPE*â Notes: *Listed values are individual arts programsâ budgeted CPEs. â Average CPE: 0.002 (excludes IND and SEA). Table 6. Case example arts program budgets, number of enplanements, and average cost per enplanement, 2018. ARTS PROGRAM COST PER ENPLANEMENT 0.045 0.040 0.035 0.030 0.025 0.020 0.015 0.010 0.005 0.000 Co st p er e np la ne m en t i n m ill io ns Airport ALB AUS LAX MIA BNA PHL PDX SAT SAN Figure 3. 2018 case example airport arts program CPEs. painting, construction, labor) or program amounts contributed by other sources (such as concessionaires or other airport sponsors). In several cases, precise figures for 2018 budgets were unavailable; estimated budget figures are noted in the case examples. Arts programs generally receive the same nonbudgeted services from other airport departÂ ments, including marketing, web services, maintenance services, painting, and cleaning. Likewise, most programs budget for similar expenses, including lighting, signage, didactics, printed materials, and graphics. Another commonly budgeted expense for arts programs is payments
State of Practice of Airport Arts Programs 21 to artists through fees, stipends, or honoraria. There are, however, budgeted expenses for some programs that are uncommon. ALB and SAN, for example, hold art exhibition program openings with receptions for invited guests. MIA budgets for certain costs for which it reimburses artists, including the costs of framing, matting, and transportation. Other airports, such as PHL, pay the same costs as other programs but also pay for art materials for siteÂspecific artwork. Finally, some programs, including PHL and SEA, are responsible for the design and construction of their exhibit cases. Table 7 identifies the payments that arts programs make to visual artists. Although the amounts paid to visual artists vary, the trend among airports appears to be to pay artists the prevailing rate for similar work done in the regional market in which the airport is located. In the interviews, arts program managers gave several reasons for paying artists marketÂbased fees. First, many consider it unfair to expect artists to produce artwork for an airport for a fee that is less than what the artist could receive elsewhere. Second, there is a perception among arts program managers that an airport should not use its size and superior bargaining position to compel the arts community or individual artists to produce work for no payment (or for less than the market rate) that is exhibited at an airport. Third, arts program managers generally believe that paying a reasonable marketÂbased fee for professional artwork of the highest quality provides an incentive for other artists to participate in the airportâs art exhiÂ bition program. Fourth, arts program managers who already make such payments observed that providing marketÂbased payments for artwork not only encourages artist participation in airport arts programs, but also increases the size and quality of the pool of fine art submissions and the number of artists available for selection by the airport. Fifth, several arts program managers believe that the payment of marketÂbased artist fees reinforces and supports the high standards set for the artwork selected for exhibition by the airport. Last, arts program managers generally think that the refusal to pay marketÂbased artist fees undercuts the credÂ ibility of the airport and its arts program in the local arts community, among its stakeholders, and in the region in which the airport is located. 2.6 Measuring Passenger Engagement with Airport Arts Programming Measuring passenger engagement is important for an airport arts program because it allows a program manager to understand the level of success of the program, as well as the level of passenger interest in the program generally and in specific exhibits in particular. Airport Artist Fee/Stipend/Honoraria Amount ALB Large-scale works Artist stipend $3,500â$5,000 $500â$1,000 AUS None for visual artist None IND Commissioned artwork Commissioned video Display case artwork (each) $2,500 $1,000â$2,000 $500 LAX Curatorial stipends based on exhibition site $7,000â$14,000 MIA None for visual artist None BNA Exhibiting artist honorarium $500 PHL Artist fee per exhibit (plus material for site-specific artwork) $1,000 (approx.) PDX Artist honoraria $500â$3,500 (avg. $1,500) SAT Negotiated stipend for exhibiting visual artist $300â$3,000 (avg. $300â$1,500) SEA No artist fees None SAN Visual artist stipend $600 SFO None for visual artist None TRK None for visual artist None Table 7. Artist fees, stipends, and honoraria.
22 Visual Arts Programs at Airports Understanding customer engagement also allows a program manager to measure progress toward the programâs mission and incremental goals. The studied arts programs typically describe four methods for monitoring customer engagement: (a) making audience surveys available for passengers to pick up, fill out, and return, or making such surveys available online; (b) moniÂ toring email and social media comments on airport accounts; (c) making themselves aware of anecdotal accounts of viewer comments; and (d) using various other intuitive measures. These methods, however, have their drawbacks. For example, the social media accounts used by arts programs are often the same accounts used generally by other airport departments; this requires arts program staff to sift through irrelevant emails and posts about issues that are not helpful to arts program managers. Accounts dedicated only to arts programs, however, are more efficient and allow the arts program to create a more consistent social media presence. Managers find written surveys only partly helpful because they are not often filled out and returned; or, when they are returned, the completed surveys are not in sufficient numbers to provide an adequate sample. Email and social media comments are helpful to some extent when collected and logged on a spreadsheet. But they are only occasionally detailed enough to provide passenger reactions to or observations about particular exhibits. Such comments, however, would be more helpful if they were more frequent and included a broader cross section of passengers. There are several kinds of anecdotal evidence that are used by program managers. Some programs print and place exhibit cards near exhibits. One manager counts the number of exhibit cards removed from each exhibit bin and uses the total as an approximation of how many passengers âengageâ with an exhibit (at least to the extent that those passengers feel compelled to remove one of the exhibit cards). Several other managers make the time to visit exhibitions and observe passengers interacting with the art in the terminal and on the concourses. As one manager put it, she watches for fingerprints and noseprints on the exhibit cases as an indicator of enthusiastic passenger engagement. Still other managers encounter passengers and listen to their comments about exhibits. These encounters are generally rewarding and allow for interaction with passengers, but the sample size is small and, for that reason, not particularly helpful. The master plans created for AUS, SAN, and SFO recommend that arts programs actively monitor customer engagement with their exhibits on a continuous basis. Most of the studied programs attempt to monitor passenger engagement, but none conduct monitoring activities on a regular basis. Thus, most of the programs are dissatisfied with the frequency of their monitoring activities, the methods they currently use, and the results they currently receive. A few airports have retained consultants to perform surveys of passenger engagement. LAX, for example, conducted a survey that found 92% of the passengers surveyed agreed that the arts program had a positive effect on their travel experience. Individuals surveyed for the master plan conducted by AUS had sufficient awareness of the arts program to provide their opinion on what the programâs mission should be. In another survey conducted by AUS, respondents expressed only a positive awareness of the arts program. Nevertheless, the consultants conductÂ ing the survey for AUS advised the airport that it should conduct regular and more speÂ cific passenger engagement surveys to better monitor the programâs performance and progress toward its mission and incremental goals. A more detailed survey conducted by SAN for its master plan had similar but more focused results. Of the survey respondents, 91% reported that art improved their airport experience, 85% would like to see more art at the airport, 80% said that attending a performance improved their airport experience, and 75% said that art made using the airport less stressÂ ful and more enjoyable (Bressi et al., 2019, p. 16). The specificity and focus of the SAN
State of Practice of Airport Arts Programs 23 engagement survey, however, are the exception and not the rule. Further, none of the studied airports conduct engagement surveys on a regular or continuous basis. When they are conducted, such surveys tend to focus more on a general awareness of and access to the arts program; hence the surveys do not provide the type of granular program information that arts managers have expressed an interest in obtaining. Consequently, further research may be appropriate to examine the kinds of surveys and methods available to satisfy the needs of arts managers for an accurate, specific, focused assessment of passenger engagement with their programs and the frequency with which such surveys should be conducted. 2.7 Marketing and Promoting Airport Arts Programming The majority of the studied arts programs conduct little or no marketing activities on their own behalf. Though some arts programs have dedicated social media accounts that are independent from their respective airportsâ general accounts, the majority of programs rely on other airport departments to distribute arts program information to the public and to passengers. Only a few of the studied arts programs provide some or all of the arts program content distributed by other airport departments (e.g., SAN and SFO). Nevertheless, the master plans developed by several airports (e.g., AUS, SAN, and SFO) recommend that airport arts programs engage in significant marketing activities in an effort to (a) generate public awareness of their activities and outreach and (b) make passengers aware of the exhibits that are available to them while they are in the airport. The master plans also suggest that it is necessary for a program to distribute its message to the wider communityâespecially the arts community, which should have an awareness of the programâs exhibition processes and be encouraged to participate in the airportâs arts program (AUS Master Plan, pp. 11, 17â18; SFO Strategic Plan, 2019, p. 22). The SAN Arts Master Plan, for example, recommends a ârobust communications and engageÂ ment program that ensures every airport customer is aware of the Arts Program, can access information about the resources it offers, and can experience the wide range of [the programâs] arts offeringsâ (Bressi et al., 2019, p. 66). First, the SAN Master Plan recommends that the arts program develop a strong, consistent program identity both to make future customers aware of the program and to create a persuasive recruitment tool for future contributing artists and exhibitors. Second, the SAN Arts Master Plan recommends that the arts program develop a comÂ mu nications plan for each new exhibition in an effort to ensure that messaging is presented in the most effective and consistent manner. Third, the plan recommends that the arts program use print, the internet, airport signage, and social media to provide the widest possible access to the information it wishes to present to potential users. (Note that Furini et al.  conclude that the use of hashtags stimulates interest in the arts; thus, the authors suggest guidelines for hashtag use that may assist in the promotion of art exhibitions.) Fourth, the plan recommends that the arts program provide the broadest possible content on its offerings, such as âbehindÂtheÂ scenesâ stories about artists and their work, a readily accessible calendar of events and offerings, and educational and informational materials that address particular interests (e.g., takeaway didactics or artist biographies) or audiences (e.g., children). Finally, the plan recommends that the arts program encourage interaction with its program resources because such interaction creates individualized experiences, apart from the artwork, that are unique to each user (Bressi et al., 2019, pp. 67â72). The SAN Arts Master Plan observes that those marketing efforts directed at the programâs internal audience, regional arts and culture peers, and the traveling public atÂlarge will have the further benefits of advancing the airportâs community engagement goals, generating awareness of program requirements among the arts community, and enhancing the communityâs understanding of the airport as an âeconomic engine and a positive force in the regionâs quality of lifeâ (Bressi et al., 2019, pp. 6, 79).
24 Visual Arts Programs at Airports SFOâs marketing activities are as comprehensive as those recommended for SANâs program, but they take a different approach. The SFO arts program sees little benefit in engaging in wideÂranging direct marketing activities because its audience is essentially captive. The program believes, however, that there is significant value in enhancing the knowledge of airport visitors about the programâs exhibits and programming when they are on the way to or actually in the airport. Thus, the program has a presence on airport signage, on the airportâs wayÂfinding system, and in email blasts; has its website address included on didactics and brochures; advertises at rail and bus stations and on vehicles that serve the airport; uses reproductions of exhibit objects on construction barriers and screens; and is in the process of creating a new website to feature exhibit and collection objects (SFO Strategic Plan, 2019, p. 14). In addition, the program proÂ duces brochures for its largeÂscale exhibitions and chooses one exhibition each year for a 100Â to 200Âpage printed catalogue. Other exhibits are the subjects of a series of web pages that reproduce didactic text and object images (SFO Strategic Plan, 2019, p. 10). The SFO arts program also follows a rigorous internal review protocol for all of its written materials: âAll text is circulated to a panel of readers for clarity, consistency, accessibility, accuracy, and interest. All exhibition text is reviewed for length, levels of interest, and, especially, the relationship to the objects on display and the theme of the exhibitionâ (SFO Strategic Plan, 2019, p. 10). 2.8 Risk Management and Airport Arts Programs Almost all of the studied arts programs maintain liability insurance for loss or damage to exhibited artwork in their possession. The number of claims for damage to artwork, however, is remarkably low. Collectively, the arts program managers have more than 100 years of experience with arts programs at airports. Although a few managers reported having been told about incidents of theft or damage experienced by their predecessors, current managers have seen relatively few instances of loss, theft, or damage. This circumstance is likely attribÂ utable to several factors. First, the program managers take great care to anticipate the likely risks to art objects in their care and then consider how to protect them. Second, a number of programs use their artÂlending agreements to shift the risk of loss or damage from the airport to an artist or a thirdÂparty lender. Third, many objects are exhibited in protected locations, such as in exhibit cases or behind barriers of some kind. LAX, for example, uses display cases and protective framing (such as the one depicted in Photo 9) in an effort to shield exhibited artwork. Finally, exhibited works are on display only for short periods of time, thus lowering the risk of damage. Other programs (e.g., IND and SEA) require artists and lenders to deliver and pick up their artwork and to participate in its installation and deÂinstallation, further lowering the risk to the airport of transporting artwork. Some programs (e.g., LAX) avoid potential liability by asking thirdÂparty contractors who perform art installations and deÂinstallations to accept liability for damage to artwork. Still other programs (e.g., MIA and PDX) cap the amount of any potential loss. Finally, some program agreements (e.g., that at SAN) exclude liability and require artists and other lenders to maintain their own insurance coverage. As a general rule, program managers are not responsible for risk management issues and are not required to perform appraisals of the works they exhibit. If an appraisal is required, it is usually performed by a thirdÂparty contractor (e.g., as at BNA) or by an artist or lender; such valuations are generally accepted by the airportâs risk manager if considered reasonable. Some airport risk managers (e.g., those at MIA and SFO), however, require arts managers to provide an inventory of artwork on premises at specific time intervalsâdaily, weekly, and so onâalong with the estimated value of each work. In addition to considering the liability for loss or damage to exhibited artwork, airports must be aware of the potential for liability resulting from violations of the rights of artists as secured
State of Practice of Airport Arts Programs 25 by the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) of 1990 (17 USC Sec. No. 106A). VARA grants protecÂ tion to âmoral rightsâ held by artists if their work meets certain statutory requirements. Thus, VARA protection may apply if a work of art (a) is a painting, drawing, print, sculpture, or still photographic image; (b) is produced only for exhibition; and (c) exists in single copies or in limited editions of 200 or fewer copies that are signed and numbered by the artist (17 USC Sec. No. 106A[a]). The statute protects neither works made for hire nor works not subject to copyÂ right protection, and it has other, more esoteric exceptions (17 USC Sec. No. 106A[c]). If a work of art satisfies VARAâs requirements, then the following four rights are protected: (a) the right of the artist to claim authorship of the work; (b) the right to prevent the use of an artistâs name on any work that the artist did not create; (c) the right to prevent distortion, mutilation, or modification that would prejudice the artistâs honor or reputation; and (d) the right to prevent the use of an artistâs name on any work that has been distorted, mutilated, or modified in a way that would be prejudicial to the artistâs honor or reputation (17 USC Sec. No. 106A[a]â). Modifications to artwork that are the result of the passage of time, the inherent nature of the materials used to create the work, or the conservation or public presentation of the work are excepted from protection (17 USC Sec. No. 106A[c]). Remedies for violations of the rights protected by VARA are the same as those for violation of a copyright and include injunctive relief and monetary damages (17 USC Sec. No. 504). Although the rights protected by VARA are straightforward and generally extend for the life of the artist, they can be waived by a written instrument signed by the artist that specifically identifies the work and the rights subject to the waiver (17 USC Sec. No. 106A[d]â[e]). 2.9 Ethics Codes for Airport Arts Programs The American Alliance of Museums (AAM), formerly the American Association of Museums, has developed a model code of ethics for arts professionals (AAM Curators Committee, 2009). AAM also has also a model code of ethics for museums that has some general relevance to all airport arts programs (American Alliance of Museums, 2000).These model codes focus on several ethics issues that are likely to appear in the context of borrowing and exhibiting art in an Photo 9. Protective exhibit frame at LAX. Artwork: Kelly Berg, Rogue Wave, acrylic and ink on canvas. Photograph by Panic Studio, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
26 Visual Arts Programs at Airports airport: (a) conflicts of interest, (b) selfÂdealing, (c) the disclosure of confidential information, and (d) anticompetition provisions. Most of the case example airports do not have specific ethics code provisions that apply exclusively to their arts program managers and staff. This remains true even if the airport has adopted written master plans, policies, or guidelines for its arts proÂ gram (e.g., as at PDX and SAN). Only SFO has written ethics provisions for specific application to its arts professionals that parallel those found in the model codes (Collection Management Policy for SFO Museum, p. 29). Arts program managers and staff are airport employees and, notwithstanding the absence of a specific ethics code applicable to arts program staff and management, all of the case example airports were able to identify ethics codes of general application to all airport employees. Whether those sponsor ethics codes meet the standards contained in AAMâs model codes is beyond the scope of this synthesis. 2.10 Benefits of Airport Arts Programs 2.10.1 Aesthetic Enhancement and Passenger Well-Being Adding rotating art exhibits at airports is generally accepted as an aesthetic enhancement that creates a more pleasing, calming airport environment that relieves passenger stress in a place where stress is almost unavoidable. In fact, this benefit is of such importance to half of the studied airports that they either include it in their vision and mission statements (as do ALB, BNA, PDX PHL, SAT, and SEA) or very carefully consider the interaction of arts spaces with those designated for commercial purposes (as do LAX and SFO). But the ways in which the arts enhance the airport environment are equally important to some managers and arts programs. One arts manager explained that an airport arts experience should be seen as an alternative to and different from the experience offered by an airport concessions program. Arts programs offer unexpected experiences and, when necessary, a distraction during flight delays or cancelÂ lations. Concessions programs are somewhat opposite because they (a) do not typically offer experiences that are too unexpected or too distracting and (b) do not, in any case, offer the same kind of diversion as an arts program. Another manager similarly observed that art adds something unique to the airport experiÂ ence because an airport and the activities that take place there are different from a commercial experience or an experience in any other public place. Thus, art created for an airport, for a particular place in an airport, or as part of an airport artistÂinÂresidence program has the opportunity to turn the airport into the subject matter of the art. The result is art that is unique because it either is about or comments on the airport setting and its activities. The Happiness exhibit at IND, for example, used familiar airport signage and graphics in juxtaposition with decidedly nonairport messages to comment on the perception and use of airport signage (Indianapolis International Airport, n.d.). See Photo 10. 2.10.2 Creating a Sense of Place and Serving the Community The most frequently articulated mission statements that airports adopt for their arts proÂ grams are providing passengers with a sense of place and local culture, and generating goodÂ will for the airport among its stakeholders and its community (see Table 2). As can be seen in the case examples, arts programs have addressed their mission statements in a variety of ways, but all of the airports nevertheless attempt to establish a similar emotional connection with their travelers and their surrounding geographic communities. Indeed, the general popuÂ lation statistical data gathered by the 2018 Americans for the Arts survey (Public Art Network Advisory Council, 2014), the airportÂspecific data gathered for the SAN Arts Master Plan, and
State of Practice of Airport Arts Programs 27 ACRP Report 157: Improving the Airport Customer Experience (Boudreau et al., 2016) support the view that airport arts programs can make a significant contribution toward creating a sense of place and establishing a local cultural connection. Moreover, the successful creation of a sense of place is generally regarded as the basis for an airportâs emotional connection with its customers; this happens when the airport uses geographical attributes to demonstrate a unique culture that makes customers and passengers âfeel valued and enriched as the airport educates them about the uniqueness of the place at which they have arrived or are transiting. . . . [It] also evokes a sense of pride in the travelers returning home or the locals who work at the airportâ (Boudreau et al., 2016, p. 39). Still further, creating a âstrong sense of place fosters a complementary and positive ambience that other airports cannot simulate and provides a valuable opportunity for an airport to differentiate itself from othersâ (Boudreau et al., 2016, pp. 21, 39). The conseÂ quences of creating a strong sense of place, when done well, are a positive customer experience and higher customer/passenger ratings. For example, a customerâs positive experience at an airport (a) reflects favorably on the airport and its community, (b) can support an airportâs efforts to attract additional airline service, and (c) leads to higher revenue and concession fees (Boudreau et al., 2016). Consider Nashville, Tennessee, which markets itself as âMusic City,â and Austin, Texas, which is known as the âLive Music Capital of the World.â The airports in both cities offer robust and admired musical performance programs featuring local artists (such as Nashville artist Joshua Dent in Photo 11) who establish connections with their local and regional communities. LAX and PHL present a similar, but different, aspect of their local cultural identities by offering arts exhibits that are in sync with the arts scenes of their respective cities. (See, for example, the galleries in Photos 12 and 13.) LAX focuses on highÂquality contemporary art, and PHL presents its cityâs vital form of street art. The underlying goal of the BNA, AUS, LAX, and PHL arts programs is the same: create exhibits that are so in tune with the local culture that they present an indelible sense of their location. Further, according to Martin (2019), 92% of travelers surveyed at LAX believed that the airportâs arts program improved their travel experience. A similar study at SAN found that 75% of respondents said the airport arts program enhanced their experience at the airport. The arts manager at PHL, which is a hub for American Airlines, points to commentary by interÂ national travelers, many of whom express their desire to visit Philadelphia after having been exposed to the cityâs street art culture at the airport. Photo 10. Jamie Pawlus, Happiness, vinyl on glass case (fluorescent lighting from interior). Photograph courtesy of Indianapolis International Airport.
28 Visual Arts Programs at Airports Photo 11. Joshua Dent. Nashville International Airport, C Waiting Lounge stage. Photograph by Karen Edgin, courtesy of Nashville International Airport. Photo 13. King Saladeen, Create Your Gold. PHL Terminals A/B East Connector. Photograph courtesy of Philadelphia International Airport. Photo 12. Martin Durazo, Points of Entry, installation view. LAX Terminal 1. Photograph by Panic Studio, courtesy of Los Angeles World Airports and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
State of Practice of Airport Arts Programs 29 Presenting exhibits that are synchronized with the artistic pulse of a city or region creates not only an indelible sense of place and community, but also a sense of civic pride at an airport (Boudreau et al., 2016). The arts manager at BNA, for example, explained that the occasions when wellÂknown celebrity musicians arrive at the airport and take the time to sit in with local musicians performing on the concourse are the stuff of local legend. So too is the airportâs single most popular performerâa singer who, billed as the âhuman snow globe,â performed holiday music inside a translucent bubble at the airport and eventually went on to perform throughout the Nashville area. SAT takes yet another approach to establishing an emotional connection with its local community. The airport has gained a local following by presenting activities in celebration of national and regional holidays that are special to the areaâs cultural identity. The arts program schedules music, exhibits, and eventsâsuch as parades and performancesâto mark such diverse holidays as Cinco de Mayo, DÃa de los Muertos, and Oktoberfest. Although the approaches taken by the studied airports may differ, they are all directed at displaying the cultural identity of the region in which the airport is located. An arts program at an airport can also establish a connection with its community simply by providing a venue for the exhibition and expression of that communityâs artists. This is particuÂ larly true in rural areas where there are few venues for the exhibition of local and regional artists, or where the distances between such venues are great. ALB, for example, offers a venue for art objects and artwork that are curated from the many smaller, geographically dispersed museums and galleries throughout the airportâs threeÂstate catchment area. For 20 years, the program operated one of the only fine arts museum shops in an airport. Thus, ALB established itself as a significant cultural exhibitor in the region. Similarly, the smallest of the studied airports, TRK, is located in the central Sierra Nevada Mountains. Two adjoining counties created a multiuse facility that is part airport, part transÂ portation hub, and part civic center. TRK is also a social hub, with reportedly one of the finest restaurants in the area (Photo 14). Because the regional arts community consists of art venues and galleries that are separated by significant distances, the airport developed an arts program with 30 exhibit spaces. The program brings art from various locations throughout the region to its multiuse facility for members of the two counties to share and enjoy. Photo 14. TRK interior arts space and Red Truck CafÃ©. Photograph courtesy of Truckee/Tahoe Airport.
30 Visual Arts Programs at Airports Yet another way airports establish a connection with their communities and stakeholders is by supporting their local arts communities and artists. Most airport arts managers conduct extensive outreach activities in the communities in which they are located, and often throughout the region as well. The artists from these communities are grateful for the exposure of their art to the millions of passengers who travel through airports each year. Most airport arts programs, however, go further and support these artists and their communities with payments to musical performers and with stipends, fees, and honoraria to visual artists. See Table 7. Some airport programs allow visual artists to sell their exhibited artwork and may even reimburse artists for their costs and expenses. A sense of community is further strengthened when program managers mentor local artists who use airport exhibitions as a springboard for a career in public art or that involves creating art for other transportation facilities. All of the studied programs adapt the concept of an airport arts program to their individual geographic and cultural locaÂ tions in an effort to establish connections with their particular communities. 2.10.3 The Economic Benefits of Airport Arts Programs Arts programs at airports yield direct and indirect economic benefits. Perhaps the most direct economic effect that arts programs have is on airport concessionaires. Although there do not appear to be any studies that identify the precise economic effect of airport arts programs on concession sales, anecdotal evidence from concessions managers at almost all of the case example airports shows that passengers lingerâand thus spend more time near and money on concessionsâin areas where there are arts spaces and music performances. There also exists broad interest among businesses in supporting the arts. A 2018 survey of private businesses by the nonprofit Americans for the Arts found that 80% of responding private businesses had made a contribution to the arts in the past year (Parkinson et al., 2018). Concession operators mirror this broad support for the arts. At some airports, concession operators have requested that the arts program be expanded to accommodate additional arts spaces and more frequent musical performances. At AUS, for example, concessions proposers offered to substantially increase their financial support for the arts in an effort to fund an expanÂ sion of the airportâs performing arts program. Another economic effect of airport arts programs is that which directly benefits artists. A majority of the case example airports provide direct payments to visual and performing artists. (See Table 7.) Many airports also allow tipping and the sale of exhibited artworkâand most without requiring the payment of sales commissions or other fees. Arts programs charÂ acterize differently the amounts paid to visual artists; some are characterized as fees, others as stipends, and still others as honoraria. Whatever their characterization, the amounts paid to artists can range from $500 to $14,000. Rates paid for performing artists can vary by location and the prevailing union or customary rates. Table 7 and the individual case examples provide additional details about payment amounts and how each airport characterizes them. Artists and arts communities also benefit from airport arts programs in ways other than direct financial support. The arts community and individual artists benefit greatly from the significant exposure to the large numbers of passengers traveling through airports. Collectively, the studied airport arts programs exhibit art to more than 365 million passengers each year. (See Table 3.) An audience with an even broader demographic engages with art exhibitions at busy interÂ national airports. SFO, for example, exhibits art in one of the largest international terminals in the world, hosting more than 14 million international passengers each year. LAX, MIA, and PHL also are hubs for airlines with a significant number of international flights; MIAâs scheduled arts events often coincide with annual international arts events held in the City of Miami, such as Art Basel and Miami Art Week.
State of Practice of Airport Arts Programs 31 A more general economic benefit flows to local and regional communities from airport art exhibitions that generate an awareness of and interest in local artists, arts institutions and galleries, arts events, and tourist destinations. Some airports present tieÂins with wellÂknown regional events and organizations, such as INDâs references to the Indianapolis 500 Raceway and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Other airports create tieÂins with conferences and conventions; BNA once featured a mosaics exhibit that coincided with a mosaics convenÂ tion at Nashvilleâs convention center, and IND hosted a FrenchÂthemed exhibit that coincided with an airlineâs inaugural flight to Paris. Finally, the arts have long been found to have a significant economic effect on the overall economy. In 2018, for example, nonprofit arts activity in the United States was responsible for $168 billion in economic activity and $27.5 billion in revenue to local, state, and federal governments. According to the Arts and Economic Prosperity 5 report, airport arts programs provide equally identifiable economic benefits to an airportâs regional economy (Americans for the Arts, 2018). The team of consultants who authored the SAN Arts Master Plan, for example, undertook an analysis of the economic effects of the arts program on San Diegoâs regional economy. The SAN Arts Master Plan concluded that for the 4Âyear period from 2012 to 2016, the SAN arts program accounted for more than $45 million in economic effects in the region where the airport is located. The Master Plan found, for example, that the SAN arts program (a) supported 173 fullÂtime jobs in the region; (b) generated more than $8 million in fees, salaries, and benefits to the local workforce; (c) contributed nearly $13 million to the countyâs gross regional product; and (d) generated $22.7 million in âestimated economic output.â All of this resulted in an additional $1.4 million in local, state, and federal taxes and fees (Bressi et al., 2019, p. 16). The SAN arts program budget for 2018 was a relatively modest $100,000. 2.10.4 Competition and Airport Ranking Arts programs are thought to provide a competitive advantage to airports (Boudreau et al., 2016). Staff of international airports outside of the United States have for many years provided arts programs as a customer amenity to persuade passengers to select their airport, either as a destination or, more likely, as their connection for further travel. Skytrax and Airports Council International publish airport customer experience ratings. Skytrax rates airports using a star rating system, with a fiveÂstar rating being the highest level. According to Boudreau et al. (2016, p. 71), these âratings are based on a worldwide online survey of more than 13 million airline passengers.â The top five airports ranked by Skytrax all have robust arts programs. The theory is that, other things being equal, passengers will choose to arrive or connect at an airport that is safe, pleasant, and well maintained; has good customer service; and provides the best and greatest number of amenities. Airport arts programs are one of those leading amenities, and domestic airports are being advised to adopt the strategy used by their international counterparts (Boudreau et al., 2016). Three airportsâPDX, SAN, and SFOâhave mission statements that suggest their interest in following the example of international airports outside the United States, as recommended by Boudreau et al. (2016), by developing highly regarded arts programs that lead the industry. The PDX arts program, for example, states that its mission is to develop the program into a âhighly regarded venueâ for the arts; nevertheless, PDX recognizes that its customers expect such an amenity and that offering one allows the airport to meet the new industry standard (PDX Master Plan, pp. 3â4). SFOâs Strategic Plan states the airportâs interest in maintaining its leadership in the airport industry and its unique position in the museum world (SFO Strategic Plan, p. 3). Finally, the SAN programâs founding policy states that its arts program is âcomÂ mitted to the presentation and advancement of a wide variety of high quality arts and culture
32 Visual Arts Programs at Airports programmingâ that, among other things, âpositions the Airport as a creative industry driverâ (SAN Policies, Arts Program Policy, section 8.50, 2019). All three airports are well regarded, and two of them devote significant resources to their arts programs. Two other airports acknowledged that their airport administrators are highly competitive and wish for their arts programs to be the same. The remaining case example airports are also aware of the customer experience ratings among international and domestic airports, as well as the type and quality of arts programs offered at other airports. 2.10.5 The Customer Experience The âcustomer experienceâ is generally defined as the bundle of customer behaviors, attitudes, and emotions associated with the use of a product or service (Schwager and Meyer, 2007). An analysis and understanding of an airport customerâs experience tell airport managers not only what their customers expect, but also where they should allocate their time and resources in an effort to meet those expectations (Rawson et al., 2013; Williams, 2017). As Boudreau et al. (2016) observe, airports have a unique opportunity to affect the customer/passenger experience because they are the first and last place visitors (or residents) see when they travel. It is at these entry and exit points that an airport can shape a customerâs experience with the airport and its host city. And, as pointed out earlier, surveys commissioned by AUS, LAX, and SAN demonstrate that airport arts programs create an overwhelmingly positive impression among the airport customers who come into contact with them. The results of the LAX and SAN surveys are reproduced in Appendix B. A consistent theme throughout the case example interviews is the positive effect that an arts program encounter can have on passengers who have already had a negative airport experience such as a security screening, a weather delay, or a disappointing flight. The lesson seems to be that arts programs can not only create a posiÂ tive customer experience, but also have the potential to improve a negative one regardless of the source of that experience. Thus, arts programs are one of the features of the worldâs most highly rated airports; they are part of the package of amenities that creates a sense of place for an airport, as well as one of the most significant factors in supporting airport customer satisfaction (Boudreau et al., 2016).