The Arts, Beautification and Culture Commission was created by the Bend City Council in January, 2002. The Council's purpose establishing this commission was to create an advisory commission to make recommendations on the appropriate role for the City of Bend to take in supporting Art, Beautification and Culture, to annually identify appropriate City involvement in arts, community beautification and culture with emphasis on community gatherings, events, cultural tourism and the arts. The Commission is composed of seven Bend citizens and appointed by the Mayor. City staff member Robyn Christie provides support to the group.
The Commission has accomplished a great deal in its short tenure. Shortly after forming, the Bend Beautification Awards were created to recognize beautification projects completed in Bend. They commissioned the design and installation of a commemorative award for City Hall honoring the Bend Beautification Award recipients. In 2007, the Commission expanded the award to include arts, beautification and cultural projects completed in the previous year and is now called, the Arts, Beautification & Culture Awards (ABC Awards).
The Arts, Beautification and Culture Commission also commissioned art work to commemorate the Bend Centennial in 2005. The four panel art pieces created by Bend artist David Ember is on display at City Hall, located at 710 NW Wall.
The Commission developed, researched and drafted a list of appropriate plants suitable for the high desert in an effort to assist with the City's efforts to find drought tolerant and fire resistant plant materials for local landscaping.
The Commission also developed an ordinance creating a 1% for Art Ordinance for city-owned construction projects to be dedicated as public art. With the assistance of Arts Central, Central Oregon's regional art commission, the ordinance was adopted in 2007.
In 2011, the ABC Commission created City Walls at City Hall, a uniquely-themed, bi-annual juried art show built around the overall theme of inspiring community with art.
For additional information please feel free to contact the City Manager's office at 541-388-5505.