The "One Percent for Art Program" has lasted through financial ups and downs of both state and city budgets. The program requires 1 percent of the cost of construction of public buildings be set aside for permanent artwork. It also applies to public buildings that are older but have undergone substantial remodeling.

Alaska became the tenth state in the country to mandate the public art provision in 1975. The Municipality of Anchorage followed suit in 1978.

Enzina Marrari is the curator of public art for the Municipality. She says the program has benefited the community in many different ways.

"It not only employs and pays artists, but it provides business to local fabricators and companies," Marrari said. "It increases tourism and it shows that we really take pride in our surroundings and our sense of place."

From schools to fire stations and even new road projects, there are hundreds of pieces of public art on display throughout Anchorage. Marrari said pieces are selected by a jury that includes members of the public, as well as representatives from the Municipality that work to ensure the art is a good fit and there is no favoritism.

The city plans several tours every year so that people can see and learn more about public art.

Marrari said the next one will be some time this fall.

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