The Office of Public Art launched the Artists Bridging Social Distance in the Public Realm initiative (ABSD) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program supports artists at a time of critical need, when social distancing is causing widespread isolation and creative projects have been canceled or indefinitely postponed.
Two rounds of support for artists have been announced, with another one anticipated in Summer-Fall 2021. Both rounds support projects that promote social connection while also following guidelines for public health and safety. Submissions for projects in all media and disciplines (including digital, analog, and event-based) were sought but proposed projects had to be widely shareable, whether through digital and virtual platforms or other means. After selection, OPA worked closely with the selected artists in each round, assisting with project development, implementation strategies, and outreach plans.