The Commission on Culture and the Arts was founded in 1968 with the following objectives:
· To assist the city in attaining national preeminence in culture and the arts
· To assist the city in the preservation of the artistic and cultural heritages of all its people
· To promote a community environment which provides equal and abundant opportunity for exposure to culture and the arts in all its forms, and
· To encourage and provide equal opportunity for the development of cultural and artistic talents of the people of Honolulu.
One facet of the Commission on Culture and the Arts is the Art in City Buildings Program. This program is managed by the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts and is the artwork collection of the city. This diverse collection of public art encompasses moveable and permanent works of art from monuments to murals, paintings to plaques, and a variety of sculptures. All objects, unless on loan, are located at city venues. In order to allow public access to the collection an on-line database is available for viewing at:
Objects in the collection are acquired by the city via three means: purchased (which includes commissions), received as a gift, or transferred. Funding for objects that are purchased comes from a Percent for Art Law whereby "an amount equal to not less than one percent of the construction phase appropriation for the original construction of any city building shall be appropriated to the commission for the acquisition of works of art" [ROH Sec. 3-2.7(a)].