Permits & Permission

HighWaterLine | Miami
photo credit: Jayme Gershen

This artwork is created in a public space, therefore, it may be necessary to secure permits where and when required, from the town, city or municipality to create the line. Although not required, it’s also helpful to inform key community leaders that you will be creating this art piece. In some places it can take up to six months to receive the necessary permits so the sooner you can begin the permitting process the better.

In the UK there is no ‘permission’ needed to put something non-permanent on public land. Though working with the local council is essential, as it will help in dealing with inquiries the day you are marking HighWaterLine, as well as with issues that might arise during the project.

And remember, never enter onto or mark on private land, unless you have express permission from the landowner.

Permits from Government

Begin by researching who issues permits for temporary events or public art projects in public spaces. Be sure to specify the artwork will be primarily made on sidewalks and or streets. Your local Department of Cultural Affairs or Arts Council might be a place to start in U.S. cities. It’s also helpful to conduct research into what is allowed in the streets and/or sidewalks in your region. For example in NYC if more than 50 people gather, it requires a parade permit.

Permission from Community

Although not legally required, it’s important to let community members who live on the line, but who might not be actually participating in the project, know what you’ll be doing well before you actually create the project. You can notify people via community leaders and other key influencers. For example, in Miami, Reverend Grey, the priest of a church along the line, participated in meetings, notified his congregation beforehand, led a sermon on the topic of climate change the day of the actual artwork, and then he and parishioners marked the line outside of their place of workshop.