Bloomington committee discussing making Juneteenth a city holiday and public art committee

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The Bloomington Committee of the Whole met to discuss making Juneteenth a holiday and creating a public art commission Monday.

Councilman Mwilambwe suggested to the council to make Juneteenth a holiday. Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus said they are looking at several options.

One option is An ordinance making Juneteenth a holiday with an employee day off, with the human relation commission determining the programming. Another option is an ordinance recognizing Juneteenth beyond a proclamation and calling for the human relation commission to hold a day-long event.

Alderman Mwilambwe said he most looks forward to the potential programming aspect.

“This has been kind of a labor of love project for me,” Mwilambwe said. “I don’t know which direction the council is going to go, but I would say personally what is most dear to me is the programming aspect, because that is where we are going to have the most impact.”

Deputy City Manager Tyus said the holiday would cost the city over $164,000. That money would cover salary workers who are off and holiday pay, for workers required to work that day.

While discussing the creation of a public art commission, Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus said the art commission could facilitate the village getting new art, and establishing the committee would not commit the council to spend any money.

“If you decide to pursue this direction or some amendment to this direction you are not committing to spending any money or any funds as of right now, this is simply being proactive to establish a framework to supporting public art,” Tyus said.

The 7-member public art commission would be made of two members of the Bloomington Cultural Commission, two members of the Bloomington Beautification committee, and three members of the public. All members will serve two-year terms.

Every year the commission would choose projects, and request funds to submit to the Bloomington council.

You can watch the full meeting on the city of Bloomington’s YouTube page.

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