Art Is Happening

Public Art Agency Sweden (Statens konstråd) will focus specifically on public art in the Miljonprogram 2016-2018. During this three-year period, we shall produce examples of public art in these late modernist dwelling areas built 1965-1974. At the same time, we will develop methods for local participation in the process of developing public art, thereby enriching both further.


All the work within the framework of Art is happening will be based on each individual location and will be done together with the people who live there, representatives from the local community, municipalities and other agencies in the Miljonprogram. The knowledge and experience we gain during the project will be communicated to others in Sweden and abroad.

About Art Is Happening

Art is happening is part of the government’s Taking place-project, an investment in cultural activities in housing areas with a low voter turnout. Responsibility for this government investment is shared by Public Art Agency Sweden and the Swedish Arts Council. The project will be based on the needs and desires of local residents and be characterised by participation by representatives from a wide range of organisations. One of the objectives is to increase efforts to promote culture and democracy in areas with low voter turnout in elections.

The work to produce new public art in these areas will take place over the next three years, 2016-2018. The total sum of the investment is SEK 26 million. Most of that funding will be used to produce art, for artistic work methods in urban planning projects and the development of methods for local participation. There will also be some scope for remuneration in projects where civil sector organisations take part.

Public Art Agency Sweden’s main task in this investment is to produce works of public art while the Swedish Arts Council’s main task is to allocate funding to initiators who apply for funding via the Swedish Arts Council.

Collaboration With Artists

In Art is Happening, the Public Art Agency Sweden collaborates with a great many artists. During the in-depth research phase in the spring, summer and autumn of 2016 we worked with artists such as the Sunshine Socialist Cinema (Kalle Brolin and Kristina Müntzing), Pezo von Ellrichausen, Anna Viola Hallberg, Madeleine Hatz and Myriam Lefkowitz. 28 locations advanced to the first stage in the process.
> Red more about collaboration with artists


Lena From is the head of Art is happening. She has long experience of working with public art, that is, art that is located in places where people live their everyday lives: on streets, in squares and places of work, schools and eldercare centres, both in and outside the Miljonprogram. Before Lena From started to work with art, she worked as a journalist, not least as a local journalist for provincial newspapers all over Sweden.

Joanna Zawieja works in the intersections of art, architecture and urban planning. She runs projects that focus on improving our common public areas by trying new ways of working and focusing on the social aspects of urban planning. Joanna Zawieja has worked previously within architecture where she has often collaborated with artists and cultural institutions. She is in charge of Public Art Agency Sweden’s ”Urban Development” work.