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Welcome to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts

The Commission of Fine Arts, established in 1910 by Act of Congress, is charged with giving expert advice to the President, Congress and the heads of departments and agencies of the Federal and District of Columbia governments on matters of design and aesthetics, as they affect the Federal interest and preserve the dignity of the nation's capital. The Commission consists of seven "well qualified judges of the fine arts" who are appointed by the President and serve for a term of four years; they may also be reappointed.

The Commission provides advice to the U. S. Mint on the design of coins and medals, and approves the site and design of national memorials, both in the United States and on foreign soil, in accordance with the Commemorative Works Act or the American Battle Monuments Act, whichever applies.

Within the District of Columbia community, the Commission advises on design matters affecting the Historic District of Georgetown, under the Old Georgetown Act, as well as other private sector areas adjacent to federal interests, under the Shipstead-Luce Act.

Lastly, the Commission administers the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs program, which was created by Congress to benefit non-profit cultural entities whose primary purpose is to provide Washington with exhibition or performing arts.

If you are a private citizen or developer engaged in a construction project in the District of Columbia, please contact the staff of the Commission of Fine Arts at (202) 504-2200, to determine whether your project's location comes under the purview of the Commission. Please provide the lot, square number and address of the property.

Last Modified: October 10, 2014