Artists hoping to join the ranks of those who exhibit and sell their works by the fence surrounding Jackson Square are out of luck for 2015.
All 200 of the permits allotted for the site have been renewed, meaning there are none available for newcomers, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration announced Monday.
With all of the permits renewed, the city also was unable to test out a new system for issuing remaining licenses.
The Occupational License and Mayoralty Permit is coveted among artists because it provides prime display space at an area visited by millions of people each year.
The city code allows a maximum of 200 so-called “Artist A” permits to be issued each year. Those permits allow artists to work and sell artworks in the area extending 20 feet out from the Jackson Square fence on St. Peter, Chartres and St. Ann streets and 5 feet from the fence facing Decatur Street. They also allow artists to display and sell work in Pirates Alley and on Royal Street near Pirates Alley and Pere Antoine Alley.
The city also offers an Artist B permit that allows artists to work and sell in Pirates Alley and on Royal Street. There is no limit on the number of Artist B permits issued each year.
Holders of Artist A permits must pay $175.25 to renew their licenses each year. Permits that aren’t renewed are sold at the same price to artists with B permits and those who have applied for A permits.
In past years, the city has issued leftover permits on a first-come, first-served basis.
Last year, more than a dozen artists camped outside City Hall for several days in the hope of securing one of 21 available permits.
The Landrieu administration had planned to employ a “more efficient” public lottery system to disburse the leftover permits this year. Under that plan, the Bureau of Revenue would have held a public lottery on Thursday. However, the lottery won’t be held because there are no permits available.