In 2015, under the auspices of the School of the Arts, a steering committee of Emerson faculty with expertise in public art formed to work on foundational components of the College’s public art initiative. The steering committee crafted an identity (Public Art Think Tank; PATT), and wrote a vision statement and mission for such. It also determined the composition of the PATT committee proper, which commenced meeting in Fall 2016. This committee functions as an advisory body to help generate and consult upon Emerson's public art endeavors. It is comprised of representation from the faculty, administration/staff, and students.

Emerson’s PATT initiative is aligned with the College’s overarching arts-on-campus and Emerson Contemporary's programming. It enriches the academic curriculum and cultural life of the College, and highlights areas of artistic practice for which Emerson is well known (including digital/media arts, film and video, photography, installation, and performance). This public art initiative enhances Emerson’s visibility and reputation in the arts, and makes meaningful cultural contributions to the College community, our neighbors, city residents and visitors, and wider audiences.