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DowntownDC Public Space Art Call for Entry


Images - Minimum: 2, Maximum: 10
Total Media - Minimum: 2, Maximum: 10

Downtown BID Call Box Project Request for Proposals

The Downtown BID is seeking multi medium visual artists that can include but are not limited to Fine Artists, Street Artists, Graffiti Artists, Metal Workers, and Graphic Artists to design, submit and fabricate original designs to be installed on individual call boxes located in the Downtown area of the District of Columbia. Selected artists not currently residing in the District of Columbia will be required to have a District artist as a project assistant on the instillation.

There are 27 call boxes located downtown. The BID is seeking designs for 9 call boxes in 8 locations.

Application Document Downloads:

Download the RFP

Map and photos of locations of selected call boxes

Outline of a call box to be used for creating design


NOTICE: Applicants must read the entire Request for Proposals (RFP) prior to submitting a proposed design for this initiative. For questions or additional information, please contact the lead arts consultant:

Mr. Mazi A.E. Mutafa, Founder & Executive Director,Words Beats & Life

202-667-1192 (o) 202-494-8668 (c)

[email protected]

Release Date: Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Submission Deadline: Sunday, July 8, 2018 at 4:00 PM EST

Award Amount: $4,000 - $10,000, variable


The Downtown BID is seeking multi medium visual artists that can include but are not limited to fine artists, street artists, graffiti artists, metal workers, and graphic artists to design, submit and fabricate original designs to be installed on individual call boxes located in the downtown area of the District of Columbia. Selected artists not currently residing in the District of Columbia will be required to have a District artist as a project assistant on the instillation.

The Downtown BID Call Box Project is being established to breathe new life into 9 call boxes in 8 locations in the BID. The BID considers the transformation of these call boxes part of creating a vibrant downtown.

Applicants can submit proposals for single or multiple call boxes included in this RFP. Applicants can submit proposals for up to three unique call boxes. Applicants submitting for multiple call boxes will be given preference.

Artists not residing in the District of Columbia will be required to work with a DC based artist for the installation of awarded projects.

This project aims to positively engage the District’s youth and adult artists by working collaboratively to develop public art. The project provides a professional means to practice and perform artistic skills in a way that creates community in downtown DC.

Downtown BID Call Box Project Goals

Call box restoration

Enliven the public realm in downtown DC

Creative use of the existing call box structure

Applicant Eligibility and Restrictions

This is a national call for artists and artist teams (selection preference will be given artists that are residents of the District of Columbia).

Artists must (at the time of application):

Be eighteen (18) years of age or older;

Be a U.S. citizen or demonstrate the ability to legally work and enter into an agreement in the United States of America;

Demonstrate public art creation experience;

Demonstrate ability to engage and manage a local assistant artist (for artists that are not DC Residents);

Have past work that demonstrates the skill level, capacity and ability to function as a lead artist.

Artist teams can consist of no more than two (2) members, with both members meeting all the eligibility requirements stated above at the time of application.

Call Box and Pedestal Description

Call boxes are mounted on pedestals and reach a height of 6-8 feet. Some of the installations have poles that extend another 2 feet high with a light fixture on top.

All the boxes and pedestals have a thick coat of black enamel paint that has been weathered to varying degrees.

The call boxes themselves are 7.5 inches wide and 11 inches tall. Most boxes are missing either a front or back panel. A few are missing both panels. Three pedestals have one panel missing.

Proposals should include the entirety of each installation, from the top of the light pole (if present) to the pedestal base.

Limitations on Extensions of Artwork

Applicants can create work that is flush on the call box panels using paint or wraps. Missing call box panels can be replaced to create these works.

Works of metal, ceramics or other durable materials can be installed inside of call boxes missing one or both panels.

Proposal Scope

Applicants can submit proposals that include an individual call box or multiple call boxes included in this RFP.

Allowable Costs

Artist and Design Fees (no more than twenty percent [20%] of the project budget)

Project-related materials

General Liability Insurance


Fabrication and installation services

Equipment Rentals and Permits

Travel, accommodations and transportation directly related to project implementation

Copyright registration

Annual Maintenance Fees

Examples of Unallowable Costs

Sub-granting or re-granting of grant funds

Tuition and scholarships

Food or beverage expenses

Capital expenses

Equipment purchases over five-hundred US dollars ($500.00)

Costs related to special events, fundraisers, and lobbying

Travel other than as noted above (see, “Examples of Allowable Expenses” above)

Application Process

Applicants should be submitting a PDF doc with all the information requests. The date and time of the application deadline is firm. The Downtown BID will not accept late applications. Please follow the following steps for application submission:

Step 1: Review the Downtown BID Call and ensure eligibility.

Step 2: Answer the Eligibility Questionnaire

Step 3: Include Work Samples

ïInclude photos or videos of 4-6 past projects

ïAttach each image to your email submission of your application.

ïPlease submit a “Description” for each project when uploading. It is recommended to provide a description with Location, Title, Year, Medium and Size.

Step 4: Upload mandatory and supplementary documents in the Document Viewer

Application Form

Work Samples (up to ten [10] digital images for Artists)

Annotated Image List

Artist Bio and or Resume

Two (1) Professional References

Signed W9 Form

Artists Selection Criteria

Artist selection will be based on artistic merit, community impact and managerial capability using the following evaluation criteria:

ï High quality and reflection of aesthetic appropriate for Downtown DC as demonstrated in submitted work samples;

ï Adaptability to the collaborative process of public art design;

ï Demonstrated knowledge of public art creation;

ï Ability to create a unique and engaging work of art appropriate in concept, materials and scale;

ï Availability to complete work before September 30, 2019.

Artist Selection Process

The selection process consists of two stages. The Downtown BID will convene a selection panel, representing diverse arts-related backgrounds and expertise to review the qualified applications.

Stage One:

The artist selection panel reviews each applicant’s work samples and materials in order to evaluate qualifications of the applicant.

The panel will recommend up to four (4) qualified artist finalists.

Stage Two:

The Downtown BID plans to apply for funding from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to support 50% of this project.

The Downtown BID call box project selection panel application evaluation process will take into consideration general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs and values of the American public consistent with The National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act, as amended in 1990.

Applicants are fully responsible for the content of their application packages. Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the advisory review panel for consideration.

Notification, Budget and Payment

Notification. Applicants will be notified of a decision via a conditional contract award email or letter of denial. Notifications will be sent to applicants on July 20, 2018.

Budget. The budget for each call box installation may range from $4,000 to $10,000.

The budget must include:

All artist fees and costs associated with design, fabrication, travel, transportation to the site

Site preparation, insurance, permits, installation, protective coating

Working with DC based artists if the artists is not a DC resident

Documentation of the artwork

Budget funds must be expended by 11:59 PM, September 30, 2019.

Payment. If selected, artists receive a design fee of $800. If design is ultimately selected, artists will receive an additional fee of $800 for the design work as part of the turning over of copyright to the Downtown BID.

Conditions of Funding and Cancellations

The Downtown BID reserves the right to rescind any and all contract awards for non-compliance with contract guidelines, policies or regulations, at any time.

The Downtown BID retains the right to withhold or cancel an awarded contract if the involved awardee does any of the following:

ï Fails to notify Downtown BID staff of changes in the project scope;

ï Fails to comply with the terms of the awarded contract requirements;

ï Demonstrates inadequate financial management and oversight of the project throughout its duration; and

ï Fails to credit support (as per the contract agreement) publicly in any of the project’s promotional or information materials.

Application Checklist / Submission

The following is a checklist for all mandatory and supplementary documents required to submit the Downtown BID call box project application, which are in addition to the required narrative questions within the application. Documents must be attached as PDFs in the email application submission.

Mandatory Documents:

Application Form

Work sample(s):

Artists may submit 4-6 digital images of at least five (3) different works;

Artist teams submit (10) digital images. Ten (5) images per artist of at least five (3) different works;

Flyers and brochures are NOT considered work samples.

Annotated Image List:

A printed sheet of information with artist’s name, contact information, artwork titles, mediums, date of artworks, sizes and the corresponding image numbers in same order of the submitted work samples.

Each team member must clearly identify their individual contributions on partnership projects by detailing their specific contributions on the annotated image list.

Artist Biography or Résumé(s)/CVs (maximum two (2) pages each) demonstrating artist’s experience of instructing and engaging youth;

Professional References: Include two (2) professional references that lists names, addresses, phone number and email address;

Letters of Support/Recommendation: Include two (2) letters of support/recommendation. (One (1) page maximum per letter, per person); and

Signed IRS W-9 Form (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certificate).


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