Introduction

As one of the United States’ oldest cities, Boston has been at the forefront of many of the conversations that have shaped the country. Boston is famous for spearheading the rebellion against Britain, leading abolitionist efforts, and in recent years fiercely advocating for immigrant rights. It has also maintained de facto and de jure racism from beginning with its storied role in European conquest and colonialism, through acting as an economic engine for slavery, and in recent generations, through supporting segregation in housing and education. This complex cultural legacy of revolution and erasure remains largely misunderstood as divergent and opposing narratives. Today, over half of the city’s residents are people of color. The city’s changing demographics present an opportunity to better understand our diverse, and often untold, historical and cultural inheritance, as well as our potential to live up to our democratic ideals. 

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) is committed to the arts, however, we are also charged with representing and advancing culture in all of its forms. In addition to this RFI, we are seeking a thought partner to help us craft and implement a strategy that centers a multitude of cultures present in our communities and prioritizes funding artists, art organizations, and art forms that have historically had difficulty accessing funding through traditional channels.

This RFI’s purpose is to enable us to create a public roster of entities that do cultural equity work that we can publish on our website for people seeking these services. 

What We Are Seeking

In order to create a publicly available roster of qualified individuals and firms who focus on racial equity at the intersections of our program areas, MOAC is seeking individuals and firms who operate at the intersection of equity and arts and culture to:

  1. Inform the City’s ongoing consulting needs
  2. Serve as a resource for the arts and culture sector in Boston, and 
  3. Integrate creative and holistic approaches into ongoing equity and cultural competency trainings and work. 

For this RFI, MOAC is seeking information from individuals and firms with expertise in leading equity transformation and experience in the following areas of practice:

  • Arts and Culture Grantmaking and Program Design
  • Arts and Cultural Policy
  • Arts and Cultural Data Collection, Analysis, and Visualization
  • Creative Community Engagement
  • Creative Placemaking
  • Cultural Competency
  • Cultural Planning
  • Participatory Action Research
  • Socially Engaged, Social Practice, and Civic Practice Art
  • Technical Assistance and Professional Development for Artists and Cultural Workers/Practitioners 

We are also seeking information from individuals and firms with professional expertise in:

  • Trainings on any of the topics outlined above
  • Project evaluation on any of the topics outlined above
  • Facilitation on any of the topics outlined above
  • Case study research and development on any of the topics outlined above

What We Will Provide

This document is a Request for Information only. This RFI does not guarantee an award of contract. This is a solicitation for the advertisement of services. As we endeavor to support the advancement racial equity we want to know who works in this field and be able to provide a list that can be shared publicly between organizations that seek this kind of assistance from qualified service providers. This process may serve as the source for the creation of that curated list. 

MOAC will not be liable for any costs or expenses incurred by any Respondent in connection with this RFI. The costs and expenses incurred by a Respondent in the preparation, submission, and presentation of the response are the responsibility of the respondent and not chargeable to MOAC. Only respondents to this RFI will be included in the resultant directory. 

How to Reply

Please note All written responses to this RFI, or other written materials or presentations submitted in response with this RFI, or written questions regarding this RFI including return email addresses if questions or RFI responses are delivered via email, will become public records under the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Public Records Law (Massachusetts General Laws chapter 66 section 10; the “Public Records Law”) upon submission, regardless of any confidentiality notices that may be set forth on such written responses, materials, presentations, or questions. All such responses, materials, presentations, and questions are subject to public disclosure unless they, or any portions thereof, are otherwise exempted from the requirements of the Public Records Law pursuant to General Laws Chapter 4, Section 7(26). Do not submit confidential information in your response. Interested parties are invited to respond to this Request for Information (RFI).

We may request a follow-up interview or demonstration once we’ve reviewed the responses.

Introduction

The City of Boston, via the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, invites artists to apply to create permanent public artworks to complement the Ruggles Street Corridor improvement project. 


Call released: Monday, February 24th, 2020, at noon EDT

Site walk and Q+A: Friday, March 6, 2020, 3 pm EDT

Deadline for written questions about the opportunity: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Answers and other materials posted: Friday, March 20, 2020

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 noon EST

Budget: $300,000

View and download the full RFP here


For the Ruggles Corridor Integrated Public Art call to artists, the City of Boston seeks proposals from artists for a series of accessible and unique artworks along the Ruggles Corridor in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston that create street level engagement for pedestrians and other travelers of Ruggles Corridor. The artworks should foster a sense of connectivity in the corridor, reflect the fabric of the existing neighborhood, and complement existing and in-process design and public art. Artists experienced in collaboration both with other design teams and with a wide variety of communities are strongly encouraged to apply. 


Project Context

Ruggles Street is a dynamic corridor stretching southeast from Ruggles Station, an intermodal transfer station, to Washington Street in Nubian Square. Nubian Square is a historic Boston neighborhood that is the heart of the Roxbury Cultural District, which celebrates Roxbury's rich arts and cultural assets:

https://www.boston.gov/departments/arts-and-culture/roxbury-cultural-district

Unlike the heavily traversed traffic corridors that parallel Ruggles Street to the northeast (Melnea Cass Boulevard) and southwest (Malcolm X Boulevard), Ruggles Street is largely a local thoroughfare. Primarily traveling through residential neighborhoods, it also borders the athletic fields of Madison Park Technical Vocational High School. Madison Park Village, a well established residential community, and the Dewitt Center, a bustling community center, are located towards the southeast end. 

The City of Boston Public Works Department’s Ruggles Street Project (https://www.boston.gov/departments/public-works/ruggles-street-project) seeks to increase pedestrian safety and accessibility, calm traffic, improve bike facilities, preserve trees and increase greenscape, and add ornamental street lighting, among other improvements.  At a series of public meetings in 2018 and 2019,  community members advocated strongly for public art, expressing a preference for wayfinding signage, artistic seating options, and other elements of integrated public art. 

Project Site(s)

The City has identified multiple potential sites for artwork along the corridor. These sites are based on the current corridor design; sites are subject to change as the design is further developed. Artists are welcome to explore additional or different sites for artwork along the corridor. 

See Appendix A for a map of suggested artwork sites.

Public Art in the Ruggles Corridor

Artists should be aware that there is a public art commission in progress at Dewitt Playground at Madison Park Athletic Complex, an upcoming RFP for a gateway sculpture at the Tremont/ Ruggles Street intersection, several existing murals and an new mural project at Madison Park Technical and Vocational High School, and several existing artworks through the corridor, including the iconic sculpture “Helion” by Robert Amory. 

Design Goals and Community Values 

When writing their proposals, interested artists may wish to take into consideration three themes proposed by residents and stakeholders of the Ruggles corridor neighborhood:

Celebrate heritage

Roxbury is a historic Boston neighborhood with a long and unique history. The residents of the neighborhood feel the heritage of Roxbury should be celebrated throughout the corridor. 

Keep the place

The artwork should reflect the existing aesthetic of the neighborhood and Ruggles Street’s physical position as a strong connecting corridor between two popular transit stations, Ruggles Street Station and Nubian (formerly Dudley) Station. 

Honor the people

The Roxbury neighborhood is in a period of rapid change. The intensive pace of development in Boston is keenly felt throughout the neighborhood, which has had a historically tumultuous relationship with development. Displacement of long term residents and the related loss of cultural identity are primary concerns for the community. 

Artist Responsibilities 

The selected artist is responsible for:

  • Conducting site and community research as needed
  • Attend a minimum of two community workshops coordinated by the City
  • Incorporating design feedback from the Boston Art Commission
  • Working with the Mayor’s Office of Arts + Culture, the City of Boston Public Works department, and any subcontractors engaged on the Ruggles Corridor Improvement Project
  • Closely coordinate with the team landscape architect
  • Creating a detailed design of the proposed artwork and associated plans (such as engineering, lighting design, site details, electrical documents, or fabrication) to be presented for final approval from the Boston Art Commission
  • Fabrication of the completed work, documentation, and management and oversight of all implementation and installation in coordination with the City Working Group
  • Creating a maintenance plan and appropriate documentation, including final recommendations for conservation

Art Timeline and Process

Timing

The City anticipates that this project will take approximately 12-18 months to complete. The following is the anticipated RFP timeline and a proposed project timeline:

RFP Timeline

Monday, February 24, 2020: RFP available by noon (12 pm) EDT

Wednesday, March 25, 2020: Deadline to respond to the RFP, noon (12 pm) EDT

April 2020: Interviews with artists; specific date and time TBD (Non-local artists may interview remotely)

May 2020: Artist contracted 

Proposed Project Timeline (subject to change)

Summer 2020: Artist’s design phase

Fall 2020/ Winter 2021: Artist’s fabrication

Spring 2021: Public art installation

Budget

The total project budget is $300,000. This includes the artist fee, fabrication, installation, documentation, and all costs associated with the project. A preliminary itemized budget is required to apply but is subject to change until the Boston Art Commission approves the artist’s final design. 

Who Should Apply | Eligibility 

This Call to Artists is open to all artists, domestic and international, with experience in public art, site responsive design, project management, and construction administration. 

Non-Discrimination

The Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, ancestry, or disability, nor will it fund projects that discriminate on these attributes. 

Selection Criteria 

Artist selection will be determined by an Artist Selection Committee comprised of representatives from the neighborhood, the project design team, and the Boston Art Commission. 

The Artist Selection Committee will review proposals using the following criteria:

  • Does the artist’s past work show consistent artistic excellence? 
  • Does the artist state a compelling interest in this project?
  • Does the artist’s proposal complement the community values, as well as the Boston Art Commission’s Curatorial Vision? 
  • Does the artist demonstrate experience with materials and methods suitable to the site and to their proposal? 
  • Does the artist’s past work show successful experience with projects of similar scope, scale, and budget?

Artists whose proposal submissions are non-responsive will not be shared with the selection committee. 


Questions? Contact

Please contact Sarah Rodrigo, Public Art Project Manager, at sarah.rodrigo@boston.gov with any questions. Deadline for content-specific questions is Wednesday, March 18 at noon EDT. Questions and answers will be posted on the Boston.gov/arts website. 

Technical questions about the Submittable application are welcome until the deadline. 


About the Boston Art Commission

This project is commissioned by the City of Boston via the Boston Art Commission. The Boston Art Commission must vote to formally approve the project. The artist will meet with the Boston Art Commission staff and/ or board at each phase of the project. The artist is expected to be collaborative and open to community input; however, the Boston Art Commission has sole approval over each phase of the public art project and the final acceptance of the artwork into the City of Boston permanent collection.

Artist Housing Certification Guidelines

What is an Artist Certificate? 

An Artist Housing Certificate is a letter from Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. The letter confirms that the artist has been active in their artistic practice in the past three years. An Artist Housing Certificate qualifies an artist as eligible for artist live/work housing and some work space in Boston. The Artist Housing Certification is valid for a period of eight years. Upon expiration, the artist will need to reapply to receive a new Artist Housing Certification. The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture keeps a list of all spaces for artists in the City of Boston, whether they require the Artist Certification or not. Review those spaces here. The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture does not maintain a waitlist for these spaces and is not able to confirm when these spaces will become available.

Who is eligible for an Artist Housing Certification?

Applicants must able to demonstrate that they have a recent body (last three years) of artwork and must be at least 18 years of age. Artists in the following disciplines are considered:

  • Visual Arts: including painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, conceptual art, ceramics, woodworking, architecture/design, media arts, film, and new media.
  • Performing Arts: including dance, theater, and music.
  • Literary Arts: including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and spoken word.
  • Multidisciplinary Art

If you are a commercial artist who has an office space to do your work, and/or works for a company instead of for yourself (sole proprietor) we require examples of your personal fine art to ensure that you need an artist space for your artistic work. This is also the case for artists who are employed full-time in other industries.

Who reviews the applications?

The Artist Resource Manager in the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture reviews applications.

The decision of the Artist Resource Manager is final. If an applicant is not certified during this round, it is because they were not able to convey that they have been actively making art in the past three years through their application.

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria.

  • Evidence of a recent body of work (last three years), demonstrated by an artistic resume or CV that lists dates and locations of exhibitions, publications, performances, press, awards, artist residencies, jobs held in arts discipline field, and formal training if you have it.
  • Documentation of artwork (or "work samples) including image files, video clips, and writing samples. Files must be dated or they will not be considered. 
  • One reference letter of support from peers and professionals in the arts who can confirm you have been active in your artistic practice over the past three years.

When are applications accepted?

Applications for the Artist Certification are reviewed every other month. Please check out website to see when we will be reviewing applications.

When will I hear back about the status of my application?

You will hear back about your application the week after we review applications. Use the link above to check when we will be reviewing applications.

What is Automatic Certification?

Automatic certification is granted to artists who have received any of the following awards in the last 3 years: the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, The Boston Foundation Brother Thomas Fellowship, the Boston Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, or the City of Boston Emerging Artist Award.

To receive automatic certification, please fill out your name and contact information in the Artist Housing Certification application and upload your fellowship letter in the Work Samples section. Letter must prove reception of award in the past three years.

Public Art Curator Roster Guidelines

The City of Boston is creating a list of qualified curators interested in leading in the creation of municipal, private, and public-private public art projects. The Public Art Curator Roster is a response to an increase in requests for qualified curators experienced in the public realm from stakeholders in the field. In order to provide interested parties introduction to experienced public art curators, this list will be made publicly available on Boston.gov/arts. 

The Public Art Curator Roster is valid for a period of eight years. Upon expiration, the curator will need to reapply to renew their inclusion on the roster.

Who is eligible for a Public Art Curator Roster?
Applicants must able to demonstrate that they have a recent body (last three years) of curatorial experience and must be at least 18 years of age. Additionally, curators and other professionals with experience and interest in the following categories are considered:

  • Public art planning
  • Public art project management

Curators with experience and interest in the following categories of projects are considered:

  • Private property projects
  • Public property projects
  • Interior projects
  • Exterior projects
  • Temporary installations
  • Long-term installations
  • Two-dimensional projects
  • Three-dimensional projects
  • Participatory activations working with multiple stakeholders 

Curators may work as a sole proprietor or may be a member of a larger organization or company but must apply individually. 

The City of Boston is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. Qualified applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military, and veteran status, or other protected category.

Why create this roster?

The Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture (MOAC) released the City’s first cultural plan, Boston Creates, in 2016, calling for increased support to Boston’s arts and culture ecosystem. In order to integrate art into Boston's landscape, the City created a Percent for Art Program demonstrating the City’s leadership and commitment to sustainable funding for the arts by setting aside one percent of the City’s annual capital borrowing budget for the commissioning of public art. 

In order to fulfill this shared vision of a robust arts and culture ecosystem, the City's efforts must be met with private endeavors and public-private partnerships. Urban visionaries across the world invite curators and artists to join their design teams; we encourage all leaders working in Boston to celebrate the unique cultural vibrancy of the city of Boston through the creation of innovative and transformative artworks in our built environment. 

Who reviews the applications?

The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture reviews applications and decisions are final. If an applicant is not accepted during this round, it is because they were not able to convey that they have been actively curating public art projects in the past three years through their application.

Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria.

  • Evidence of a recent body of work (last three years), demonstrated by a resume or CV that lists dates and locations of exhibitions, installations, publications, performances, press, awards, residencies, jobs held in arts discipline field, and formal training if relevant.
  • Documentation of installations and exhibitions including image files, video clips, and writing samples. Files must be dated or they will not be considered. 
  • Recommendations and letters of support from peers and professionals in the arts.

When are applications accepted?
Applications for the Public Art Curator Roster are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications are reviewed the last week of every month. If you submit your application by close of business on the last Tuesday of the month, your application will be reviewed that month.

When will I hear back about the status of my application?
You should expect to wait no more than 6 weeks to hear back.

Boston City Hall

Call to Artists & Art Organizations

The Scollay Square Gallery, The Mayor’s Gallery, and 

The Mayor’s Neighborhood Gallery at Boston City Hall.

 

Seeking artists and artist organizations, that live or create in Boston to exhibit at Boston City Hall. Your submission will be kept on file for future consideration.

 

Selection process

  • This is an ongoing search, there is no deadline


City of Boston logo 


Boston Art Commission logo 

The Boston Art Commission, housed within the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, advocates for the creation of innovative and transformative art and promotes its accessibility to enrich the lives of Boston’s diverse citizens and visitors. The Art Commission advises, supports, and consults with artists and communities, City departments, and others. It commissions, approves, and conserves the City of Boston’s collection of art and historical artifacts. 

Please note that the BAC only commissions artwork through public Requests for Proposals. This form is for BAC review and vote on whether to allow artwork to be sited on City property; this is not an application for funding. 

Please fill out the following form to propose both short and long-term public art and design interventions and installations on City of Boston property.

All applications will be reviewed by the Boston Art Commission at our monthly meeting, scheduled for the second Tuesday of the month. We ask for applications to be submitted three weeks before a BAC meeting and six weeks before the proposed installation start date.

CALL FOR POETRY


THE MAYOR’S POETRY PROGRAM AT BOSTON CITY HALL 

Along with its rich literary history, Boston is also home to many talented contemporary writers. In honor of the diverse and creative village we call Boston, the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture will display selected poems on the walls of city hall. 

Poets who reside or work in Boston are invited to send in work to help celebrate the city through poetry and to remind people of what a culturally exciting city Boston is to live and work in.  

 

This year’s theme is BOSTON FUTURISM / re-imagine the past, dream the future. The work on the theme is left up to the artist's interpretation.


SUBMISSION DEADLINE: March 20, 2020


Selection Process: 

  •  Poet Laureate Porsha Olayiwola will select 19 poems based on strength of content and style. 

Please submit the following:

  • · 1-3 poems (a maximum of 200 words per poem).
  • · A brief bio.

Selection Timeline:

  • Deadline - March 20, 2020
  • Selected writers notified - April 6, 2020
  • Reading -Wed. April 17, 2020 at Boston City Hall


For more information, contact:

John Crowley, Curator/Exhibitions Coordinator

Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture

Boston City Hall, Room 802

Boston, Massachusetts 02201

Phone: 617/635-2368   Fax: 617/635-1850

City of Boston Arts and Culture