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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. 

Important Update:

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The Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture is receiving many questions from artists and third-party proponents seeking guidance on the ways Coronavirus Disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, might impact proposals for public art. While protocols and guidelines are changing quickly, we continue to offer as much support and up-to-date information as possible. We encourage you to monitor the Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture's web page, where we are regularly posting new information. As you consider applying, keep in mind that rapidly changing timelines may impact approval and installation schedules. 

Questions and answers can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3b8wGAi

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

Questions and answers can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3b8wGAi

We will continue to update this form as new information is provided. 

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 noon EST--- THE DEADLINE FOR THIS RFP IS EXTENDED TO WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, AT 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:


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


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


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. 


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.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.