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DC Department of General Services - Call to Artist

Proposal Due Date: October 4, 2013 by 2:00 p.m. EST


Proposal Delivery Location: Department of General Services

Att’n: JW Lanum

Frank D. Reeves Center 2000 14th Street, NW

Contracts & Procurement Division, 8th Floor Washington, DC 20009


Contact: Kim Gray

Department of General Services 2000 14th Street, NW

8th Floor

Washington, D.C.  20009  kim.gray@dc.gov

Phone:  (202) 724-4121


Solicitation Number: DCAM-14-NC-0054


The Department of General Services (“Department” or “DGS”) is issuing this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to engage individual artists and artistic teams (Artist) to respond to this Call to Artists with professional qualifications in addition to a proposal of site-specific artistic capital improvements for new Metropolitan Police Department 6th District (“DC MPD 6D”) building, formerly the Merritt Elementary School located at 5002 Hayes Street, N.E., Washington, DC in the Deanwood Community. The Artist shall develop a new original permanent work of art made specifically for the site that reflects the history of the Deanwood community and history and mission of MPD 6D.

There are two (2) selection processes:

  • Request for Qualifications (RFQ), whereby an Artist and/or Team submits images of prior work public art projects demonstrating five years of site –specific public art experience.APPLICATION DEADLINE October 4, 2013, 2:00PM/ SEMI---FINALISTS ANNOUNCED October 18, 2013. The finalist will be selected through an Art Selection Committee selection process.This will be a commission for a new original permanent work of art made specifically for the site.
  • Conduct semi--‐finalists site visits and community input session(s). Submittal of a site – specific design proposal. SITE SPECIFIC DESIGN PROPOSAL DEADLINE November 29, 2013

Site Specific Proposals shall include or consider the following:

  • Fabricated from durable, low-maintenance material that can withstand the elements and requires minimal maintenance.
  • Visible to the public. The most visible locations for works of art include the front concrete façade.
  • Incorporate context of the Ward 7 community, with sensitivity to the history, traditions and iconography that uplift the pride of the community.
  • Adhere to requisite ADA and safety regulations.
  • Engaging and enjoyable to individuals of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Lighting

Project Goals

The art should reflect the history of the community and history and mission of MPD 6D.

  • Create a unique work of art that engages the mind & inspires residents of all ages
  • Generate & reinforce a sense of place within the community
  • Engage with the rich history of the neighborhood
  • Express the spirit of wellness and the culture of the Deanwood community
  • Compliment the architecture of the new MPD 6D

Community Context

Meritt Elelmentary School

The site was an elementary school with a playground and field.  http://www.wdchumanities.org/docs/2011DCCHP/DCSchoolsHistandHeritage2011.pdf

Go To Emma Merritt School MPD 6th District

The conversion of the site to the MPD 6D headquarters will include the typical police station,

community classrooms & a computer lab, a basketball court, a lobby, and kitchen. It will also include a youth investigations branch, where the officers hope to establish trusted and greater connections with youth in the community.

The Sixth District of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department covers portions of the Northeast (east of the Anacostia River) and Southeast quadrants of the city. The district consists of a mix of single-family detached and row houses, along with a significant number of public housing communities. The district is home to both Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, which maintains a wide variety of water-grown flora, and Fort Dupont Park, a 376-acre parcel of federally maintained park area that is patrolled by the Metropolitan Police Department and the United States Park Police.

Deanwood Community

Resources about the Deanwood Community: http://dc.gov/OP/HP/Community%20Heritage%20pdf%204.2.2/Deanwood_%20Brochure.pdf http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ri3pvGe3FpM

http://www.arcadiapublishing.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=978073 8553504



The competition is open nationally to professional artists with five years of site-specific and/or public art experience; however preference will be given to artists certified by the Department of Small and Local Business Development. Artists should have demonstrated experience working with community representatives, youth, businesses and government entities.  It  is also important that if the artist(s) selected for the project are not already very familiar with the Deanwood Community they should be willing to actively engage and collaborate with local residents.

Selection Criteria & Process

The selection committee, representing diverse  interests  and  expertise,  will  review  images submitted by artists and recommend between (3) three to (5) five  Semi-Finalists. Each  Semi- Finalist will be awarded a $500 honorarium to create a site-specific design proposal that would include a scale model or rendering, an itemized budget, a project timeline, and a project narrative. Semi-Finalists must be available to attend a site visit and community meeting(s) in October 2013.

After the site-visit and community meeting(s), the semi-finalist must present their proposals at a community Open House. This will give the broader Ward 7 community a chance to view the proposals and hear the artist's intent. After the Open House session, semi-finalists will present their work to the selection committee. The selection committee will review the designs and recommend (1) one finalist/team for the project.

The following Public Art Evaluation Criteria will be used for the Finalist:

Artistic Content  - 40%

  • The applicant’s work sample and support materials (brochures, articles, letters of support, etc.) demonstrate high standards of artistic excellence within the chosen discipline(s);
  • Artist(s) and/or applicant’s written concept exhibits high quality, innovation and creativity
  • Applicant has experience with site specific pubic art projects and uses personnel with demonstrated arts expertise (such as arts administrator, professional artists) to plan and implement artistic content;
  • The described project, goals and schedule of planned activities are feasible;
  • The applicant demonstrates a commitment to hiring DC-based artists, where applicable, to deliver artistic content (such as arts administrators, professional artists); and
  • Artist(s) and/or applicant demonstrate the ability to translate artistic discipline to project participants.

Community Engagement and Impact - 20%

  • Project provides shared learning opportunities in the District that facilitate a greater participation in the arts, relative to the artistic discipline
  • Applicant demonstrates sensitivity to the cultural, ethnic and economic background of the participants and the residents of the District of Columbia
  • Project addresses significant diversity of expression;
  • Project addresses needs of the community;
  • Project location(s) and presentation(s) are accessible to persons with disabilities; and
  • Applicant has substantive experience working with community representatives, landscape architects, business and government entities

Capacity and Sustainability - 20%

  • The applicant is sufficiently stable, in terms of arts expertise, organizational capacity, and financial status to implement the proposed project;
  • The applicant demonstrates the internal capacity to administer the project and has appropriate financial monitoring systems in place to track expenditures
  • The applicant’s budget information is detailed, accurate, feasible, and directly related to the project. All items are eligible expenses;
  • The applicant has experience in producing similar public art projects; and

Level of Participation - 20%

  • Applicant demonstrates effective outreach to project participants;
  • Applicant involves District residents (artist(s), active participants, audience) and community in the planning of project activities.

The design proposal and the selection committee’s recommendations will be forwarded to the DGS for review and final approval. The artist whose design is approved will then enter into an agreement with DGS for final design, fabrication and installation of the artwork.

Websites and Resources

Please use these websites for reference about the Deanwood community and the arts community in ward 7.

  • Ward 7 Arts Collaborative
  • Ward 7 Connections Blog
  • DC Historic Preservation Office


The total budget is $50,000. This must include all artists’ fees and costs associated with design, fabrication, and travel, transportation of work to the site, insurance, permits, installation and documentation of the artwork.

Calendar and Timeline

Project Timeline

Call/RFQ Released:


Submission Deadline for RFQ:


First Round Panel Review

Between 10/04/13-10/18/13

Semi-finalists Notified and Announced:


Site Visit Tour and Community Meeting with Semi-Finalists:

Between 10/21/13-11/1/13

Site-Specific Proposals Due:


Proposal Presentation:

Between 12/2/13-12/13/13

Finalist Announced:


Contract Executed:


Final Design, Fabrication and Installation Begins:


Completion deadline:

August, 2014


(Design proposals are NOT accepted at this stage.)

  • Complete APPLICATION FORM. PDF below.
  • One Page Letter of Intent stating your interest in and qualifications for the project. Describe in detail the approach to engage the community.  Within the letter, outline your past working with the community.
  • Up to 10 DIGITAL images of previous artwork. Images should be numbered to correspond with the Image identification list. Example: 01_Jones; 02_Jones. Digital images should be submitted on a CD--‐R or Zip Drive. Do not embed images into PowerPoint or submit moving image or audio files. Images submitted in any other format than jpgs will be disqualified.
  • Current artistic RESUME highlighting experience with site--‐specific work and public art commissions.
  • SELF--‐ADDRESSED  STAMPED  ENVELOPE  with  sufficient  postage  and  large enough to accommodate you slides and protection for your slides if you would like them returned.
  • Please make a copy of the application to keep for your records.

QUESTIONS - E-mail no later than Friday, September 27, 2013 by 5:00pm

Contact Kim Gray at  kim.gray@dc.gov or (202) 724-4121


D.C. Department of General services Att’n: JW Lanum

2000 14th Street, NW 8th Floor Washington, D.C. 20009

Phone: (202) 724-4121