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Posted on: March 23, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Norfolk Arts Seeks Municipal Artists

Application process available all online

Norfolk Arts Seeks Municipal Artists
Application process available all online

Norfolk Arts seeks artists who are drawn to community engagement, collaboration, and want to create work to address a specific social issue. Municipal Artists are short-term partnerships to co-create art with staff and a community. Artists will develop and create a tangible project that focuses on solutions that address a specific area of concern.

Projects may take many forms, such as digital media, two- or three-dimensional visual artwork, multimedia performances, theatrical productions, animation, dance, film making, photography, educational workshops, puppet theater, immersive installations, poetry, storytelling, events, walking tours, media campaigns or online projects. The projects will be interactive, readily accessible and engage people to participate. 

Artists will be embedded within the unique culture of the City, afforded access to dynamic and diverse staff, and provided opportunities for interaction with a broad public. For an artist to be successful, they must consider the unique context in which they are working and identify specific characteristics of the community and environment. The final projects will balance aesthetics, human interaction and social solutions.

Partnerships will unfold in three phases: 

1) Exploratory phase, where artists will insert themselves in city government, attend meetings, job shadow, and spend time getting to know the community and the issues. (Estimated time one month or 80 hours.)

2) Project phase, develop and submit art project proposal to include project description, timeline, partners, budget, and renderings as applicable. (Estimated time one month or 60 hours.)

3) Fabrication/implementation phase. All projects must be approved prior to fabrication. (Estimated time two months or 140 hours.)

PROJECTS: Artists may apply to work with:

1) the St. Paul’s Transformation Office to develop innovative ways to make Norfolk residents aware of the importance of the St. Paul’s Development. This is one of the largest public housing projects in the country and the art project will help all Norfolk residents understand its importance.

2) the City’s multi-layered trash and recycling programs. The artist will work closely with Norfolk’s Waste Management and Recycling Systems to understand the depth of the City’s role in providing quality, comprehensive, and environmentally sound waste management services. This project is expected to begin in September 2020.

PROJECT FUNDS: Two $7,000 contracts will be awarded; one for the St. Paul’s project and one for the recycling project. There is additional limited funding available for materials upon project/budget approval. 

The selected artist must carry a Commercial General Liability Insurance Policy naming the City of Norfolk as an additional insured and must provide certificates of insurance to that effect. Additionally, the artist will provide evidence that they maintain in their vehicle proof of current liability insurance coverage in compliance with the State of Virginia. If the artist employs anyone in connection with this work, the artist must carry a worker’s compensation insurance policy. The artist shall be responsible for assuring subcontractors, if there are any, meet the same insurance requirements.  

Anticipated Schedule of Events: This schedule is subject to change.

Prospectus Issued March 18, 2020

Proposals Due April 14, 2020

Executed Contract Summer 2020

Completion  Spring 2021

SELECTION CRITERIA AND AWARD CONSIDERATIONS: The commission will be awarded based on many factors such as the aesthetic value, creativity and contemporary relevance of the proposed piece. The city will consider the diversity of beliefs and values and general standards of decency of the citizens who fund the commission and purchase public art for the City of Norfolk. 

Up to six finalists may be selected to be interviewed by the Public Art Planning Committee via Skype or in person. The finalists will be interviewed about their past work, initial ideas, experience on a team, understanding of this project, and their creative process. The committee reserves the right to select the final artist without a finalist process.

The award will be made to the responsible offeror whose submission is determined in writing to be the most advantageous to the City taking into consideration the evaluation factors set forth in this Request for Proposal. The City reserves the right to award to more than one Artist.

The following criteria will be used in the proposal evaluation process:

1. Professional experience in a municipal public design process and consensus building.

2. Artistic merit (excellence, originality, creativity and innovative approaches) as evidenced by submitted materials.

3. Professional artistic experience to fulfill the requirements of this project either in studio, educational, community, employment and/or art projects and the ability to undertake the design, creation and installation of the artwork.

4. Appropriateness of style and concepts in relation to this prospectus.

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS: Submission must be submitted via Submittable website at or delivered to 810 Union Street, Suite 303, (City Hall Building) Norfolk, VA 23510 by 2:00 PM EST on April 14, 2020. Artists are highly encouraged to apply through Submittable. There is no application fee to apply or use the Submittable online application system.

The following materials are required:

1. Statement of Understanding, online agreement of compliance to all State of Virginia codes. See last page of this document for Statement of Understanding.

2. Letter of Interest, not to exceed one (1) page, outlining your interest in this project, how you will approach the artwork design and creation, and initial ideas of how you will accomplish the project. 

3. Proposal, (Optional), artist are not required, but may submit a full proposal; 2-D pdf representation of your ideas for the art project that could include engagement and design details, scope, scale, budget, etc.

4. Resume, maximum of two (2) pages, outlining your professional accomplishments. If submitting as a team, please include resumes for each team member, with each resume not exceeding two (2) pages.

5. Artwork Images, selection of up to ten (10) images representing artworks most relevant to the scope of this opportunity. You may submit up to two (2) video files if relevant to showing the artwork. 

6. References, three (3) professional references, including name, affiliated organization (if appropriate), email address, phone number, and relationship to each reference. 


For samples of Municipal Artist Partnership projects go to

Questions about this project may be directed to Danny Hawk, Office of the Purchasing Agent at For assistance with the Submittable online application process, contact Submittable tech support at

This Request for Proposals is governed in all respects, including but not limited to the award decision, by the Code of the City of Norfolk, 1979, as amended, especially Chapter 33.1, the Procurement Chapter, and its associated regulations. For more information on doing business with the City of Norfolk or to become familiar with the City Code generally, its Procurement Chapter and regulations, or the ethics and non-discrimination sections of the Procurement please go to the city web site at City encourages women and minorities to submit proposals and for non-minority artist to participate with small businesses and women and minorities through partnerships, joint ventures, subcontracts and other contractual opportunities. Please describe any planned use of such businesses in fulfilling this contract.

Before submitting proposals, please review the website for possible updates and addendums.