Welcome to the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) online application system.

Applications and support materials must be submitted through Submittable. Follow Submittable instructions to:

  • Register for a Submittable applicant account
  • Create your applicant profile
  • Submit applications

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call ARTS at 206.684.7171 or email arts.culture@seattle.gov. Staff is on-hand to assist applicants during business  hours, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday. 


About the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) manages the city's public art program, cultural partnerships grant programs, ARTS at King Street Station, the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, and The Creative Advantage initiative in the effort to foster a city driven by creativity that provides the opportunity for everyone to engage in diverse arts and cultural experiences. In alignment with the City's Race and Social Justice Initiative, we work to eliminate institutional racism in our programs, policies and practices.   

INTRODUCTION

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) is partnering with Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) to commission an artist or an artist team of two, to collaborate with the city, community members, and Project Art Planners (Damon Brown and Hasaan Kirkland) to design and install a mural art project for the Spruce Street Mini Park Playground Restoration. The selected artist/artist team will be asked to develop and install an artwork that reflects the history and diversity of the Central Area community. Relevance of applicant’s letter of interest and demonstrated connection/relationship to the Central District will be considered in the selection. BIPOC artists are encouraged to apply.

This call is open to all artists living or working in Washington State. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time), Thursday, June 3, 2021.

Artist teams will be limited to two (2) members.


SCOPE OF WORK

The artist/artist team will work with ARTS, Project Art Planners (Damon Brown and Hasaan Kirkland), SPR, and the community engagement team to develop and install two-dimensional artwork that will be sited on one or more available concrete retaining walls located within Spruce Street Mini Park. The artwork shall be applied to the available wall space as a painted mural, vinyl printing, or any other durable outdoor 2-D media.

The selected artist’s/artist team’s design should reflect the diversity of Seattle’s Central District community within a 1.5-mile radius of the Spruce Street Mini Park, and the desired visual narrative and themes collected from the survey by SPR’s Spruce Street Mini Park Play Area Renovation Project. The artist/artist team will design an artwork that creatively demonstrates an original composition that celebrates, educates, and visually elevates the experience of park visitors and community neighbors. The final work should incorporate subject matter and design elements that honor Indigenous American, African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, Jewish, and European American communities in the Central Area through the idea that humanity, respect, innovation, inspiration, and legacy connect us to history and place. This work should also be inclusive of diverse identities and LGBTQIA communities acknowledging that all are deserving of the pursuit of happiness and freedom to “be.”

Community members have expressed an interest in participating in the creation and installation of the artwork and community collaboration shall be a consideration when selecting an artist/artist team.

Possible Artwork Locations

The following are identified as locations for artwork. The selected artist/artist team is not expected to create art at all three listed locations. A PDF with photographs of the locations is available at this link. 

Location 1 - Northeast Stairway (dimensions vary)

Vertical spaces along the stairway are available for mural application.

Location 2 – Concrete Wall (approximately 15 feet high x 50 feet wide)

The large wall at the east end of the park is a space the community has expressed most interest in using as a mural space. Birch trees in front of the wall are diseased and Seattle Parks and Recreation may remove them from the park.

The wall is privately owned and could be removed in the future. The city of Seattle has no control of the current and future structures. The current owner supports the community effort to place a mural on the wall.

Location 3 – Play Area (approximately 5 feet high x 40 feet wide)


TIMELINE

Artist selection and notification:  August 2021

Artist begins work:  September 2021

Design completion:  Fall 2021

Park Construction start:  Fall/Winter 2021

Mural installation:  Summer 2022


ELIGIBILITY

This call is open to professional artists who are residents of Washington State. Artists who apply for this call must explain their connection to Seattle’s Central District neighborhood and provide a narrative that embodies culture, diverse identities, innovation, inspiration, legacy, education, the pursuit of happiness, and the freedom “to be.” BIPOC artists are encouraged to apply. Students are not eligible to apply.


BACKGROUND

Spruce Street Mini Park is a Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) neighborhood park located in the 23rd & Union/Jackson neighborhood in the Central District comprised of residential small lots, low-rise, and neighborhood commercial zoning. The park features a play area, a shallow bowl of grass, benches, and trees attracting users of all ages. The park was purchased by SPR in 1969 and was first developed in 1970. Per the Sherwood files, the park was named by the Park board with its name taken from the adjacent street. The play area later underwent a renovation in 1986 and is still in the same configuration. 

As part of the Parks and Open space plan for play area renovations and safety projects, the Seattle Parks District provides $800,000 in funding including planning, design and construction. The focus is to improve accessibility and safety at the existing 5,200 square-foot play area space. Other improvements include reconfiguration of layout, replacement of play equipment and safety surfacing, introducing benches and seating options, trees assessment, and possible electrical upgrades.

From early public outreach efforts through online surveys, SPR heard many express interest in incorporating public art as part of the renovation project. Acknowledging the desire from the community, SPR and ARTS are partnering together to create public art at Spruce Street Park utilizing 1% for Art funding that will speak true to the neighborhood character.


BUDGET

The selected artist/artist team will receive a budget of $30,000 all-inclusive of all taxes and fees to design, fabricate, and install the artwork.


APPLICATION DEADLINE

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time), Thursday, June 3, 2021. Please allow ample time to complete your application; applications submitted after the June 3, 5:00 p.m. deadline will not be accepted.


APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Your letter of interest, biographical statement, and concept proposal may be submitted either in written form or in a video/audio statement that includes the information below. Please note that this should not be a highly produced/edited video, a short recording that speaks directly to your interest in this project will suffice. The intent of this option is to provide an opportunity for individuals who feel they can represent themselves better verbally versus in writing through the letter of interest.

  • Letter of interest (not to exceed 300 words or 90 seconds). Please describe your interest in this unique opportunity, addressing your demonstrated connection/relationship to the Central District, how you would honor the history, cultures, and current experience of the communities that live nearby, and how would you would involve community members in the creation and installation of the artwork.
  • Biographical Statement (not to exceed 200 words or 60 seconds). The biographical statement replaces a resume and is a space where you can summarize your experiences as a creative individual.
  • Three references. Please include the name, a brief statement about your working relationship, and contact information (email and/or phone number) for each of your references. If you are applying as an artist team, please provide three references for each team member. Your response to this application question will not be visible to reviewers.  
  • Up to 16 work sample images. We suggest not submitting more than two images of the same work. Composite images are not recommended. Image identification information including title, year created, project role, and commission amount is included as part of the image upload.


SELECTION CRITERIA

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is committed to reflecting the diversity and cultural richness of our city in the selection of artists and artworks. Artists will be selected on the basis of the strength of past work and the fit of their concept for the project. It is not required that artists have previous public art experience.

  • Quality of concept, design, and craftsmanship of past works
  • Visual and technical sophistication
  • Creativity of approach
  • Relevance of letter of interest and demonstrated connection/relationship to the Central District
  • A proven ability to coordinate and collaborate with project managers, design professionals, and community stakeholders
  • A proven ability to listen and work with community members, particularly communities of color
  • Demonstrated ability to produce durable outdoor art
  • Demonstrated ability to complete projects on time and within budget


SELECTION PROCESS

The selection process will take place in two parts. During the first round, a panel of community members, Parks staff, and the Planning Artists will review the applicants’ images, qualifications, and other materials. The panelists will identify up to four finalists to interview at a second panel meeting two to three weeks later. The panel will select an artist/team to be awarded the commission.

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture is committed to reflecting the diversity and cultural richness of our city in the selection of artists and artworks.


NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS

Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by email by August 2021.

The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture reserves the right not to select any of the applicants.


WE’RE HERE TO HELP

Questions about this opportunity? Please contact project manager Jason Huff at jason.huff@seattle.gov or 206-430-2515.

Questions about using Submittable? Submittable maintains an FAQ and offers step-by-step guides on their help platform here. For further assistance with the Submittable online application, please contact Submittable tech support at support@submittable.com.

  • Attend the Information Session (optional). We highly encourage you to attend this online workshop, especially if you are a first-time applicant. Planning Artists Damon Brown and Hasaan Kirkland along with ARTS staff will share more information about the Spruce Street Mini Park Artwork Project and will review steps of the Submittable application process. A recording of the webinar will be available on YouTube a few days after the session is held.
  • Read the call guidelines, online instructions, and, if need be, contact Submittable for any technical questions
  • Submit your application early – do not wait until the last day to avoid errors or technical difficulties


City of Seattle Spruce St Mini Park Call for Artist Information Session

Saturday, May 1, 2021 (10 – 11 am PDT)

Please RSVP for the optional information session at this link. This is an online workshop and you will receive the link to the workshop the day prior to the workshop. The virtual workshop will be recorded and made available approximately one week after the workshop at seattle.gov/arts/opportunities.