Salem Arts Festival Community Art Project

Salem Arts Festival Community Public Art Project RFP & Guidelines

The Salem Arts Festival is seeking an artist to lead our annual Community Public Art Project for the 2020 festival, scheduled June 5 – 7.

Every year, the Salem Arts Festival (SAF) hosts a Community Public Art Project. This project serves to achieve the following goals:

  • implement a visually compelling public art installation
  • create community buzz and engagement during the spring and winter months leading up to the festival
  • provide a visual and/or conceptual tie-in with this year’s theme of VISION that can be used in general marketing capacities, such as for the Fashion Show Fundraiser, the postcard/poster design, and festival day activities
  • engage with a relevant issue in the community through the lens of art
  • uphold the values of inclusivity, environmental stewardship, community expression, and design excellence that the Salem Arts Festival has become known for
    • The Public Art Project will be led by a locally based artist or team of artists that will receive a stipend of $4,000 from the Salem Arts Festival.
      • Since this project frequently takes more time and effort on the part of the artist(s) than compensated by the stipend, the artist(s) is encouraged to choose a project aligned with a research area or artistic style they wish to explore through a community art-making process.
    • The Public Art Project is to be installed along Artists Row, Front St, and/or Derby Square in such a way as to have a long life after the SAF weekend without impeding other Salem summer activities, including the Farmers’ Market and monthly Jazz and Soul Festival series. We have frequently accomplished this by suspending the piece overhead.
    • The bulk of the project is to be completed by the primary artist(s) independently and with community members over at least THREE workshops in advance of the festival (one workshop may include the PEM/PM Artopia event at the Peabody Essex Museum on April 11, to be arranged by the SAF committee). The project is to be installed the first week of June, the week leading up to the festival). SAF staff will help make any necessary connections with local community groups for the workshops, and City departments for the installations, but the artist will serve as point person for both workshops and the installation.
    • Project scope will include joint creation of marketing materials, both digital and hardcopy, including but not limited to locally printed postcards and fliers for shop windows and how-to instructions, and on-site durable signage. All printing costs will be covered by SAF.
    • Involving a team of local artists, community members (young students, seniors, immigrants, or other interested groups) and volunteers in the creation of the piece is critical – the SAF committee may assist with the identification of community institutions, groups, artists, and other potentially complementary community partners.
    • The project should include a component or complementary project that can be created by or augmented by the community during the Festival. The art-elements of the project to be made during the Festival should be easy enough for people of all abilities to be able to participate and contribute to the finished piece.
    • The concept of the project should be easily understood by people of all ages and relevant to the city’s context.
    • The material budget will be minimal and the artist is encouraged to use recycled or waste materials for most of the construction, with the exception of the installation rigging.
    • The project will be durable for up to three months and all-weather resistant.
    • The low environmental impact of the work will be noted in marketing materials.
    • The dismantling of the project will be thoughtful and all elements will be properly disposed of, ideally recycled.
    • The final installation of the Project will be durable, engaging, and represent a high-quality public art project in which people find pride and interest in seeing and/or participation.
    • The total budget for the project is a maximum of $4,000. Up to $3,000 could be awarded and is intended as a stipend for the primary artist(s). Up to $1,000 for materials and/or supplemental funds for additional artists based on budget and receipts.
    • The exact use of funds is negotiable based on project needs, to be decided in cooperation with SAF staff.

    • Please submit your detailed proposal including the following: overall idea and scope, supplemental images/drawings, planned location, how you will use the community, budget and any other materials you think are necessary for your project, to Kylie Sullivan at Salem Main Streets and Michelle Garcia at Creative Collective by March 8, 2020.