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City of Madison Planning Division Social Practice Art RFQ+
The City is looking for 2-4 Social Practice Artists to assist the City’s Planning Division with Public engagement for the Odana and Greater East Towne Area Plans set to begin in early 2020. The $10,000 budget will be split among the artists chosen. Artists can apply singly, or as part of a team.

Due Date: January 13, 2020 - 4:00PM
Artists’ applications can be submitted electronically to
If an artist wishes to submit a paper copy, it should be returned to: Rebecca Cnare, City of Madison Planning Division
215 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Suite 017 Madison WI 53703

Project Timeline:
The Odana and Greater East Towne Area Plans will be mostly completed by the end of 2020. In order to have the best impact from public engagement, the City is seeking an initial wave of projects that are targeted for initiation and completion before the end of June 2020. Ideally, the artists would be able to present their findings at a public meeting in approximately June of 2020. In addition, a second wave of public engagement is planned for the third quarter of 2020 in order to engage residents during the summer months. Depending upon selected artists’ proposals, the City will work with artists on their specific timelines.
What is an RFQ+?
This Request for Qualifications also asks applicants to provide a brief paragraph on a potential idea and or approach for how for their work could relate to this project. Applicants should also provide a conceptual budget. This will allow the city to select a diverse group of artists with different overall approaches to social practice art. RFQ+ applicants are not required to provide a timeline, project specifics, or be required deliver the exact idea as presented. However it is important to understand the project’s budget and timeline as you provide a concept idea as it will only provide a basis for discussions moving forward.

Artists Responsibilities, Project Requirements & Deliverables:

  1. Each artist or artist team will coordinate one social practice art project, event, or product depending upon the type of project proposed. This project must be repeatable for both the east and west areas. (E.g. if an artist proposes an event, like an interactive chalk mandala in the parking lot of an empty big box store, the artist shall repeat the project in both planning areas.)
  2. Artists will be required to attend at least two large public meetings (one east, one west) as coordinated with the Planning effort to present their findings at a public meeting.
  3. Artists will meet with planning staff 4-5 times throughout the process to finalize the project, budget, and coordinate logistics as needed.
  4. Artists will need to submit final images of the project and document their work, as agreed upon by both parties before the project begins.
  5. Artists will continue to own their own work but will grant the City a license to use the work product.

Why Social Practice Art as a Planning Tool? How can we improve City Planning and Civil Discourse through Social Practice Art?
Social practice artists aim to affect their community and environment in a real (rather than symbolic) way to help guide social change. Social Practice Art is collaborative, often participatory, and involves people as the medium or material of the work. The discipline values the process of a work over any finished product or object.
In the recent Mifflandia Planning Process ( social practice artists were able to engage city residents in new and substantive ways, and provided invaluable input and insight into the priorities of vulnerable and underrepresented populations. Social practice artists have successfully been able to bring a new dimension to the City Planning Division’s public engagement efforts and have engaged a diverse group of Madison residents in ways that traditional planning has been unable to accomplish. Artists have gotten the public interested in planning processes and helped them express ideas, concerns, and thoughts about potential changes to neighborhoods in the City.

RFQ+ Application Requirements:
This RFQ+ is a request for interested social practice artists to provide the following in a single pdf document or paper packet:

  1. Letter of interest (no more than one-page)
  2. CV /resume, including contact information (please try to limit to two-pages)
  3. Two examples of past work
  4. Two ideas of how you could use a small budget to engage people about the future of the two regional mall areas using social practice art. This section should be no more than one page. Try to limit each idea to one paragraph. Note that ideas should not focus only on East Towne and West Towne Malls, but should be applicable to the plan areas as a whole (see background section later in this document for more details on the plan areas).

Note: Ideas do not need to be finalized or fully thought out, as chosen artists will be able to work with City staff on their projects. Proposed ideas will help the Planning Division create a team of 2-4 artists with diverse backgrounds, ideas, experience and art media.

The Planning Division will select 2-4 artists from the pool of applicants. Selected artists will be notified by the end of January 2020.

Please contact Rebecca Cnare with any questions.


City Planning