The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is initiating a Request for Ideas process (RFI) for individual muralists or teams to submit their ideas for new, socially engaging, mural projects, while supporting the advancement of young apprentices in the trade. DCA is seeking mural concepts that are centered around social justice, notable cultural figures, or important histories relating to a specific neighborhood.
Background and Goals
Mural Works is a pilot program developed by the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) to help offset the lingering economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic incurred by muralists and young people in lower socio-economic communities. Mural Works will allocate funding to muralists and young people living and/or working in neighborhoods that have heretofore gone underserved during the pandemic. It will provide paid jobs for young people in those neighborhoods while providing a public mode for healing in this tumultuous time. Furthermore, Mural Works will provide opportunities for personal and professional growth for muralists to work with, and train young people in the process of creating new mural projects. The main goals of the program are to:
→ Create new murals to serve as cultural markers, connect them to the social justice themes of today, and inspire multiple conversations between the past and the present.
→ Provide opportunities to local muralists who have been financially impacted by the pandemic.
→ Invest in paid youth apprenticeships and mentorships.
→ Improve the visual landscape in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods.
→ Increase viewership online that will reimagine public art in the city.
Muralists interested in creating social justice themed murals and working with youth apprentices are encouraged to apply. Strong proposals will demonstrate:
→ Muralists have demonstrated a history of installing murals that include a community outreach process.
→ Muralists have experience or an interest in working with youth and/or apprentices.
→ The mural concept is of a social justice theme and relates to a specific neighborhood in the city.
→ The planned mural location is in an area with lower socio-economic data. Additionally, to align with the goal of increasing equity, DCA will prioritize mural projects in areas or districts that have been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, neighborhoods with high poverty rates, higher population densities, and neighborhoods with higher populations of people of color who have borne the largest brunt of the pandemic.
This Request for Ideas (RFI) is open to professional muralists and muralist teams living in the County of Los Angeles. Muralists or muralist teams on other DCA pre-qualified lists who have not received a commission in the past two years are eligible to apply. Organizations and employees of the City of Los Angeles are ineligible to apply. Teams selected through this RFI must retain the same members as stated in their original application. Muralist teams must clearly identify each member’s role and must be willing to use the name of a single artist for contracting purposes.
A selection panel composed of, but not limited to, muralists, curators, historians, and conservators, will convene to review the submissions and rank the applications based on the criteria and priorities stated in the RFI. The strongest applications will be shortlisted and advanced to the Request for Proposal phase. The shortlisted artists will receive a $500 stipend to develop their proposal concepts further. The panel will reconvene to review the proposals and select up to 20 murals to be awarded a commission. Selected muralists will be required to comply with all City Codes regarding safety, accessibility, seismic, and/or other issues as required for the project and must be available to attend multiple meetings with DCA and or other City officials.
Virtual Q&A Workshop
DCA will host an optional virtual workshop to answer questions from muralists interested in responding to the RFI prior to submitting an application. To register, please send an email to the Public Art Division at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “RSVP Mural Works RFI — Workshop” expressing your interest in attending before noon on Wednesday, August 23, 2023. A zoom link to the meeting will be emailed to you for the workshop scheduled for Thursday, August 24, 2023 at 6pm. For those unable to attend, a recording of the workshop will be available on culturela.org/calls.
How to Apply
The deadline to apply is Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at 11:59pm. Applications must be submitted online via Slideroom. Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible and will not be considered.
Attachments (Do not exceed 1 MB each)
Images (JPEG format)
1. Images of Previous Mural Projects
(5 images maximum)
2. Images of Proposed Wall (optional)
Applicants are encouraged to secure a wall suitable for the mural idea but are not required at this application phase.
Documents (PDF format)
1. Muralist Statement of Interest (2 paragraphs maximum) What does social justice mean in the context of your art? What is your experience working with young people in the arts?
2. Mural Idea (1 page maximum) What are the social justice themes of your mural idea and why are they important? How does the mural relate to the neighborhood? How will you work with youth apprentices to create the mural?
3. Mural Sketch (optional) A sketch depicting the general composition and elements of the mural.
4. Letter of Permission from Property Owner (optional) Do you already have written permission from the property owner (not the property manager) to install the mural on their property? If not, will you be able to get permission from the property owner before the project starts?
5. Curriculum Vitae (CV) of Lead Artist
Include CV of each team member (if applicable).
Applicants are encouraged to register on the Regional Alliance Marketplace for Procurement (RAMP) website: https://www.rampla.org/s/.
Technical support for RAMP may be requested on their support page: https://www.rampla.org/s/support.
Rights and Responsibilities
DCA reserves the right to decline all applications to this RFI, and/or cancel this RFI, or any roster of pre-qualified artists, at any time. This RFI is subject to the City’s Campaign Finance, Contractor Responsibility, Equal Benefits, Equal Opportunity, Living Wage, Minority/Women Business Enterprise, and Slavery Disclosure Ordinances, as well as any other ordinances in effect in the City of Los Angeles.
As a leading, progressive arts and cultural agency, DCA empowers Los Angeles’s vibrant communities by supporting and providing access to quality visual, design, literary, musical, performing, and educational arts programming; managing vital cultural centers; preserving historic sites; creating public art; and funding services provided by arts organizations and individual artists.