Art in Public Places Community Projects Request for Proposals

In accordance with the City of Albany Public Arts Master Plan, the Albany Arts Committee (AAC) may set aside funds from the Art in Public Places (APP) Fund every two years to support proposals for public art projects originated by individuals or groups in the Albany community. These “Community Projects” are selected following a process outlined in the City of Albany Master Plan, Section K: Community Participation.

The Albany City Council has approved an AAC Community Projects set aside of up to $14,000 in the current funding cycle. Proposals for Community Projects are being accepted through June 28, 2018. The estimated work start date for selected projects is early 2019. City of Albany staff and Albany Arts Committee representatives will hold a public informational session on April 18, 2018 at 10:00 AM at the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Avenue in Albany, to answer questions and provide additional information on the application and selection process.

The ACC will only select Community Projects that meet all program criteria. Multiple projects may be selected, but no Community Project grant will exceed $10,000. Any funds not allocated will be retained in the APP Fund for future use.

Community Projects are intended to be small in scale with a TOTAL project budget under $10,000. If your proposed project budget is more than $10,000 and you would like to learn about the larger project PAPP process, come to the November AAC meeting when it will be on the agenda annually. Community Projects may not be sited at any of the 12 priority sites described in the City of Albany Public Arts Master Plan.

Larger scale projects and projects at priority sites are developed through a separate Public Art Project Plan (PAPP) process. For more information, please see the Albany Public Arts Master Plan.

Community Project Guidelines:
Residents or groups proposing Community Projects should have a clear and specific sense of where the project will be sited within the City of Albany, as well as a clear plan for the content, scale and medium of the work to be created. Projects may be sited on private property, if visible and/or accessible to the public.

While not absolutely required, most Community Project proposals will include a specific artist (or artists). A letter of commitment, including acceptance of the proposed artist fee, is strongly recommended. Projects intended to involve multiple community artists as part of the creative process should state this clearly and identify a Lead Artist responsible for the aesthetic and artistic quality of the overall work. Feasibility is a key criterion for proposal selection, and a qualified artist committed to the project is an indicator of feasibility.

Proposal Guidelines: Individuals or groups proposing Community Projects are not expected to expend significant funds on proposals. Amateur site drawings and other visual aids are acceptable, so long as they give a clear sense of the proposed project. Artistic quality is a criterion for selection. Sketches or images of proposed artwork (or examples of similar work) should accurately present artistic quality.

A complete proposal will include:

1) Community Art Project Proposal

2) Project Description, a brief (1-2 page) outline of the proposed project, including intent, goals and expected benefits to the Albany community; justification for site selection; justification for artist selection (or process for community artist selection under the guidance of a Lead Artist); brief description of the process to create and install the work, including materials and techniques; proposed project timeline; anticipated life of the project; and expected maintenance needs over time.

3) Visual documentation of the proposed site and design. This may include photos, drawings or digital “mock-ups.” If an artist has been selected but has not yet completed a design, a sample of similar work is acceptable. Similarities or differences between the work sample and the proposed project should be clarified in the Project Description. Any artist sketches or images provided should accurately reflect the artistic quality of the project.

4) Project budget showing the proposed request, other funding (and whether it is pending or committed) and all expenses, including artist(s) fees, fees to any other individual to create and/or install the project (architects, contractors, etc.), and all materials and supplies. Fees associated with the City of Albany permit process will apply. To calculate estimated permit fees, contact the Albany Planning Division (John Erlich,

The total budget for the project, including but not limited to the requested grant, must be under $10,000. Community Projects are intended to be small scale projects.

5) Resume/CV and/or website URL for any artist (s) who will work on the project;

6) Letter of commitment from artist(s) that includes acceptance of any proposed artist fee for the proposed work (optional but strongly recommended);

7) Evidence of community support (optional). Signed letters of support from Albany community members or community groups received on or before June 28, 2018, will be included in proposal packets presented to the AAC.

Proposals should be addressed to the Albany Arts Committee (ATTN: Community Project Proposals) and submitted in person or via post to 1249 Marin Avenue. Proposals must be received no later than June 28, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

Selection Criteria: 
Complete criteria for consideration of public art projects are described in the City of Albany Public Arts Master Plan. Community members are strongly encouraged to review the Public Art Master Plan before submitting a proposal. In summary, criteria include:

  • Artistic quality, including how appropriate the proposed work is for the location, site, environment and Albany community, and whether the design is unified with existing natural, human-made and historical features of the site;
  • Process and materials, including whether the proposed work is likely to change over time due to exposure, and how this will impact the community;
  • Safety and maintenance considerations, including visual or physical hazards;
  • Feasibility, including whether outside funding has been secured;
  • Siting on public or private property (state law requires special scrutiny for projects sited on private property);
  • Degree of support or opposition from the Albany community.

Selection Process:
The Arts Committee follows a review process described in the City of Albany Public Arts Master Plan.

The AAC will review all complete Community Project proposals at its regularly scheduled public meeting on July 9, 2018. One or more proposals may be selected for continuing action at this time. If the AAC determines that no proposals satisfy selection criteria, funds will remain in the APP Fund for future use.

If one or more proposals are selected for continuing action, the AAC will ask individuals or groups connected to the proposal(s) to attend the meeting on Sept 10, 2018 to answer questions. Applicants may be asked at this time to submit additional information to supplement their proposals.

A visual representation of all projects continuing forward will also be put on display at the Albany Community Center for 60 days, so that community members may offer comment. The City and the AAC will work with applicants to ensure these displays give the public an accurate sense of the project.

The AAC will make a final recommendation in early 2019 to go before City Council for approval. Upon approval, contract will be awarded to selected artists.

Questions? Please contact Eva Phalen.