Dec 16, 2022 | Arts Foundation News, Arts Foundation Opportunities, Calls to Artists, News, Opportunities, Public Art Opportunities

Opportunity Details

Status: Closed
Due date: January 24, 2023 11:59 pm
Managed by: Arts Foundation of Tucson and Southern Arizona, City of Tucson
Submission link:
  • Guidelines for Call to Artists: Thrive in the 05Download Guidelines (pdf) | English
  • Lineamientos de Convocatoria: Arte Público para contar historias de Thrive in the 05 Download Guidelines (pdf) | Español

    In collaboration with the City of Tucson Housing and Community Development Department, the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona is seeking three (3) qualified Artists / Artist Teams of all disciplines to apply through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) application process. The Public Art opportunity is open to Artists/Artist Teams with a historic connection to this region and those living in Southern Arizona. Artists from the Thrive in the 05 Area with experience in community engagement are encouraged to apply. Artists new to the field of public art are also encouraged to apply. 


    The mission of the Arts Foundation is to advance artistic expression, civic participation, and equitable economic growth of our diverse community by supporting, promoting, and advocating for arts and culture in our region. Through forward-thinking accountable leadership, the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona works to affect systemic change that fosters an accessible, diverse, inclusive, and equitable arts community. The role of the Arts Foundation in the City of Tucson Public Art Program is to facilitate the artist selection process and assist selected artists in the design and implementation of public artworks in accordance with city policy and procedures. 


    The City of Tucson funds and supports public art in order to create a cityscape that contributes to the image and identity of the City. The City of Tucson’s Public Art Program aspires to meet the following goals: promote civic pride through the high quality of Tucson’s public art collection; celebrate Southern Arizona’s history, culture, and traditions; provide information and support for artists interested in creating public art; involve neighborhoods, users, and the general public in the public art process; and complement and support the City of Tucson’s economic development, neighborhood development, and downtown revitalization efforts,” (City of Tucson Administrative Directives, 7.01-1 The City of Tucson Public Art Program). 


    In recent years, areas around downtown Tucson have seen an increased enthusiasm for and investment in new murals that celebrate the culture and unique aesthetic of the southwest. These murals have received wide fanfare and spurred mural arts maps and walking or driving tours to view them. This project would reflect those initiatives, adding new assets to the city’s public art collection and drawing new attention to the Thrive area. A desire to build community through art has been a consistent theme in feedback from Thrive in the 05 neighborhood surveys and from transformation team meetings. This project seeks to kickstart that vision with an influx of often-hard-to-come-by public art funding and the opportunity to build a coalition of arts-focused stakeholders who will guide and direct arts projects throughout implementation of the Transformation Plan. 


    This project specifically engages residents in the placement, selection, and design of art that tells the history, culture, and identity of not just the commercial corridor, but also the places and people central to the Thrive in the 05 neighborhoods. The goal is that community identification through art will develop pride in the Thrive neighborhoods, prompting residential and commercial investment, social cohesion, and neighborhood confidence in the planning process. 


    This call is open to Artists/Artist Teams of all disciplines who can listen and collaborate with the community to create a permanent artwork installation interpreting the history, culture, and identity of the neighborhoods. The artwork should aim to incorporate storytelling elements that speak to the community and connect people with the land and environment.  

    No specific medium or location has been identified. Project opportunities can include outdoor public locations and a multitude of mediums such as murals, mosaics, sculptural seating, photography, three-dimensional wall and ceiling installations, free standing sculpture, and more. 

    The Public Art opportunity is open to individual Artists/Artist Teams with a historic connection to this region and those living in Southern Arizona. All interested participants are encouraged and invited to apply, including but not limited to individuals or teams who are engaged full-time or part-time in the production of eligible works of art, teachers of art and emerging professional artists. 

    Note: Artist Teams are required to select a team lead as a point of contact for all communications. If selected for the project, team members may consider forming an LLC or should designate the team lead as signatory to contract with the Arts Foundation. If selecting the team lead as signatory, the Arts Foundation will contract with them directly as the “Vendor/Contractor.” The Team lead will be responsible for managing all financial responsibilities related to the contract (including taxes). Subcontracting and performance of team members is the exclusive responsibility of the Vendor/Contractor. Artists applying as a member of a team are not eligible to also apply as an individual. 


    The permanent installations will be placed at various locations in the Thrive in the 05 area and unveiled at a community-wide event in the Summer of 2023. The Artist/Artist Team will work with the Thrive in the 05 Public Art Committee members in collaboration with the neighborhood’s community to determine the specific location of the art installation.  

    The neighborhoods within the Thrive in the 05 area include: San Ignacio Yaqui or “Old Pascua”, Barrio Blue Moon, Balboa Heights, Flowing Wells, Miracle Manor, and Ocotillo Oracle.  

    Thrive in the 05 is bounded by Miracle Mile to the north, Speedway Boulevard to the south, Stone Avenue to the east, and Interstate-10 to the west, with Oracle Road running north-south through its heart. For more information on the historical and geographical context of the area click here.   

    Map of Thrive in the 05 graphic.
    Boundary lines of Thrive in the 05 program.


    Each selected Artist/Artist Team will manage an all-inclusive budget of $54,000-$81,000.  

    Each artwork must cover all costs related to the artist’ fee; labor of assistants, materials, and contracted services required for production and installation; permit fees, as required; business, insurance, and legal costs directly related to the project; dealer’s fees, if any; communication, mailing, and other indirect costs; transportation and travel expenses, if any; site preparation; installation of the completed artwork; and any applicable taxes as well as any other unanticipated costs that are not outlined here. Please note that building material shortages and rising costs may affect your project budget. 

    Please note that fabrication of the Artist(s) design must be completed by the Artist or by a professional fabricator under the direction of the Artist. All designs will need to go through an approval process conducted by Tucson Risk Management Division prior to the start of any fabrication.  


    The selected Artist(s) will contract directly with the City of Tucson to produce the artworks. The Artist(s) will work directly with the City of Tucson Housing and Community Development’s Project Manager, the Arts Foundation’s Thrive in the 05 Project Coordinator, and the Thrive in the 05 Public Art Panel members. Throughout the design phase, the Artist(s) will work closely with the Art Panel members towards approval of a final design. Community feedback and participation is essential to creating artwork that represents neighborhood identities and cultures in the design of the artwork.  As part of the Public Involvement Process of the Tucson Public Art program, the Artist(s) may be expected to attend one or more public meetings to engage with the neighboring community and to present proposed designs throughout the design process for community input and feedback. The Artist(s) will adhere to applicable protocols outlined in the City of Tucson Administrative Directives throughout the scope of the project. (AD 7.01-3) 


    Artists/Artist Teams are selected through a fair and equitable selection process by a panel of seven or more individuals including local artists, local art professionals, project stakeholders and members of the community. New panels are formed for every public art project. Arts Foundation staff do not directly participate in the art selection process. Our role is to facilitate the process in accordance with the City of Tucson Public Art Program (AD 7.01- 1). The panel will review all artist submissions and conduct two artist selection meetings to determine the panel’s recommended artists for this project. The first artist selection meeting will determine at least six (6) finalists. Once selected, finalists will be asked to provide a pre-recorded video presentation on their scope of work and interest in this specific project to the panel. The second artist selection meeting will be an interview with the finalists based on the presentations, followed by a Q&A session. The panel recommendation for the commission will be presented at the PACD public meeting listed above. 

    Once the artist is selected, the panel will convene as many times as necessary throughout the project and specifically to 1. Review all design concepts. 2. Recommend any changes to designs based on their expertise and the response to community input. 3. Recommend that the artist proceed to Risk Management Review and production when satisfied that all design issues have been resolved, consensus on the final design achieved, and that the Public Involvement Plan has been implemented in accordance with the Public Art Program Selection Policy (AD 7.01-4)

    *Please note that free technical assistance will be provided for finalists needing help creating a video presentation. 


    Submitted applications first undergo a Technical Review by the Arts Foundation’s Thrive in the 05 Project Coordinator. At this stage, applications are reviewed for completeness and eligibility. Incomplete or late applications will not be eligible to move forward in the review process. The Thrive in the 05 Public Art Committee members will then score each qualified applicant using the following criteria questions:  

    Artist Statement  

    • Does the applicant express their interest in the project opportunity?  
    • How well does the applicant’s artistic discipline align with the specific project scope? 
    •  How well does the applicant’s material experience align with the neighborhood where they plan to work in? 
    •  Does the applicant have experience working with communities in their art practice?  
    • Does the applicant exhibit potential for working with community effectively?  


    • Does the applicant’s resume convey professional experience at a level appropriate to this project? 
    • How well does the Resume align with their Artist Statement?  

    Artwork List & Artwork Samples  

    • Do the applicant’s images present evidence of projects with similar budgets or scope of work?  
    • Do the applicant’s images convey artwork of appropriate merit and quality for this project? 
    • Does the applicant’s arts experience demonstrate depth of artistic talent?  
    • How well do the artwork samples align with their Artist Statement?  

    Community Connection 

    • Does the applicant live in the Thrive in the 05 Area or in Southern Arizona?  
    • If the applicant does not live within specified area, do they have lived experience that would be appropriate to work collaboratively with community members in the area?  
    • Does the applicant clearly define their historic connection to the area? (Historic connection in this context refers to a cultural, familial, or life-based experience that gives the applicant a deeper understanding of the history, culture, and lifestyle of the area/neighborhood that they are choosing to work with.) 


    Once the Artists/Artist Teams complete the last step of the panel review process they will contract directly with the Arts Foundation. Artists will attend meetings with the Thrive in the 05 Art Committee members to provide input on the artwork’s conceptual design. When the Artists/Artist Teams’ conceptual artwork design is approved by the Committee members, the conceptual design will be officially considered in the “Final Design Phase”. Afterwards, the Artist/Artist Team can move forward with fabrication. Barring any delays on artwork design development on the part of the Artist/Artist Team, 2-3 panel meetings for the “Artwork Design Phase” are anticipated for a project of this scope.  


    Artwork production timeline will be dependent upon the design. The Artist/Artist team and the Arts Foundation staff will agree on an appropriate schedule and delivery date as described in the Artist Contract prior to approval of production. The Artist/ Artist Team will be expected to adhere to the agreed upon timeline. Dates are subject to change depending on the Thrive in the 05 Public Art Committee members’ availability. However, the anticipated timeline for the Art Committee meetings that include the finalists and selected artists will occur through February 2022. The design phase and installation phases are expected to take place from late February to June 2023.   

    Monday, December 19, 2022 Call To Artist Posting 
    Tuesday, January 24, 2023 Application Deadline at 11:59 p.m. Arizona Time 
    Tuesday, February 7, 2023 1st Art Panel Meeting to select 6 Finalists  
    Tuesday, Feb 21, 2023 2nd Art Panel Meeting, Finalists Interviews 
    Tuesday, Feb 28, 2023 Announcement of Selected Artist 
    March – June 2023 Artwork Design, Public Meetings, Fabrication, Installation 

    *This is an estimated timeline. Specific dates are subject to change.  


    If you have questions about the application process or content of your application, please contact Tanya Núñez, Thrive in the 05 Public Art Project Manager at or call (520)624-0595 ext. 8.  

    If you encounter any technical issues with the online application platform, please reach out to the Submittable team at or (855) 467-8264. 

    To sign up to receive email notifications for future public art opportunities offered through the Arts Foundation, click here

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