Call Detail
Theodora Family Hotel

Entry Deadline: 6/3/24
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 7, Maximum:Max. 7
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 7, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Colorado
Budget: $245,000


Public Art Project

Theodora Family Hotel

Budget: Approximately $245,000.00 USD

Eligibility: Open to Artists or Artist Teams residing in the United States

DEADLINE: Monday, June 3rd, 2024, 11:59 P.M. MST



Denver Public Art seeks to commission an artist or artist team to create original public artwork(s) for the Theodora Family Hotel in Denver, CO. A 10-member selection panel of community representatives, arts and design professionals, and civic leaders has been assembled to identify art opportunities and to select and recommend an artist or artist team for this project. The selection panel has identified a location for potential artworks and will select one artist or artist team for the allocated total budget of approximately USD $245,000.00.

Denver Public Art will host a virtual pre-application meeting on Wednesday, May 29, 5:30-6:30 p.m. for interested applicants. The meeting will cover project backgrounds and goals, and the application process for this Request for Qualification (RFQ). Attendees will also get information on, through which artists may apply. This event will be hosted on Zoom. Interested applicants are asked to register to get information on how to join prior to the event. If you cannot attend, a recording will be available on the Denver Arts & Venues Vimeo channel.

Land Acknowledgment

We acknowledge that the land Denver’s Public Art Collection occupies - - land where we stand, live, work and learn - - is the traditional territory of the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Peoples. We also recognize the 48 contemporary tribal nations that are historically tied to the lands that make up the state of Colorado. Our nation was founded upon and continues to enact exclusions and erasures of Indigenous Peoples. May this acknowledgement demonstrate a commitment to dismantling ongoing legacies of oppression and inequities, as we intentionally honor and celebrate the Indigenous communities in our city and express our gratitude for their ongoing and significant contributions. Let’s not forget that this land was theirs long before we made it ours.

Theodora Family Hotel

Volunteers of America's new Theodora Family Hotel will be located in the West Colfax neighborhood. The goal of this building is to create a safe and supportive space for families, veterans, and community elders to plan their next steps and move towards stability. The new building is designed through a trauma-informed lens and will offer 60 individual family suites, a community gathering space, case management, and educational courses for both groups and individuals. This project is backed by RISE Denver, a voter-approved $38.6 million bond program that aims to build or rebuild facilities that serve youth, families, and people experiencing homelessness.

Volunteers of America Colorado

Volunteers of America Colorado has been supporting and empowering underserved residents of Colorado for over 128 years. The organization provides services that help address the unmet needs within communities and create programs that enable neighbors to become self-sufficient and reach their full potential. The current programming is focused on addressing issues related to hunger, housing, and shelter, providing community support, and offering volunteer services. Services across Colorado are unique to each distinct community.

West Colfax Neighborhood

In 1887, the City and County of Denver incorporated the neighborhood of West Colfax, and with it came Colfax Elementary, streetcars along Colfax Avenue, and St. Anthony Central Hospital. The neighborhood was the hub of working-class communities in the region, including recent immigrants from the eastern United States and central and eastern Europe. It was a predominantly Jewish community with modest homes and small businesses. This area was also unique due to the history of care and philanthropy in the early 1900s. Institutions like the Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society for tuberculosis victims, and the Denver Sheltering Home for Jewish Children (later renamed the National Home for Asthmatic Children in 1939) were established.

Although the Jewish community is smaller today than it was a century ago, the spirit of Jewish benevolence and traditional observance still unites the close-knit community. The neighborhood has been and is currently undergoing a transition due to its proximity to downtown Denver, ongoing development, and city improvements. Applicants can learn more about the neighborhood directly from residents in collaboration with the Denver Office of Storytelling here.

Goals, Site, Media & Materials

The selection panel members have set forth specific goals and parameters for this public art project with the hope of creating unique and inspiring works of art for the diverse communities that will interact with the Theodora Family Hotel.


  • Artwork should invite reflections of hope, growth, joy, and understanding.
  • Artworks should engage and help share the stories of families who experience homelessness and provide a sense of dignity to those seeking support. It is important that the artwork demonstrate to families that they are loved and truly valued in this space.
  • Artworks should celebrate and be inclusive to all types of family structures with an emphasis on children.
  • Artists are encouraged to consider biophilic and trauma-informed design strategies that support mental health through color, pattern and subject matter. Biophilic design is the practice of connecting people and nature within our built environments and communities. Trauma-informed design is the practice of combining trauma-informed care with the design process.
  • The panel is especially interested in inviting artists to apply who have lived experience with homelessness or by having worked meaningfully with communities experiencing homelessness.
  • The panel also welcomes artists to apply who have a connection to the West Colfax neighborhood and West Denver.


The panel has identified two sites for public art on the façade of the building that faces Colfax Avenue. Both sites will require selected artists or artist teams to coordinate and communicate closely with the Design Team. Selected finalists will have the opportunity for site visits and to meet with the art selection panel, Denver Public Art Program staff, and Department of Housing Stability (HOST) members to ask specific questions about the preferred sites.

Media & Materials:

Artworks could be created using diverse media, including but not limited to uniformly applied reliefs and mosaic artworks. The selection panel is especially interested in lighting the work to provide clients with a sense of safety and dignity at night. Durability and ease of maintenance are important at these locations. The selection panel is open to artwork in media and materials suitable for outdoor display.

Resiliency Training

As the new hotel is intended to support the mental health of the communities using the space, Denver’s Public Art Program team also wants to ensure the wellness of selected artists or artists teams. Selected artists or artist teams for this project will have the opportunity to receive resiliency training before on-site work and after the project is complete. Resiliency training encourages and builds a positive mindset and experience in what could be perceived as a stressful situation or environment.

Maintenance & Durability

This artwork will become a permanent addition to the Denver Public Art collection. All applicants must consider the issues of long-term conservation and maintenance of public art, along with time and budget. These projects are in the public realm and will be exposed to physical stresses, as well as be subject to vandalism. Public art projects should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials. Finalists are encouraged to consult with a professional conservator prior to the submission of a final proposal. Artist proposals awarded contracts will be reviewed by the City of Denver’s Public Art Committee to ensure conformity with city standards of maintenance and durability, as well as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. All finalists are expected to stay on budget and to complete work in an approved time frame.

Applying for these opportunities

In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following items via (CaFÉ™).

  1. Seven digital images of past work
  2. Résumé
  3. Statement of interest no longer than 2,000 characters

From these applications, the selection panel will choose three to five finalists who will create site-specific proposals and be interviewed in person or virtually. Artists will be paid an honorarium for this work. Artists/teams selected as finalists will be required to submit a Diversity & Inclusiveness Form for their proposals to be considered, which will be provided upon notification. As directed by Executive Order 101, this form must be submitted for all city solicitations of proposals. Denver Arts & Venues Public Art Program staff can guide you in filling out this form.

Based on the interview and proposal, an artist or artist team will be selected for this commission. The selected artist or artist team will work with the Denver Public Art Program staff, and Department of Housing Stability (HOST) when finalizing their designs for installation.


The budget for this commission is approximately USD $245,000.00 which will be allocated to the artist/team selected. These funds come from the City of Denver’s 1% Percent for Public Art Ordinance resulting from improvements made to the Theodora Family Hotel project. This contract amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the project including, but not limited to: the artist’s design fee, other consultation fees such as structural engineering, insurance (including Colorado Workers Compensation), tools, materials, fabrication, transportation, installation, any building or site modification required, travel to and from the site, per diem expenses, project documentation, contingency to cover unexpected expenses, and any other costs. For all work performed on city property, prevailing wage requirements will be applied.


(Except for online application deadline, timeline is subject to adjustments)

  • Monday, June 3 11:59 p.m. MST - Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
  • June 2024  - Finalist Selection
  • June 2024 - Selected Artist or Artist Team Notification

Project Selection Panel

According to Denver’s Public Art policy, the project selection panel plays an active role in the acquisition of public art for the City and County of Denver. The Theodora Family Hotel art selection panel is comprised of 10 voting members and additional non-voting advisors. The selection panel is responsible for reviewing the site, establishing criteria for a request for qualifications, reviewing applications, selecting and interviewing finalists, and finally for selecting an artist or artist team for the commission. 

Selection Process

  1. Three to five artists/artist teams will be selected as finalists. Those selected will receive more specific information regarding the sites and have the opportunity to meet with community members from the art selection panel, Denver Public Art Program staff, and the Department of Housing Stability (HOST). The finalists will receive an honorarium to prepare a proposal and present it in person or virtually.
  2. The selection panel will review the proposals, interview the finalists, and recommend an artist/artist team for the commission.
  3. The final recommendation of the selection panel will be presented to the Public Art Committee, the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, and the mayor of Denver for final approval.

*All decisions of the City and County of Denver are final.

Meeting Format

All meetings are held virtually via the Microsoft Teams platform. Selected artists and artist teams will be expected to download the free Microsoft Teams app and schedule platform testing prior to any presentations and interviews.

Language Preference

Denver Arts & Venues complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, gender or language. It is your right to request oral or written language assistance services in your primary language, if needed. Please contact Denver Arts & Venues at and these services will be provided to you free of charge.

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Application Requirements

Materials to be Submitted

Please read this section carefully. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered. The applicant’s name must appear on all materials submitted.

All materials must be submitted online, via the CaFÉ™ website ( There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ online application system.

Digital Images

In order to be considered for this project, the applicant must electronically submit six digital images of previously completed artworks through the online CaFÉ™ system. Artists who wish to submit kinetic, sound or media works must submit a complete CaFÉ™ application and will have the opportunity to upload one video file.

IMPORTANT: if submitting audio or video files, do not use them as your very first image. They must be submitted last in your image sequence.

Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found at

Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available here:

If an artist does not have access to a computer, s/he/they may call 720-865-5576 to make arrangements to use a computer at Denver Arts & Venues. 

To request this RFQ in an alternate format (such as Braille, large print, or accessible electronic format) please contact

Statement of Interest

Please submit a brief statement (2,000-character maximum) outlining the following:

  • Your interest in the Theodora Family Hotel project
  • Your relationship to or experience with homelessness
  • Your design approach to this project
  • Please also include information on your experience working with diverse communities and stakeholders


Submit a one to two-page current résumé via CaFÉ™ that highlights your professional accomplishments as an artist. Please name your résumé file accordingly: Last name.First initial (i.e. Smith.J.pdf).  Résumés that are more than two pages will not be downloaded. If applying as a team, please submit one résumé with no more than one page per team member.


Applicants will also be required to fill out a short demographic survey located within this CaFÉ™ application.


Applicants who are selected to be finalists will be required to provide three professional references.

Meg Pursell, Public Art Program Administrator,, 720-865-5576

Eligibility Criteria

Who May Apply

This project is open to artists residing in the United States. Denver Arts & Venues is committed to building a public art collection that represents a broad diversity of artists and encourages applicants from historically marginalized and underrepresented communities including artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latino/x, People of Color (BILPOC), people with disabilities, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersexual, asexual, Two-Spirit+ (LGBTQIA2S+) communities. Denver Arts & Venues also encourages applicants at various stages in their career and applicants practicing a variety of artistic disciplines.