Call Detail
RFP #168 Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Minnesota
Entry Deadline: 6/8/17
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 10, Maximum: 18
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Total Media - Minimum: 10, Maximum: 20
A brief overview of the RFP is provided here. If you do not have a copy already, please follow the link below to download the full RFP document that includes a detailed description of the project. Please note that it remains the applicants’ responsibility to read and understand all requirements of the RFP before applying.

Download the Full RFP

Purpose of RFP
The Minnesota State Arts Board, on behalf of the Minnesota Department of Administration and Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, (hereinafter referred to as the “State”) requests proposals from working professional artists or artist-led teams (hereinafter referred to as “responder/s” or “contractor/s”) for permanent, site-specific public artwork at the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, Frechette Hall in Faribault, Minnesota.

The purpose of this two-phase RFP is to retain a contractor to design, fabricate, and install a permanent, site-specific public artwork at the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, Frechette Hall. This is a two-phase RFP process. Artist's qualifications will be evaluated during the first phase, and finalists will receive a stipend to develop a proposal for the project during the second phase.

Background and Context
The Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (MSAD), located in Faribault, Minnesota, is dedicated to the intellectual, communicative, social, emotional, and physical development of students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Working collaboratively with students, families, schools and communities statewide, their mission is to provide exemplary, disability-specific learning opportunities, technology, and materials, enabling students to reach their fullest potential. The core purpose of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf is to provide a free appropriate public education to Deaf students. The first national mandate for special education services was passed in 1975, approximately 117 years after the creation of the Minnesota State Academies at the end of the Civil War. From their inception in 1858, the Academies have provided special education services for Deaf and blind students across the state and have been a resource for school districts and educational professionals.

First opened in 1863 by Commissioner Rodney A. Mott and Ohio teacher Roswell H. Kinney, the school started in a rental building on the corner of Central Avenue and Division Street. Today it is located on an 11-building campus in northeastern Faribault on Olof Hanson Drive, a street named after a renowned architect who graduated from the school in 1881. It is a residential school for students from Pre-K to 12th grade, who spend Monday through Friday living on campus. The school is known for its technology and small class sizes. 

Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf is constructing a new dormitory to replace Frechette Hall, originally built in 1967. The new dormitory will provide residential living space for 41 Deaf/Hard of Hearing students. This project will emphasize architectural concepts of Deaf spaces and reflect the needs of Deaf people who use sign language for communication, with natural lighting and open spaces as necessary components of the design. The project received $10.6 million from the Minnesota Legislature in the 2014 bonding bill. 

The Minnesota Percent for Art in Public Places program was established in 1984 by the state legislature. The program enlivens shared public spaces with artwork that reflects the rich diversity of the citizens of Minnesota. Its goal is to build a thought-provoking public art collection representing a wide range of social, cultural, and historical values. Through a delegation of authority with the Minnesota Department of Administration, the Minnesota State Arts Board is responsible for management of the Minnesota Percent for Art in Public Places program.

Working, professional artists or artist-led teams residing in the United States are eligible to apply. Responders submitting qualifications shall be at least 18 years of age. Preference will be given to artists who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, signers, late-deafened, deaf-blind, seeing, or CODA.

An all-inclusive budget of $66,000 is available for this project. This amount represents all professional services and deliverables related to the artwork, including but not limited to the contractor’s design fee, labor, consultants, travel, transportation, materials, site preparation, installation needs and equipment, storage, documentation, studio overhead, insurance, taxes, contingency, and contractor’s participation in a public event related to the artwork.

It is anticipated that up to three responders from Phase I of this RFP will be selected to develop a schematic design proposal. During Phase II, the finalists will enter into a contract with the State and will receive $2,000 upon completion of all professional services and deliverables of the schematic design proposal.

Public Art Intent & Goal
The State recognizes this project as a valuable opportunity to commission artwork for the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf. The artwork for this project will be located in area(s) of the facility that will be freely accessible, on a regular basis, to members of the public. The goal of this public art project is to select a contractor to provide artwork that:
  • Provokes thought and encourages dialogue on the diversity of peoples and practices at the school;
  • Is compatible with the needs of students who call this dormitory home, yet discernible as a work of art;
  • Helps visitors of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf embrace the school's family atmosphere;
  • Contributes to the local, regional, and national dialogue on contemporary art; and
  • Enriches and diversifies the State of Minnesota’s public art collection. 

Opportunities for Artwork Placement
This public art opportunity is open to a range of possibilities to be proposed by contractors during Phase II of the RFP. The site selection committee has identified two areas where the project could be installed. Contractors must place their work either indoors or outdoors. Construction documents and renderings of the available spaces can be found here. Each location is described in detail in the full RFP document.

Proposed artwork must be durable, low maintenance, permanent, suitable for interior or exterior display with exposure to extreme environmental conditions, safe for both children and adults, and be ADA compliant. At the selected contractor’s expense, the artwork may require reports and/or certification by structural, lighting, electrical, mechanical, hydraulic engineers and consultants licensed to practice in the State of Minnesota, and review by a professional fine art conservator.

Application Deadline
Proposals must be submitted online through the CaFÉ™ system no later than 11:59 P.M. (MT), Thursday, June 8, 2017. Duplicate, incomplete or late submissions will not be considered. Applications in any other format will not be considered, including but not limited to: e-mail, facsimile, hard copies, external hard drives, in-person delivery, and CDs. When a proposal is submitted, a confirmation will be sent to the responder by e-mail. Responders are advised to print and retain a copy of this e-mail as proof of their submission.

After the submission deadline passes, the Arts Board will open all application materials and will review them for responsiveness. Proposals that do not include the mandatory information outlined in the full RFP document will be rejected without further consideration.

Information Contact
The information contact for this RFP is:

Ben Owen, Percent for Art program officer
Minnesota State Arts Board

Other personnel are NOT authorized to discuss this RFP. No member of the proposing firm or its sub-consultants shall discuss the contents of this RFP with any member of the site selection committee or the Minnesota State Arts Board. Contact regarding this RFP with any personnel not listed above could result in disqualification.

RFP Questions and Answers
Requests for information or clarification of clauses within the full RFP document shall be by e-mail only to Ben Owen, by 4:30 PM (CT), May 30, 2017. Answers to all questions received by the deadline will be released as an addendum to the RFP on or around 12:00 PM (CT), June 1, 2017.

When e-mailing questions, please include “Question regarding RFP #168: Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf” in the subject line. All requests shall be submitted in writing and include the name of the questioner, the firm name, e-mail address, telephone number, and if applicable, a fax number. Anonymous inquiries will not be answered.

Addenda to the RFP
If appropriate, a change responding to questions or clarifications may be issued by the Minnesota State Arts Board in the form of an addendum to the RFP. Any necessary addenda to the RFP will be posted at, and a copy will be sent to all known responders.

Technical Questions about CaFÉ™
Instructions on submitting an application through the CaFÉ™ website, including creating an artist profile, and uploading work samples to the CaFÉ™ portfolio are available at

For technical assistance related to using the CaFÉ™ website that is not answered in the FAQ’s mentioned above, contact CaFÉ™ support staff during regular business hours by calling (303) 629-1166, (888) 562-7232, or e-mail at
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