Call Detail

Asheville Visiting Artist Program

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Unspecified
State: North Carolina
Entry Deadline: 5/4/18
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 5
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 5
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 5
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 5
City of Asheville Visiting Artist Program

Call for artists/RFP opens March 02, 2018

UPDATED! Call/RFP  closes May 4, 2018

Project Contact: Stephanie Monson Dahl, Strategic Development Director, City of Asheville Community and Economic Development Department

or (828) 232-4502  



The City of Asheville is requesting proposals + qualifications from artists or artist teams for the recently initiated Visiting Artist Program by the City and it’s Public Art & Cultural Commission (PACC).  


Project Description

The City of Asheville through the Public Art and Cultural Commission (PACC) in Asheville, North Carolina is seeking artists for a recently initiated Visiting Artist Program (VAP) which for its first year aims to enhance underserved communities, address needs in the City’s public art collection, and enable collaborative, mentoring relations between a nationally and internationally recognized artist (or artist team) and a selected group of local artists. For its inaugural 2018 project, the focus will be on the history, contribution, and experience of the African American community of Asheville. The City and PACC hereby announces a request for proposals from professional artists of national or international standing whose work can meet these objectives in engaging and innovative ways. We welcome any artistic medium that provides an opportunity for collaboration and professional development for local artists and that utilizes the City’s public space (or spaces) to promote dialogue and meaningful exchange regarding the history, culture, and presence of the African American Community in Asheville.



The City of Asheville’s Public Art and Cultural Commission (PACC) has worked with the City to use Public Art Funds on a Visiting Artist Program (VAP). This program is designed to meet several key objectives: First, to enhance and diversify the City’s public art collection with an innovative work of art (broadly defined) that promotes dialogue and engagement with the history and cultural identity of Asheville; Second, to create significant opportunities for local artists to collaborate with national and internationally recognized artists and gain valuable professional development in the arts; Finally, to identify and creatively respond to the needs, interests, and perspectives of underrepresented members of our community. With its distinctive emphasis on creative and conceptual innovation, artistic collaboration, and cultural diversity in the arts, the Visiting Artist Program is specifically designed to enhance and expand the artistic profile of Asheville, which boasts a robust and active artistic community.


With these objectives in mind and as mentioned above, the City and PACC is interested in sponsoring its first Visiting Artist Program to substantially engage with the African-American community. Further, the City of Asheville and the PACC is firmly committed to community engagement throughout the VAP process, including a public input, selection process, public presentation of the selected project, as well as relevant educational and volunteer opportunities.


Artwork Scope

In an effort to diversify public art in Asheville, the City and PACC will give full consideration to proposals involving any form of artistic medium, temporary or permanent, product- or process-oriented, functional or aesthetic.


General History Information on the African American Community  

Historical information regarding the African American community in Asheville and information about the City of Asheville can be found: .


Please check this link ( ) for additional historical information before submitting qualifications.



This is a nation-wide call which is also open to all qualified local artists/artist teams to submit qualifications. Specifically, the City and PACC seeks established, professional artists whose body of work shows evidence of collaborative potential and ability to engage underserved communities.  In addition, the commissioned artist or team of artists must be able to work in close collaboration with City staff, the Public Art & Cultural Commission, the African American Heritage Commission well as the selection/review committee.


Artist Selection Process

Submitted materials will be reviewed by the appointed selection/review committee, which includes City staff, PACC members, and community members. Three (3) finalists will be asked to submit proposals for the program. Evaluation criteria is listed in the next section.  


Finalists will be required to enter into a contract with the City of Asheville as the proposal process begins, in order to fulfill the following:

All finalists are required to conduct a community visit prior to the design of proposals in order to get a full sense of community context for the development of the artwork’s scope; a public feedback session will be held as part of the visit. This interface between the finalists and different community groups such as traditionally African American neighborhoods, individual residents and/or neighborhood associations, special interest groups and community leaders is mandatory and will be facilitated by the VAP Advisory Board, which includes members of PACC, City staff, and the community. Final proposals will also be posted online in order to gather public feedback, feedback which the appointed review committee will consider in making their final selection. Finalists will be paid $1000 each for their preliminary proposals and for participating in public meetings.  The selected finalists will retain copyright over his/her/their original design; the City of Asheville will retain rights to promote and reproduce the completed work in print and electronic form on a non-commercial basis.   


Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation and selection of the final qualified artists and/or artist teams will be based on criteria in the following categories:

  • Qualifications of the artist or artist team members.

  • Relevant experience of the artist and key team members.

  • Relevant current/past projects working with underserved and/or communities of color.

  • Ability to work collaboratively with a team of selected local artists.

  • Experience and ability to work directly with the community.

  • Past performance & client references.

  • Examples of previous work.

  • Ability to meet all City of Asheville requirements.

  • Completeness of the proposal in addressing the goals and objectives of the VAP.


Proposed Project Budget

Once a final artist or team is selected their budget for this project is $50,000 on a turnkey basis.  The budget includes all costs:  i.e., proposals, materials, the hiring of engineers/ inspectors, fabrication, installation, artist commission and travel.  The finalist or finalist team will be required to invoice the city for payments needed. Disbursements will be agreed upon as part of the contracting process. Additional partner funding of up to $10,000 is being sought to enhance community engagement initiatives.  


Project Timeline

  • Posting Call:  Friday March 02, 2018

  • Closing Call:  Friday April 27, 2018  @ 5 pm (Eastern Standard Time) – see “How to Apply”

  • Select 3 Finalists for proposal: between April 27-May 15, 2018


  • Artist Site Visits and Community Engagement by Finalists :  late May 2018; date to be announced as addendum to RFQ  

  • Proposals by Finalists expected to be due:  late June, 2018

  • Public Feedback/Engagement Session to review proposals expected to be held:  late July 2018

  • Expectation to Select Final Proposal:  early August, 2018

  • Expectation to Finalize Contract for Project:  late August 2018

  • Visiting Artist Project Kick Off:  September  2018  


How to Apply

1. Submit digital images of artwork portfolio

Artists are required to submit up to five images or videos of their work. All artists must own the copyright of the materials they submit.


2. Digital Image Preparation

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


3. Submit one copy of a current résumé

If artists are submitting qualifications as a team, each member must submit an individual resume.


4. Letter of interest

Artists and artist teams are required to submit a one-page letter expressing their interest in the project.  The letter should highlight their approach to public art as well as any relevant experience with projects of a similar scale highlighting partnerships with experienced professionals. The letter should also outline the artist or artist team’s approach to community engagement as well as list past engagement initiatives.  


5. Image list

Please include an annotated image list including title, artist name, media, image name/number, and any other relevant information.


6. References

Please include at least three (3) references that can speak to artistic ability, reliability, and professional conduct.


Incomplete or ineligible submissions will not be reviewed.


How to submit

All application materials must be submitted electronically through CaFÉ™ at (unique link will be provided once CaFÉ™ online application system is set up) or  Hand delivered, mailed, emailed, or faxed applications will not be accepted.


Application closes promptly on Friday April 27, 2018 at midnight (Eastern Standard Time).  There is no application fee when using the CaFÉ™ online application system.


What is CaFÉ™? (from the cafe website)™, also known as CaFÉ™, is a Web-based service that allows organizations and administrators to easily and cost-effectively manage artist-application processes related to calls for entry and other events. Because slide projectors are being phased out, many organizations are choosing to review artists' work via high-quality digital images instead of slides.


CaFÉ™ provides artists with a free, easy-to-use system that allows them to enter contact information, upload digital images of their artwork, and enter a number of open calls at one time—eliminating the cost of duplicating slides and mailing individual application packets for each call for entry.


Required Contract Terms and Conditions For Final Artist or Team

  1. Insurance Requirements:  

The successful company agrees to keep and maintain for the duration of this Agreement including but not limited to commercial general liability, workers’ compensation, and employer’s liability with at least the minimum limits shown below.  The company shall provide evidence of insurance coverage consistent with this requirement prior to contract award.  The company shall furnish the City with certificates of insurance for each type of insurance described herein, with the City listed as Certificate Holder and as an additional insured on the company’s general liability policy. In the event of bodily injury, property damage, or financial loss caused by company’s negligent acts or omissions in connection with company’s services performed under this Agreement, the company’s Liability insurance shall be primary with respect to any other insurance which may be available to the City, regardless of how the “other Insurance” provisions may read.  In the event of cancellation, substantial changes or nonrenewal, the company and company’s insurance carrier shall give the City at least thirty (30) days prior written notice. No work shall be performed until the company has furnished to the City the above referenced certificates of insurance and associated endorsements, in a form suitable to the City.


Commercial General Liability:    $1,000,000 per occurrence

Workers' Compensation:        Statutory

Employer's Liability:         $100,000 each accident/total disease/employee disease


Certificate of Insurance lists City of Asheville, PO Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802, as Certificate Holder.

  1. Indemnification:  

The successful company shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the City and its subsidiaries, divisions, officers, directors and employees from all liability, loss, costs, claims, damages, expenses, attorney fees, judgments and awards arising or claimed to have arisen, from any injury caused by, or allegedly caused by, either in whole or in part, any act or omission of the company or any employee, agent or assign of the company. This provision is not applicable to any claim arising out of or related to any active or primary negligence of or by City, its officers or employees.  


Nothing herein shall be construed as a waiver on the part of the City to any defense of any claim, including, but not limited to the defense of governmental immunity.


E‐verify Employer Compliance

The Selected Firm and their subcontractors with 25 or more employees as defined in Article 2 of

Chapter 64 of the NC General Statutes must comply with E‐Verify requirements to contract with

governmental units. E‐Verify is a Federal program operated by the United States Department of     

Homeland Security and other federal agencies, or any successor or equivalent program used to    

verify the work authorization of newly hired employees pursuant to federal law. E‐verify can be

accessed via this link:‐verify/employers.


Drug Free Work Policy

The City of Asheville is a drug‐free workplace employer. The Asheville City Council has adopted a policy requiring city construction and service contractors to provide a drug free workplace in the performance of any city contract. This policy may be viewed at:  By submitting a proposal, a prospective primary vendor certifies that it and all sub‐vendors will comply with the City of Asheville drug‐ free workplace requirement. A false certification or the failure to comply with the above drug‐free workplace requirements during the performance of contract shall be grounds for suspension, termination, or debarment.


Iran Divestment Act Certification

By submitting a proposal, the Firm certifies that, as of the date of submission, it is not on the Final Divestment List as created by the State Treasurer pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 147‐86.58. In compliance with the requirements of the Iran Divestment Act and N.C. G.S. § 147‐86.59, Firm shall not utilize in the performance of the contract any subcontractor that is identified on the Final Divestment List.


Minority Business Participation:

The City of Asheville has adopted a Minority Business Plan to encourage participation by women and minority businesses in the award of contracts. Respondents are hereby notified that this submittal will be subject to the provisions of that Plan.  Questions regarding the Minority Business Plan may be directed to Sara Henry, Economic Development Specialist, City of Asheville, Post Office Box 7148, Asheville, NC 28802‐7148 or by phone at (828) 232-4583 or by e‐mail at  You can access two sources for certified minority firms at or to search for vendors.


It is the policy of the City to (1) provide minorities an equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of its contracting and procurement programs and (2) to prohibit any and all discrimination against persons or businesses in pursuit of these opportunities. Provide a statement indicating how you will perform minority outreach for this project if you will be subcontracting any portion of the work. The selected artist or artist team will be asked to provide documentation indicating their outreach efforts.


The City of Asheville is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  The City of Asheville prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability.  

About the City of Asheville

Asheville, the 11th largest city in North Carolina, the county seat of Buncombe County with a population of more than 90,000 is the largest city in Western N.C.  Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is known for its natural beauty.  The city’s rich architectural legacy, with its mix of Art Deco, Beaux Arts and Neoclassical styles, is the perfect backdrop to the energy that emanates from the locally owned-shops and galleries, distinctive restaurants and exciting entertainment venues.  Asheville was named one of “25 Best Places for Business and Careers” by  


Contact Information and City Project Manager:    

Stephanie Monson Dahl , Strategic Development Office Director                         

City of Asheville        

Community & Economic Department           | (828) 232-4502
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