Call Detail
City of Seattle: 2019 Arts in Parks Temporary Art & Activations Program

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: Washington
Entry Deadline: 10/23/18
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 16, Maximum: 16
Total Media - Minimum: 16, Maximum: 16
The Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) and Seattle Parks and Recreation (PARKS) are seeking artists to create temporary art installations or social practice activities for selected Seattle parks to activate and engage their surrounding communities.

ARTS is looking for up to seven artists/artist teams that are interested in engaging with the community and creating artworks or social practice activities that are culturally responsive. Artists who have experience working with residents from historically under-represented communities, including communities of color, immigrant, and refugee communities to develop their artwork are encouraged to apply. The temporary two and three-dimensional artworks would most likely be installed in the warmer, drier months of June –September 2019 and will have durations of six to eight weeks. This call is open to artists residing in Washington State. The application deadline is 10:59 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time), Tuesday, October 23, 2018.
ARTS and PARKS are looking for artists/artist teams to work with communities who live, work near, or visit the selected parks. The artists will create a site specific temporary artwork or social practice that aligns with the goals of the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative. The artist will work with community members who live or work near the specific site to develop their concept, and will work to engage members from historically under-represented communities, including communities of color and immigrant/refugee communities.

On August 5, 2014, Seattle voters approved the Seattle Park District. The Seattle Park District has the same boundaries as the City of Seattle and the Seattle City Council members serve as the Park District's Governing Board. Property taxes collected by the Seattle Park District will provide funding for City parks and recreation including maintaining parklands and facilities, operating community centers and recreation programs, and developing new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.

The parks selected for this project would particularly benefit from increased positive and/or family-friendly activities, and increased public use. Activating these parks will build community ownership, increase use and create opportunities for artists.

ARTS, in partnership with PARKS, seeks to activate selected parks by creating a vibrant and inviting public realm, providing an attractive public space, and an environment where people feel safe and welcome.

ARTS has managed a number of temporary art projects throughout the City including ARTSparks, Art Interruptions, Seattle Center Temporary Art Interventions and Westlake Park Temporary Art.

This call is open to artists living in Washington State who have a documented track record of making art and are interested in creating art in public places. Applicants must be over 18 years old and interested in working collaboratively in public settings.

Artists who were awarded in the 2018 cycle are not eligible to apply for the 2019 Arts in Parks Temporary Art Installations call.

ARTS is committed to reflecting the cultural richness of our city by promoting opportunities for emerging and diverse artists. Organizations and individual artists representing communities of color are encouraged to apply. Strong consideration will be given to artists who have experience working with residents from historically underrepresented communities including communities of color, immigrant, and refugee communities to develop their artwork.

The selected artists or artist teams will work with staff from PARKS and ARTS to develop new temporary, site-specific public art projects at selected Seattle city parks. Up to seven artists/artist teams will be selected to create installations/activities of six to eight weeks duration from June through the end of 2019. The projects will contribute to increased public use and family-friendly activities. The primary audience for the artwork are those who live/work/travel through the park site day or night. This public interaction may range from a quick walkthrough the park by a pedestrian passing through to a longer interaction at the site by people watching a performance, attending a workshop, waiting for a bus or those using the park for recreational purposes.

If selected, artists will develop their proposals in coordination with PARKS and ARTS staff.
The artwork should:
  • Activate the space and engage pedestrians and park users at the site;
  • Coexist with already-scheduled programming of the site;
  • Create a unique sense of place through creative practice;
  • Have duration of six to eight weeks for two and three-dimensional artworks.      
The artwork can (but is not limited to):
  • Operate or interact with Seattle Parks planned activities at the site
  • Be two or three dimensional (with three-dimensional work that allows for movement through the space)
  • Offer social interaction with visitors (participatory or interactive work)
  • Be workshops or social practice that engage the community
  • Allow for a short or long-term experience

Public Safety
All projects must take public safety into consideration. Parks staff will identify proposals that require a department safety “ProView” review and follow up with the applicant. Artworks that may climbed on, especially by children, or other features that potentially may be a hazard may require a safety review

Access to electricity in parks
It is strongly recommended that proposed art installations do not have electricity requirements or are self-sufficient in their power needs.

Parks ground plane
It is strongly recommended that proposed artworks should not require digging or staking on Parks grounds.

Suggested parks for installations:
Visit the Seattle Parks website and use the Park Finder to view more information about any of the parks listed.

  • Denny Park
  • Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park
  • First Hill Park
  • Judkins Park
  • Flo Ware Park
  • Pratt Park
  • Powell Barnett Park
  • Albert Davis Park
  • Ballard Commons Park
  • Lake City Mini Park
  • Mineral Springs Park
  • Salmon Bay Park
  • University Playground
  • John C. Little Park
  • Othello Playground
  • Pritchard Island Beach
  • Beer Sheva Park
  • Martha Washington Park
  • Duwamish Waterway Park
  • Highland Park Playground
  • Myrtle Reservoir Park
  • Roxhill Park
  • Westcrest Park
Downtown or Center City parks are NOT eligible for Arts in Parks funded projects. Other funding sources are available for projects in these parks. Please see this list of downtown parks that are NOT eligible.

Playfields and green spaces immediately adjacent to community centers are NOT eligible for Arts in Parks funded projects. Please see this list of playfields and green spaces that are NOT eligible.

Each selected artist will receive $4,500, inclusive of all fees including design development for final proposal, materials, installation, WA state sales and use taxes, insurance, and all associated project costs. Selected artists will receive 40% of the total commission upon acceptance of the final artwork proposal, 40% percent after documented installation of the artwork, and the remaining 20% after documented de-installation of artwork, photo documentation and a brief project summary have been delivered.

Arts in Parks is commissioned with Seattle Park District funds and administered by the Office of Arts & Culture.

The application deadline is 10:59 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time), Tuesday, October 23, 2018.

  1. Sixteen (16) images of past artworks. CaFÉ image format instructions can be found here. If you have fewer than 16 quality images, you will need to insert a detail of one of your images or a blank slide. A blank slide is available for download here.
  2. Please provide a statement describing your interest in this project, including a very brief (100 words or less) conceptual sketch of your proposed installation/activation. Please include your community engagement strategy and any special connection you have with the park(s) you have listed as your preferred sites. These elements will be weighed heavily by the panelists during the selection process.
  3. Résumé
  4. References
  5. Completion of required application questions.
The Office of Arts & Culture is committed to reflecting the diversity and cultural richness of our city in the selection of artists and artworks. Artists will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:
  • The artist’s suitability for this project, as indicated by the proposal;
  • Strength and artistic vision of past works or the potential for the artist to create artwork in public and creativity of approach;
  • Priority will be given to artists who have experience working with residents from historically under-represented communities including communities of color, immigrant, and refugee communities to develop their artwork.
The selection process will include a review by a peer panel and advisors who will review all applicants’ materials and will recommend up to seven artists for commissions to be installed/implemented June through December 2019.  

Applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by email in January 2019.

We strongly encourage you to attend the workshop, especially if you are a first-time applicant.

ARTS staff will share more information about the Arts in Parks Temporary Art and Activations call and will review the CaFÉ application process. No RSVP or registration is needed to attend a workshop.

Wednesday, September 19, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Seattle Public Library, Rainier Beach Branch
9125 Rainier Ave. S. Seattle, WA 98118

Thursday, September 27, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Seattle Public Library, Southwest Branch
9010 35th Ave. S.W. Seattle, WA 98126

Thursday, October 4, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Seattle Public Library, Douglas-Truth Branch
2300 E. Yesler Way Seattle, WA 98122
Wednesday, October 10, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.        
Seattle Public Library, Broadview Branch
12755 Greenwood Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98133

If your project is selected for funding, you will need to meet the requirements listed below.
  • City and state business licenses are required for payment (you do NOT need a business license to apply). To receive final payment, individuals awarded funds from the Office of Arts & Culture must have a Seattle business license and a Washington State Unified Business Identification (UBI) number. You may include the cost of getting your business licenses in your budget.   
  • Award recipients will sign a contract committing to produce their project with activities including intended dates and park location for a public presentation. Early confirmation of event details is encouraged.
  • Award recipients will be responsible for working with Seattle Parks and Recreation to complete and submit the required permit documents.
  • Award recipients will be responsible for securing Event Liability Insurance for their project.  
  • Award recipients are responsible for paying all applicable taxes.
  • Award recipients commit to recognize the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and Seattle Parks & Recreation in press releases, printed materials, social media, and signage visible to the public or in other ways appropriate to the project.
  • Create or update your CaFÉ profile at right away.
  • Explore the online application ahead of time, especially if you’re a first-time applicant.
  • Attend the workshop/draft review session, especially if you’re a first-time applicant.    
  • Start writing or outlining your application narrative early. It is best to write your application answers first in a separate document and copy and paste them into the application text boxes.
  • Be sure to review your application materials before you submit. It can be very helpful to have another person read/edit your application materials. This can help ensure your vision is communicated effectively.
  • Call the project manager with questions well in advance of the deadline. We are happy to assist you, but last-minute help is limited due to capacity.
Please contact Sandy Esene ( or 206.233.3930) for call details.

For technical assistance with the CaFÉ online application process, please contact CaFÉ tech support at 888.562.7232 or, Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
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