Call Detail





Request for proposals: Immersive Installations for kids and their adults
Creativity Initiative
Providence Children's Museum
100 South Street
Providence, RI 02903

Entry Deadline: 12/17/18
Days remaining to deadline: 5
Number of Applications Allowed: 3


REQUIREMENTS:

Media
Images - Minimum: 3, Maximum: 12
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 3
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 3
Total Media - Minimum: 3, Maximum: 18


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Providence Children’s Museum
Call for Creatives, Artists, Designers, Engineers and Makers of All Kinds
Request for Proposals: Immersive Installation for Kids & their Adults

Providence Children’s Museum (PCM) invites artists and creatives to submit a proposal for the design and fabrication of an immersive installation for kids and their adults as part of the Museum’s new project: the Creativity Initiative. Selected artists and creatives will work in collaboration with Museum staff to bring an active, kid-centered, creative space to life.

The Creativity Initiative is a three-year project designed to build creative confidence in our visitors by actively engaging with creative makers, processes and environments. Our goal is to make sure kids and their adults get to connect with creative people and experiences in new and unexpected ways, that they get inspired to explore and practice the capacities that underlie imagination and creativity. Additionally, our goal is to support our regional creative economy, and galvanize Rhode Islands’ creative community in service of all children.

The Museum is inviting Creatives to respond to selected themes and propose/design/build immersive, mind-blowing, playful environments. Each installation will celebrate and showcase creativity in its fullest form, from the everyday to the fantastic, give a window into the creative process, and support activities to engage our visitors in the hands-on interactive exploration of creativity. 

Submission Deadline: December 17, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST

Award for Selected Proposals: $5,000 Creative’s Stipend, $5,000 Materials Budget

Installation Dates: Applicants chose one date: June 2019 OR October 2019 OR December 2019

Installation Duration: Minimum of three months

There will be two information sessions/site visits for potential applicants with Museum staff members on:
Wednesday Nov 14 at 6:30pm and
Saturday, Nov 17 at 1:00pm

Please RSVP in advance to: Exhibits@childrenmuseum.org

or Creativity Initiative
Providence Children’s Museum
100 South Street
Providence, RI 02903

For more information: Email Exhibits@childrenmuseum.org or call (401) 273-5437 ext. 134.



Background: PCM History, Audience & Play Philosophy
     Providence Children’s Museum (PCM) is Rhode Island’s only hands-on museum designed specifically for families. Located in Providence’s Jewelry District, the Museum develops interactive exhibits and lively programs for children ages 1 to 11 and their adult caregivers to inspire and celebrate learning through active play and exploration. We are the most visited museum in Providence with 178,000 visits a year, and we are the first cultural institution that most kids in Rhode Island encounter. The Museum has a strong commitment to equitable access with over 40% of our operating budget going towards supporting free or reduced admission rates for a third of our visitors.

     Museum experiences provide opportunities for free play—play that is child-motivated, child- directed, freely chosen, involves active exploration, and is fun! These experiences encourage children to express their ideas and reflect on their own thinking and provide opportunities for caregivers to notice and value play and exploration as essential aspects of children’s learning and development.

     Museum experiences provide a welcoming, safe and respectful environment that is inclusive of different backgrounds, interests and abilities. They are attentive and responsive to the needs of visitors both individually and collectively. They are particularly relevant to children living in Rhode Island and southern New England and are culturally responsible, created in partnership with members of relevant communities.

 Creativity Initiative Overview
     The Creativity Initiative is a three-year project designed to build creative confidence in our visitors by actively engaging with creative makers, processes and environments. Our goal is to make sure kids and their adults get to connect with creative people and experiences in new and unexpected ways. We hope to inspire visitors to explore and practice capacities that underlie imagination and creativity and recognize the creative in the everyday and the purposeful act of making. Additionally, our goal is to support our regional creative economy, and galvanize Rhode Islands’ creative community in service of all children.

     Throughout the initiative, PCM will work in collaboration with the arts and design communities of Rhode Island to develop three different types of experiences for visitors that will take place across the Museum.

1) Over the course of three years, the Creativity Initiative will present a series of temporary, immersive, and interactive exhibits designed in collaboration with local Creatives to inspire imaginative play. The exhibits will be installed in the changing exhibit space at Providence Children’s Museum, located on the upper floor of the Museum. PCM’s exhibits team will design and fabricate hands-on exhibit components that bring active exploration and hands-on activities to the immersive environment.

2) PCM will develop a new Maker Studio and Innovation Lab along with new educational programs, both in the Museum and in settings across the state. These programs may include activities developed and run by artists and makers.

3) PCM will work with guest curators and local arts organizations to help fill the Museum with art and design on a rotating basis to provide a stimulating museum environment while also offering local artists and creatives a new venue with access to unique audience.

*Creatives who may not wish to propose an immersive installation may become involved with the Creativity Initiative by working with the Museum in one of these other capacities (Items 2, 3 above).   Information about these opportunities can be found in the FAQ’s section, however, this RFP refers solely to proposals for immersive installations in 2019.



Details of RFP: Providence Children’s Museum Immersive Installation for Kids & Their Adults 

Eligibility:
PCM invites creatives, artists, designers, engineers, and makers of all kinds to submit a proposal to collaborate with PCM staff to create an immersive exhibit for installation in the changing exhibit space at Providence Children’s Museum. 

PCM encourages proposals from everyone.  We deeply value, and do not discriminate against, diversity of citizenship, ancestry, ethnicity, cultural expression, class, disability, place of origin, skin color, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender, age, marital status, and family status.

Individuals or groups, regardless of level of experience or background can apply. 

Applicants must be residents of Rhode Island, Connecticut or Massachusetts.



Timeline of RFP & Creativity Initiative:
There will be three opportunities in 2019: June 2019, OR October 2019, OR December 2019. (Applicants must choose one of these dates for their proposal.)

Each installation will last a minimum of three months.

There will be three additional opportunities in 2020, and three more in 2021.

This RFP refers to opportunities in 2019 only.

Creatives can submit up to 3  proposals per year. However, Creatives may receive only one commission during the 3-year Creativity Initiative.

To apply, Creatives must choose one installation date per proposal (June 2019, October 2019 or December 2019) that they must be able to abide by.



Immersive Installation:
The Museum is seeking proposals for creatives/creative teams to collaborate with the PCM exhibits team to create a temporary immersive installation for our visitors. 

In the context of this project, Immersive Installations are built environments that create multisensory experiences unified by a theme or storyline, in which visitors can interact and actively explore their surroundings. Immersive installations are designed to create engagement between visitors and Creatives.


Installation Themes:
Each year of the project will be guided by a set of themes that artists must respond to.

Creatives must choose 1 theme to respond to with their proposal for an installation.
Proposals should demonstrate how the installation will relate to the theme.

Themes for the first year of the project 2019, begin with the exploration of elementary principles of art and design:
1.     Line, Shape, Color –  Explores the 2D and 3D world of points and lines in space, connections, patterns, and the geometry of the world around us. Creatives could use color to shape mood, and/or experiment with reflection and light as tools to deepen sensory engagement.

2.     Form, Space, Texture – Creatives can explore the physical world through tactile experiences that engage with form and create unique spatial experiences.

3.     Synesthesia –  A neurological, perceptual condition in which ordinary activities trigger extra-ordinary experiences of mixed sensations. For example, a stimulus such as hearing (someone’s voice), involuntarily causes experience in another sense such as vision (seeing a particular color). In this exhibit, the idea of synesthesia is inspiration for exploring all of the senses, offering experiences that challenge perception and offer unexpected juxtapositions.



Site Description:
Proposed immersive exhibits will be installed in the changing exhibit space at Providence Children’s Museum. This space is located on the upper level of the Museum, in the middle of this busy, noisy and active children’s museum. 

The space will be prepared for installations with blank walls, floor and lighting.  Creatives may add lighting and built environments that attach to walls, ceiling, and floor.

This space is 15’6”w x 29 ’l x 12’h.
Drawings and plans for general reference are located within CaFE call for this proposal.



Budget:
Selected Creatives will be awarded a stipend of $5,000 and a materials budget of $5,000 for their work. Fabrication, installation, travel, and incidental costs will be covered in the materials budget.

Applicants may choose to submit a proposal to work individually or in teams. Teams will receive an additional $2,000 artist stipend in total - not per team member. The materials budget will remain the same for individuals and teams. 


Logistics: What You Do & What We Do

Selected Creatives will:

  • Bring their unique vision, perspective and expertise in making to create an immersive environment for PCM visitors to experience and play in.
  • Design a space for kids first, as well as their adults, that meets the design criteria. Work with PCM to ensure that the work is tough enough to withstand active, engaged kids.
  • Work with PCM to finalize design specs and agree to meet safety and environmental standards as well as standards for accessibility and universal design.
  • Collaborate with PCM exhibit staff about additional interactive components (to be fabricated by PCM and situated within the installation) to ensure the visual integrity of the Creative’s installation.
  • Provide personal workspace and equipment to realize the project.
  • Conduct in process meetings with PCM exhibits staff throughout the project for staff to observe and consult on work in progress.
  • Transport work from personal work space to and from PCM for installation and de-installation
  • Follow the timeline!

PCM Staff will:

  • Provide expertise in child development with 40 years of experience in designing for free play.
  • Provide design and engineering support to ensure installations meet Museum building standards for safety, fire code compliance, as well as requirements for physical accessibility and universal design.
  • Design and fabricate interactive components in collaboration with Creatives that keep with the theme of the Creative’s installation.
  • Provide logistics and labor support for installation and de-installation.
  • Host a public opening for each installation in coordination with Creatives.
  • Provide additional opportunities for contracted work such as lectures, workshops with visitors, or facilitation in the exhibit environment.



Submission Requirements & Defining Features of Installations:
The Museum is inviting Creatives to respond to selected themes and propose/design/build immersive, mind-blowing, playful environments. Each installation will celebrate and showcase creativity in its fullest form, from the everyday to the fantastic, give a window into the creative process, and support activities to engage our visitors in the hands-on interactive exploration of creativity. 

Staff and Creatives will collaborate to design and build environments that will enable experiences that connect visitors to creativity and imagination. The characteristics of these environments are:

Immersive (supporting deep engagement and flow)
Multisensory
Provide multiple entry points for engagement (no one “right” way to do anything)
Active, and never passive
Interactive
Empowering for visitors
Collaborative
Aesthetically rich

Proposals must demonstrate how the project will address the following features:

  • Each installation will be a separate immersive world; an experiential, multi-sensory environment designed to maximize deep engagement in a self-directed manner, and support active exploration.
  • This installation is for children—to inspire playful exploration, creativity, and imagination. Creatives must be interested in designing specifically for children to play.
  • The installation must be appropriate for and respectful of kids and their adults. 
  •  Proposed exhibits should demonstrate that applicants respect and value diversity of the audience that will engage with the work.
  • The installation must be designed to withstand heavy hands-on use.
  • The installation needs to provide multiple pathways for experiencing and engaging with the ideas and themes of the work.
  •  Installations should engage multiple senses.
  • Visitor empowerment is important. There should be opportunities for visitors to participate, create, and communicate what they experience, and to choose how they will proceed.
  • The installation should support collaboration among our visitors, both inter- and intra-generational.
  •  PCM would particularly welcome installations that find new and inventive ways to use everyday materials and/or allow kids to explore the unfamiliar in unusual ways.
  • This will be a short-term commission which must be installed and de-installed per schedule.

Please note that the proposed work must be original and solely the work of the Creative(s).  If the proposed work contains portions of another Creative’s work all necessary permissions must be obtained before submitting the proposal.



Submission Guidelines

RFP: Providence Children’s Museum Immersive Installation for Kids & Their Adults
Submission Deadline: 11:59 PM EST on December 17th , 2018
Award for Selected Proposals: $5,000 Creative’s Stipend, $5,000 Materials Budget
Installation Dates: Applicants choose: June 2019 OR October 2019 OR December 2019

For more information: Email Exhibits@childrenmuseum.org or call (401) 273-5437 ext. 134.

Proposals can be submitted through the on-line portal, CaFE, or by creating a cover page with your name, contact information including mailing address, phone number, and email, preferred installation month (June, September or December), and all materials listed in the Submission Materials section below.  Mail a copy to:

Creativity Initiative
Providence Children’s Museum
100 South Street
Providence, RI 02903

Proposals can be written or audio/video.  Applicants can choose to submit a video application if a written application is not feasible.

Videos can be saved to YouTube or Vimeo or up-loaded to the CaFE site if you are using the site to submit your application. Creatives submitting a video application can fill out the application form on CaFE and up-load the audio/video or create a cover sheet as detailed above, provide a link to the videos in place of written responses, and sumit along with all materials listed in the Submission Materials section below, then mail this to the address listed above.

Notification of awards will be in January 2019. Successful projects will be posted on PCM’s website. All applicants will be notified of the results of the jury selection process.

Contact: Email Exhibits@childrenmuseum.org for more information or call (401) 273-5437 ext. 134.



Submission Materials:
Proposals:

  • A narrative statement describing the proposed installation, with selected theme clearly noted, and descriptions of materials (images optional). All proposals, written or video, should also address the defining features of installations from the section titled Submission Requirements & Defining Features of Installations.
  • Applicants must choose either written or video format. Writing submissions should be 1000 words or less, video submissions must be under 6 minutes. Submissions exceeding the maximum lengths cannot be reviewed.
  • Minimum of 3, not to exceed, 10 concept images or models (video alternative accepted). All images must be PDFs. Video clips can be no longer than 3 minutes.
  • Proposed budget. All proposals must include a proposed budget for the project.  Included as the last page of the Architectural Drawings, we have provided an example of a budget format for applicants to follow.  Applicants should copy this format to submit your budget.
  • Optional: Up to 5 images of previous work or projects completed by the Creative (PDFs only).

Creative/Team Materials:

  • Brief Bio(s) or Resume– along with a description of prior experiences that you feel will contribute to your success with designing, fabricating and installing this work. Applicants must choose either written or video format. Written submissions should be 300 words or fewer, Video submissions must be under 3 minutes.
  • Finalists may be asked for references.

Selection Process

PCM will facilitate the review process. The jury will be composed of a diverse group of creatives, arts administrators, PCM leadership and staff, and other museum professionals. Jury members will read all applications and rank each according to how well they meet the criteria for selection.
The top-ranking applications will be chosen to install their work at PCM.

Criteria for Selection Include:           

  • Artistic Merit: High quality, meaningful, innovative, engaging, thoughtful, unusual use of materials, aesthetically rich.
  • Design meets the needs of kids and their adults in our playful space: We will select works that will engage kids and their adults in an unusual, beautiful, immersive environment, that bring visitors into close contact with a unique creative perspective. The proposal states clearly why this installation is a good fit for PCM.
  • Clarity of proposal and project: The proposal states clearly what will be built, what kinds of materials will be utilized, general construction techniques, as well as how kids and adults are intended to interact with the installation. 
  • Achievability: The proposal demonstrates that the Creative or Creative Team has a plan, knowledge of materials and methods, and that they have resources for learning and finding appropriate support to complete the project as needed. 

PCM Rules
These rules and restrictions are provided in accordance with the best practices for working in the Museum environment and may be supplemented or modified as PCM deems necessary or appropriate.

1)     You must disclose the contents of your installation known at the time of submission of application, including but not limited to: hardware, technology, construction materials and decorative elements.  If selected, applicants will need to disclose any additional or new contents to PCM exhibits staff.

2)     All exhibits/installations must meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and PCM standards for accessibility.

3)     No adult content, such as sexually explicit or suggestive material, will be accepted. Nude representation of the human form will be considered at PCM discretion.

4)     You must not use materials with strong odors, toxic vapors, dust, or airborne substances (e.g., solvents, glue, etc.); animals (live or taxidermy); living organic matter (e.g., plants, live flowers, dirt, etc.), or bio-hazardous materials as part of your construction.

5)     Flammable materials such as paper, fabric, foam and wood must be treated with an approved fire retardant chemicals. PCM will define materials to be treated, recommend treatment products, and will work with Creatives to treat components.

6)     Bodily fluids must not be a part of your presentation.

7)     Food items are not allowed to be used as part of your installation.

8)     Installations may not contain sealed volumes of liquid of any kind.

9)     No strobe lights or flashing lights. If lighting is to be used, it must be approved by PCM.

10)  Sound levels (including bass, low end frequencies) must be below 80 dB (decibels) to reduce vibration.

11)  Any ladders, platforms, or elevations of any kind must adhere to playground safety standards and be approved by PCM. PCM will supply playground safety standards and help ensure compliance.

12)  Any moving parts must be enclosed to prevent pinching or entrapment. PCM will supply safety standards and help ensure compliance.

13)  All artistic products within this program must be original and in fact your own work. Any copyright clearance which may be required for use of materials is the responsibility of the participant and not PCM.

14)  If selected, creative will undergo the same background check that all staff and volunteers at PCM must submit to.  This is a legal requirement for working with children and other vulnerable populations.  All contents of background checks will be kept confidential.

By submitting a proposal, you agree to these terms and conditions. Upon acceptance and a signed contract all Creatives must adhere to these guidelines.


Building guidelines:
All installations will be built off-site, and transported to the Museum for installation. We suggest designing and building in a modular fashion, as well as planning to reassemble on site. PCM will provide guidelines for Museum access for doors, ramps and logistics.

PCM is a hands-on museum. All components must be designed and built to withstand rigorous and unpredictable physical interaction. If it can be torn, removed, relocated or stolen it will be. PCM will consult with Creatives to ensure safety and durability.

All exhibits/installations must be designed with children’s scale in mind. Anything requiring reach or access by children must be scaled appropriately. Exhibits must be designed for full accessibility. PCM will provide assistance with accessibility guidelines and universal design guidelines.

Always use best practices for safety concerns, such as head, torso or hand entrapment and choke hazards, as well as sharp corners, trip and head bump hazards and unprotected elevations. PCM will consult with all Creatives to ensure the installation meets these guidelines.



FAQs

Can I get support or help in preparing my application?
Yes, PCM can provide support with preparing application materials such as budget, narrative, or concept representation. This support does not guarantee the applicant will be awarded funds.

Please email exhibits@childrenmuseum.org or call (401) 273-5437 ext. 134.
 

Is there a format for me to follow when writing my budget?
Yes, we have a template for budgets that we would like applicants to use to submit their budget.  Please copy and fill out the budget template locates at the end of document.
 

Will there be an open house for potential applicants?
There will be two open house events with a guided tour of the Museum from PCM staff members on:
Wednesday Nov 14 at 6:30pm
Saturday, Nov 17 at 1:00pm


Can I make a site visit and take photographs?
If you wish to make a site visit and meet with a staff member, you must make an appointment. If you do not wish to meet with staff, you may visit the Museum by appointment free of charge. Please contact the listed email address to schedule a site visit:

Please email exhibits@childrenmuseum.org or call (401) 273-5437 ext. 134.

Photography is permitted of the architecture and environmental features. We ask that you not photograph visitors, particularly children.
 

I want to propose an idea but I’ve never built an installation before…is there someone I can work with at PCM to help bring my idea to life?

While we want to support all applicants and their development, we will be limited in the scope of mentoring we can provide in developing skillsets needed to design and complete an installation.

Please contact PCM to discuss your situation and we will determine if we can accommodate your request with available resources. Please email exhibits@childrenmuseum.org or call (401) 273-5437 ext. 134.

 

If a group of artists propose an installation does each artist receive a $5,000 stipend and $5,000 in materials?
Selected Creatives will be awarded a stipend of $5,000 and a materials budget of $5,000 for their work. Fabrication, installation, travel, and incidental costs will be covered in the materials budget.

Applicants may choose to submit a proposal to work individually or in teams.  Teams will receive an additional $2,000 artist stipend in total - not per team member. The materials budget will remain the same for individuals and teams.

 

I’m not an installation artist.  What other opportunities are available to me in this project?
Creatives who do not wish to propose an immersive installation may become involved with the Creativity Initiative by working with the Museum in one of the capacities listed below: 

 PCM will also develop a new Maker Studio and Innovation Lab along with new educational programs, both in the Museum and in settings across the state. These programs may include activities run by artists and makers. If you have a teaching aspect to your practice, prior experience working with children and young adults, or have an interactive demonstration, program, performance or lecture you would like to propose, contact the address below.

PCM will also work with guest curators and local arts organizations to help fill the Museum with creative artifacts on a rotating basis to provide a stimulating museum environment while also offering local artists and creatives a new venue with access to unique audience. We are interested in sharing evidence of creative processes with our visitors. If you have experience as a curator, organizing exhibitions of art and design, or would like to propose the exhibition of completed works please email the contact below.

Please email exhibits@childrenmuseum.org or call (401) 273-5437 ext. 134.

 

How will these installations be promoted, and who has the rights to share the work publicly?
PCM will actively market these events through our publications, social media and public announcements.
PCM and Creatives share and retain rights to use images of the collaborative work and names, dates and details associated with the project.

  • Creatives own the work and hold copyright to commissioned work
  • PCM owns and holds copyright to component concepts and finished work that museum staff has developed.

Whenever work is represented publicly, including social media, all work must be mutually attributed to Creatives and PCM.
 

What will happen to the work at the end of the designated installation period?
Should the Creative choose to sell the installation or work contained within, PCM retains the right of first refusal to purchase the copyright and the work.

Installations must be removed at the end of the designated period.  Creatives will be responsible for their portion of the installation, while PCM’s exhibits team will be responsible for the exhibit components fabricated by PCM. 

 Creatives may not display their work at another children’s museum within 100 miles of Providence for two years following the installation, however, they are free to find any other type of alternate venue to display their work after it has been de-installed.