Call Detail
Team Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial
500 Mero Street 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Kentucky
Entry Deadline: 5/30/21
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 5, Maximum: 10
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 2
Total Media - Minimum: 5, Maximum: 10

The Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Office of Governor Andy Beshear, with administrative support from the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and the Division of Historic Properties, seeks to commission a Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial to be placed in The State Capitol Monument Park.  The selection process will occur in two phases:

- Phase 1 – Request for Qualifications (RFQ); and
- Phase 2 – Concept Proposals from finalists selected through the Phase 1 RFQ.

The Memorial will help commemorate the losses and sacrifices Kentuckians experienced during this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and remind future generations of the hardships that all the Commonwealth endured during this difficult time and the sacrifices we all made to overcome it. The Memorial is funded by the Team Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial Fund, supported by donations from private community members, corporations, and foundations.

It is now more than one year since the beginning of what will be remembered as a historic, global pandemic. The development of several successful vaccines has brought new hope that we may see a return to familiar activities and gatherings. In our rush to put this pandemic behind us, we must not forget the trials and sacrifices Kentuckians have endured.

As we look back over the past year, the toll is staggering. Our normal, day-to-day lives were upended by this virus. As reported cases of the virus increased, we faced great uncertainties, both in fighting COVID-19 and in mitigating the economic fallout as job losses also mounted. Working together as Team Kentucky, we built out a COVID testing operation across the commonwealth and maintained a robust, 120-day supply of personal protection equipment. We also took decisive action that, along with the sacrifices of Kentuckians everywhere, helped us knock down three deadly surges in coronavirus cases.

As a result, Kentucky has suffered far less loss and disruption when compared to other states. Nonetheless, this evil virus still has taken far too many far too soon. At last count, more than 6,300 of our fellow Kentuckians have died of COVID-19.

Through it all, we have maintained our sense of community. Governor Beshear offered near daily COVID updates, with Dr. Stack and others showing us the importance of providing access to crucial information to all Kentuckians during this crisis. Kentuckians lit their homes and businesses up with green lights to show compassion and rang bells every day at 10 a.m. to remember those we lost.

We also remembered those lost to COVID in other ways. First with wreath-laying ceremonies and later with individual U.S. flags placed for each Kentuckian lost placed on the Kentucky State Capitol lawn.

This permanent memorial will ensure this tribute stands for the ages. Not only will this memorial offer our respect and some level of comfort to the families and communities who are grieving, it will be a “gathering grounded in grief and gratitude.”

We must also acknowledge the emotional toll we have each suffered. It should show gratitude to the essential workers who put their life in peril to fight for those in need. It will celebrate our resilience, innovation, and sense of community. It will be a place of unity, as described by Rabbi David Wirtschafter, where “we hold a diversity of beliefs, yet all of us affirm the dignity of human life.  That each of us is precious.”

The Kentucky Covid-19 Memorial shall:
- be an artwork and lasting memorial, located on Kentucky state capitol grounds, to those lost due to Covid-19;
- provide opportunities for reflection and remembrance; 
- articulate the themes of grief, resilience, unity, and hope;
- have a design that is site-specific, equitable, and accessible to people with diverse abilities;
- be appropriate in the setting of the State Capital Monument Park site;
- be designed and built for a public site with low maintenance requirements; and
- be in place with a target date of March 6, 2022.

The project budget is not to exceed $500,000. Finalists selected through this RFQ will be contracted to develop concept proposals and paid a stipend of $3,000. This is an all-inclusive budget to cover artist fees, travel, materials, equipment, fabrication, insurance, engineer fees, permits and installation. The source of funds will be the Team Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial Fund established by Governor Andy Beshear.

To be eligible for consideration, applicants must be professional artists over the age of 18 with a U.S. Federal Tax ID or Social Security number.  All artists and artist teams are eligible to apply.  Finalists will be selected based on the artists’ experience with similar projects, based on the work samples and letter of interest provided. Artist teams should have proven experience that demonstrates their professional qualifications working together as a team. Artist from Kentucky or residents are encouraged to apply.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is committed to providing opportunities to people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate based on race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, veteran status, or physical ability.

Two-Phased Artist Selection Process
The artist selection process will be two-phased. Phase 1 will include a Request For Qualifications and the evaluation of qualifications, from which a pool of a minimum of five (5) artists or artist teams will be invited to submit specific proposals. In Phase 2, selected artist/artist teams will prepare and submit a proposal to be considered for the site. An honorarium of $3000 will be provided to each artist or team returning a completed proposal.

- April 22, 2021: Phase 1: Request for Qualifications announced
Applicants to submit letter of interest, artist resume, professional references and examples of past work with image and description
- May 30, 2021: RFQ deadline
Advisory Panel to provide recommendations on finalists to Governor
- June 15, 2021: Office of the Governor selects finalists
References checked
- June 18, 2021: Artist notifications; Phase 2: Concept Proposals from finalists selected through the Phase 1 RFQ
Artist contract to create site-specific proposal, artists are paid a stipend of $3000 upon returning a completed proposal
- June – July, 2021: Artist site-visit and question period 
- July 15, 2021: Commissioned proposals due  
- July 21, 2021: Zoom or in-person presentation of Concept Proposal
- August 1, 2021: Commission awarded and artist contract initiated, finalists notified
- February 15, 2022: Substantial completion
- March 6, 2022: Memorial dedication

Phase 1: Request For Qualifications (RFQ)
This RFQ seeks all qualified artists with the experience and capacity to produce a permanent memorial. Responses are due May 30, 2021. Following a thorough review of RFQ submissions, an advisory panel of state officials and arts professionals will recommend a minimum of five (5) artists to the Office of the Governor as candidates for Phase 2: Concept Proposals.

Selected finalists are encouraged to visit the site in Frankfort prior to delivery of the artwork proposal.   Proposals are expected to represent a unique commission in ample detail and provided in a format that may be exhibited.  Each artist will be awarded $3,000 upon receipt of a qualifying proposal. Submitted materials will become the property of Commonwealth of Kentucky; copyright of these materials will be owned by the artist.

RFQ Selection Criteria
RFQ selection criteria will include:
- strong professional qualifications;
- a demonstrated ability to work within a given budget and timeframe; and
- a demonstrated ability to work with a cross-disciplinary professional team (public officials, architects, engineers, curators, construction teams, etc.).

Submission Responsibilities
The following are required for consideration:
1. Letter of interest (typed, 2 pages maximum) that includes a description of artist’s interest in and approach to this project.
2. Current and Professional Resume or CV (2 pages maximum).
3. At least (3) professional references for individuals or institutions who possess or have commissioned your artwork. Please provide address, email and phone number.
4. Visual Support Materials which shall include a minimum of five (5) and maximum of ten (10) recent/relevant jpg images or videos of works that illustrate relevant previous experience. Please include descriptions for each project including title, artist team, date, materials, location, commissioning agency, and budget.

How to Apply
Submit through CaFE for this RFQ process or submit all required documents to Jessica Tyler at the email listed below.

Contact Information
Submit questions to Jessica Tyler, Special Assistant, Office of the Secretary,

State Capitol Monument Park, Frankfort, KY

Phase 2: Request for Proposals (RFP)
The three main considerations are artistic approach to stated design objectives, site appropriateness and durability. Images or models of the proposed work, along with conceptual drawings shall be submitted. Awardee needs to provide information to assure the Selection Panel of what the final structure will look like and that it can be completed and installed as designed by March 6, 2022.

RFP Selection Criteria
RFP selection criteria will include a concept proposal that:
expresses the history and continued trauma of the Kentucky COVID-19 pandemic;
- demonstrates contextual integration into the landscape of The Kentucky State Capitol;
- accounts for public safety and appropriate materials for longevity and low maintenance requirements in an outdoor setting; and
- articulates the project and design objectives.

Preference will be given to submission from Kentucky residents and/or businesses.

Submission Responsibilities
The following are required for consideration:
1. A conceptual statement that includes specific installation instructions and assumptions.
2. Rendering of proposed artwork (hand-drawn, digital, video or marquette).
3. Materials statement
4. Maintenance plan/statement; one-year warranty.
5. Selected artists will be required to provide a Certificate of Insurance for a Commercial Liability insurance policy including [applicable state agencies] as additional insured, which will be included in the stated project budget. Provide State insurance requirements in writing.
6. Timeline to complete, including site work.
7. Complete budget.

Site and Safety
While quality is very important, works will be reviewed for durability, safety and appropriateness to the site. The memorial must be structurally sound and able to withstand an outdoor environment with minimal maintenance requirements in a largely unsupervised area that is not protected from weather or curious viewers. Avoiding potential problems such as deteriorating rust and fading should be considered.

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