Call Detail
Call for Community-Engaged Public Art: Robinson Park Recreation Center

Entry Deadline: 4/9/22
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 15
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 6
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 15
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: California
Budget: Up to $200,000


The City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division seeks statements of qualification from California-based artists/teams to create permanent public art at the Robinson Park Recreation Center, located in Northwest Pasadena.  While applicants working in any medium may apply, the selected artist/ team must be culturally sensitive and eager to engage with community members while developing their artwork concepts. As part of this Call for Qualifications, the artist/team will be selected based on the quality of their past work, their approach to community engagement, and their ability to create art that reflects the history and aspirations of the area.

The public art project for the Robinson Park Recreation Center is intended to enrich community life, engage a wide spectrum of Northwest Pasadena’s residents, and enhance the visual character of the neighborhood. A team of community members and partners have helped develop the scope of this project and will support the artist/team during project development.


The predominantly African American Northwest Pasadena neighborhood was severed from downtown Pasadena by 1950s and 60s urban renewal and the construction of the 210 freeway.  Despite its history, Northwest Pasadena’s community is resilient and proud of its residents, past and present. It is home to important landmarks, such as the NAACP, African American sorority and fraternity chapters as well as social organizations, and churches. The community center is named for athletes Jackie and Mack Robinson, who were raised in the neighborhood and whose descendants remain active there.


Robinson Park Recreation Center: -- at 10.15 minutes

Community History


Robinson Park Recreation Center is a newly renovated state-of-the-art facility located at 1081 N Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena, CA. It includes a large multipurpose room with a retractable partition that divides the room into smaller spaces for events and private reservations; a commercial kitchen; a fitness center with new cardio and strength training equipment, free weights, and mirrored walls; a spacious dance room with wall mounted ballet bars and mirrored walls; a large gymnasium; and a cutting-edge audiovisual system. The Center is a community hub that offers recreational programming to people of all ages, interests, and abilities. Seasonal activities and classes include arts and crafts, dance, fitness, yoga, summer day camp, aquatics, and youth enrichment classes such as guitar, drawing, and much more. The adjacent park features a children’s play area, outdoor basketball courts and a newly resurfaced artificial turf multipurpose field (See Supplemental Background).

The selected artist/team will work with the City’s Cultural Affairs staff during the concept development phase to determine the best location for the artwork.


Public art at Robinson Park Recreation Center will reflect the community’s history and the legacies of Jackie and Mack Robinson. The artwork will be rooted in the stories of Northwest Pasadena, providing a dynamic narrative that inspires the community to reflect, embrace, and bridge connections across generations.

In addition, the artist/team will consider the concept of sustainability and its impact on the individuals, surrounding community and natural resources of Pasadena. 


The total artwork budget for this project is up to $200,000 including:

Development Phase: Contracted artist/team will have a budget of $40,000 to lead a community engagement process and develop a Concept Art Plan for review and approval by the Arts & Culture Commission. 

Implementation Phase:  Contracted artist/team will have a budget of $160,000 to develop and implement their Final Art Plan for a permanent public art project at the site.

Artist/team will be required to collaborate with City staff from the Cultural Affairs Division, Department of Public Works, and Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services throughout the project to ensure that the proposed artwork meets safety standards and can be easily maintained.


1.      Up to 15 images/videos of past work. 

Applicants can submit up to 15 digital images/videos of past work. Detail shots may be submitted as part of the total 15. Video files must be no longer than 30 seconds each. Do not attach one portfolio file with multiple images/information. Applications that do not follow the requested format will not be considered complete and will not be accepted.

2.      Professional resume for the artist/team. Include your full contact information at the top including name, address, phone number, and email address.

3.      Three references from past clients, including:  project name, name and position of client reference, email, phone number.

4.      Answers to the following questions through the application portal:

·         What interests you about this project?

·         What is your experience completing similar projects?

·         How does the project relate to your current work?

·         What is your experience with community engagement and working collaboratively in the artwork development process?

·         What is your experience creating artworks that use durable, safe, and secure materials and construction methods?


The Selection Panel will recommend up to four finalists from the applicant pool to interview.  Finalists will be invited to present their past work and describe how they engaged community members in developing their artwork concepts.  Finalists will not present artwork concepts or renderings at this time. Artist/team also will be asked to describe how they will conduct their research and work with community members to develop the project. Interviewees may share any other information that provides insight into how they would lead community engagement to inform the development of their Concept Art Plan as appropriate.

 The Selection Panel recommendation will be forwarded to the Arts and Culture Commission for review and approval.  Following that, the Cultural Affairs Division will work with the artist/team to present the broad community outreach concept to both the Northwest Commission and City Council for information purposes.

 As a result of their community engagement process the contracted artist/team will present a final public art concept for to the Arts and Culture Commission for review and recommendation to the City Council for approval.  

 Final design, fabrication and installation may commence following award of the contract.

 The artist/team will report on its progress to the Arts and Culture Commission quarterly.



The project is open to all artists/teams who live or work in California.

Artists must be available to meet with staff and stakeholders semi-frequently during the development of the project, will be asked to make presentations of their previous work at community meetings, and must present their proposals to the City of Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission.

Artists must be eligible to work in the United States and have a valid U.S. Social Security or Tax Identification Number by the application deadline.