Request for Qualifications Permanent Public Art | 19th Street Rain Gardens

By Editorial Team on June 8, 2021

Deadline: Sun, 13 June 2021

Foon Sham, 19th Street Rain Gardens
Deadline: June 13, 2021, 11:59 PM (EST)

Calling all artists, artist-teams, and designers! The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) invites you to submit your qualifications to be considered for public art projects to be installed in 2022 at one or two different locations along 19th Street north of Pennsylvania Avenue. The scope of work is to include the design, fabrication, and installation of one or two permanent artworks at 19th Street north of Pennsylvania Ave. Given the adjacency to newly constructed rain gardens in the Golden Triangle, the artwork should reflect the sustainability goals of the rain gardens either through use of materials, content, or design.

Golden Triangle is comprised of tall buildings, roads, and sidewalks that do not allow water to infiltrate into the ground. Since 2012, Golden Triangle and its partners have built 17 rain gardens around the neighborhood and converted 12,000 square feet of asphalt and concrete to green space. For more on rain gardens and Golden Triangle’s sustainability initiatives, please visit

Budgets of up to $120,000 will be considered for the commission of two sculptures at the two locations specified below (note budget is up to $60,000 if only one is selected). Fees for artists/artist teams cannot exceed 20% of total project budget. Up to five semi-finalists may be selected to create concept proposals. Finalists will receive a design proposal stipend of $1,000 to develop detailed concepts and renderings.

One or two permanent artworks will be installed adjacent to newly constructed rain gardens. The new rain garden will retain and filter thousands of gallons of runoff annually by capturing rainfall and controlling the storm water to keep it from the city sewer system. The rain gardens will continue to promote the theme of sustainability along the bustling 19th Street corridor in the Golden Triangle neighborhood.


  • Install contemporary artworks that act as a beacon, creating both drive-by and pedestrian interest.
  • Showcase dynamic artworks that enhance the neighborhood and 19th Street corridor.
  • Soften or humanize the busy, frenetic locations.
  • Select artworks that are site-responsive and complement their locations.
  • Reflect the sustainability goals of the rain gardens either through use of materials, content, or design.
  • Create a strong visual impact on the space.
  • Promote a diverse artist(s) and/or artistic expressions that resonate with and reflect the diversity of residents, visitors, and workers in and around the neighborhood.

The spaces for the artworks are illustrated in the images below. Locations are marked on the map to the right. The artworks should optimize these spaces to achieve the goals of the project.

Location 1: 19th St north of Pennsylvania Ave, east sidewalk
Location 2: 19th St north of Pennsylvania Ave, west sidewalk


  • Overall size at each location cannot exceed 4 x 4 feet and 12 feet tall.
  • Sculpture should be designed to anchor to 3 feet deep concrete pad.
  • No access to power at site.
  • Sculpture should be designed with public safety and durability in mind (i.e., not able to climb).
  • The artwork design and concept should harmonize with the other rain gardens along the 19th Street corridor.
  • Artworks that reflect an interest in the environment and sustainability are particularly well-suited to this location.

This request for qualifications (RFQ) is open to all professional artists and design teams residing in the United States. DC-based artists and design teams will be given preference in the instance of identical scoring. Artists and design teams can propose existing works or new works.

Project budgets of up to $60,000 will be considered for each location, inclusive of artist design fees (no more than 20% of the total project budget) and costs associated with design, fabrication, materials, travel/lodging, shipping, installation, insurance, maintenance plan, and engineered drawings (stamped by a DC-licensed engineer). The Golden Triangle will manage permitting and photo documentation.


  • June 13, 2021 – RFQ Deadline
  • June 14-25, 2021 – Panel to select up to five (5) semi-finalists
  • June 28, 2021 – Semi-finalists notified
  • July 26, 2021 – Proposals Due, round two (4 weeks)
  • July 28 – August 11, 2021 – Panel Review
  • August 16, 2021 – Selected artist notified
  • September 5, 2021 – Submit Permits
  • January – March 2022 – Artwork fabrication; planning for events, marketing/comms roll-out
  • Spring 2022 – Install artwork
  • Spring 2022 – Event/Dedication/Kick-off

The Golden Triangle BID will convene an Advisory Panel to recommend artists based on their qualifications, artistic merit, prior work experience, and professionalism necessary to complete these projects.

The final design proposals will be subject to the review of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), National Capital Planning Commission, DC Department of Transportation, and other local and federal agencies, as necessary. Upon approval of the concept design, the selected artists, and representatives from the Golden Triangle BID will determine the best strategy for obtaining the required permits. The artists or teams whose designs are approved will then enter into an agreement with the Golden Triangle BID for fabrication, installation, and programming of artwork. Artists must provide engineered drawings (stamped by a DC-licensed engineer). The artists/teams may subcontract with artwork fabricator(s) and installer(s). These projects are contingent upon funding availability.


  • Artistic Content 40%
    • Demonstrates high standards of artistic excellence in past work samples; and
    • Past artworks and related concepts reflect an attention to quality, innovation, and creativity;
    • Artwork meets overall goals of the project.
  • Capacity and Professionalism 30%
    • High degree of professionalism and relevant work experience, especially in the area of public art and public space programming;
    • Demonstrated proficiency with relevant materials and fabrication methods;
    • Experience producing art projects of a similar scale; and
    • Demonstrated consideration for the durability and longevity of the artwork as a permanent fixture in the neighborhood.
  • Audience Engagement and Impact 30%
    • Past audience engagement experience that encourages participation in the arts;
    • Experience working with diverse partners, audiences, and organizations; and
    • Artist has potential to produce a proposal that will meet the goals of the project


  • Submit the following information to demonstrate the necessary qualifications:
    • Resume/CV;
    • Up to 10 Work Samples;
    • Work Sample Index, including project budgets;
    • Cover letter (include how this project relates to your past work, your approach to this project, and the key themes and concepts driving your work); and
    • Professional references for three contacts.

Materials must be submitted electronically via Jotform by June 13, 2021, 11:59 PM (EST). Submit here:


  • Selected Artist or Team will:
    • Enter into an agreement with the Golden Triangle BID for the duration of the project. Throughout the contract, the artist, design team, and subcontractors, will be required to maintain relevant licenses and carry professional liability insurance of $2 million, auto insurance, and workers compensation.
    • Work with the Golden Triangle BID to determine the best strategy to fabricate and install the artwork.
    • Secure fabricators and installers, obtain cost estimates, and develop fabrication and installation schedules.
    • Keep an itemized expenses checklist and receipts for financial reporting purposes.
    • Provide an artwork maintenance plan for the completed artwork.
    • Coordinate all engineering, construction, and installation with the Golden Triangle BID team.
    • Work with the Golden Triangle BID on all matters of maintenance after the artwork is installed.

The Golden Triangle BID will include the artist or team’s information on its website, social media outlets, and other various media outlets. A weather-proof plaque/label with pertinent information and approved text will be installed with the artwork. The Golden Triangle BID reserves the right to photograph the artwork for educational purposes, brochures, and other publicity. All copyrights remain with the artist. The Golden Triangle BID may host a public dedication ceremony upon installation of the artwork.

Contact: Rachel Kohli, Planning Manager, Golden Triangle Business Improvement District or 202.684.8921

For more information on the Golden Triangle BID, Visit: