Call for Artists
ARTSparks—a partnership between Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and 4Culture’s Site Specific Program—is seeking proposals for arts projects to be temporarily installed and/or performed in Occidental Park, within the time-frame of June through October 2011. Any and all arts disciplines are welcome.
Individuals and organizations are asked to submit one to three distinct proposals for how they would implement a specific project in this unsecured public space. Collaborations or simultaneous projects are welcome. Final negotiations and scheduling of projects will be determined after proposals are chosen.
A map and a one-page introduction to Occidental Square Park are attached. Please note the boundaries to the park. Applicants are encouraged to visit and familiarize themselves with the park before designing or submitting their ideas.
Vision for ARTSPARKS program:
ARTSparks converts Occidental Square Park into a showcase for the creative imagination from June through September. Using this public space as art space, artists may produce temporary sculpture, environmental installations, media art, street theater, dance, music, or whatever their imaginations might devise to bring the challenge and spark of art into the day-to-day of this downtown public space. Proposals may range from small, seemingly random surprises to larger projects lasting 4 weeks or more. The end result: Occidental Square Park becomes a place where art and life entwine—where one goes to catch some of the freshest work coming out of the arts community—and where, simply by entering the park, people are welcomed into an artistic experience.
Impetus for the program:
ARTSPARKS is part of the Downtown Parks Renaissance Initiative to make our downtown parks the lively, safe, and welcoming public spaces they should be. Artists and artistic creations are one of our most powerful tools to bring positive life into the public realm and to inspire human connections through inquiry and play.
Applicants must have demonstrated experience in producing public arts events or installations. Priority will be given to applicants with experience producing programs in outdoor, public settings in collaboration with one or more sponsoring organizations.
The program will extend for up to 18 weeks and feature multiple temporary art projects. The funding available totals $28,000 for the full season. Proposed projects may range from small, individual projects to larger projects that last for a month or even more. (Negotiation will be necessary for multi-week projects.) Applicants conceiving of larger and/or multi-week projects should keep in mind the project’s vision and impetus (see Background above) and its overall duration. Installation projects will necessarily play an important role, due to the program’s goal to provide extended activation of the space.
To reduce costs, Seattle Parks & Recreation will provide equipment and support, when possible, including electricity, water, dance floor, stage, tables, chairs, tents, some on-site staffing support, and limited promotional support.
- One to three distinct proposals with sample budgets attached (maximum three pages per proposal, including budget).
- Resume, including list of curated exhibits or event series and of work in outdoor settings (maximum two pages).
- Work sample, submitted on CD or DVD, with demonstrated examples of applicant’s experience in implementing projects appropriate for outdoor public spaces. For each project shown, please include written information citing title, date, location, nature of project, applicant’s role, and participating artists.
- Artist websites may be submitted in place of, or in addition to, the CD or DVD work sample. The panel may review the applicant’s website if the navigation instructions and relevant work samples are easily accessible and delineated in written instructions.
- Support materials: articles, reviews, sample publicity materials, etc.
- Specify time frame between June 1 and October 31, 2011 when project(s) could be scheduled. Please note: Other community events will also be scheduled in Occidental Square Park during this period. For an updated calendar, please contact Victoria Schoenburg (see below). ARTSPARKS projects may potentially coincide with each other or with other events, if the uses don’t conflict.
- Artistic merit and quality of the proposed program.
- “Site-specificness”—the extent to which the project actively integrates with the unique character of Occidental Square Park.
· Community impact, i.e., feasibility of the proposed project to provide an artistic attraction that will add significant interest to the space and bring viewers over a number of days or weeks. (Projects should attract people into the main area of the park. See map.)
- History of previous work.
- Proven ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively with governmental agencies and community stakeholders.
- Demonstrated ability to work within a timeline and budget.
- Ability to successfully realize the proposal.
Activities and installations should be focused within the boundaries of the actual park (see map). PLEASE NOTE that much of the area around Occidental Square Park is not park property and is therefore subject to different permitting regulations and procedures.
All proposals are expected to reflect a realistic understanding of the social and physical challenges of performing or displaying art in a non-secure, urban, public site.
The ARTSPARKS partnership respects diverse cultures and encourages applicants, artwork, and programming that reflect and welcome the broad diversity of Seattle’s communities.
Application postmarked by Friday, May 6, 2011 and mailed to
101 Prefontaine Place South
Seattle, WA 98104-2672
Or delivered by 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 6, 2011 to
101 Prefontaine Place South
Seattle, WA 98104-2672
An advisory panel of arts professionals, members of the ARTSPARKS partnership, and community members will review the applications and assist with program selections. The application process is flexibly designed to accommodate a diverse range of projects and arts disciplines. The selection panel will endeavor to structure a balanced, artistically rich, and sustainable program based on the project proposals.
Notification of Results
If necessary, applicants may be asked to meet with the program administrators to explain their project in greater detail. All scheduling and project expenses will be subject to negotiation. All applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision no later than May 31, 2011.
We’re here to help!
For questions regarding the park, logistical issues, or program goals, please contact Victoria Schoenburg, Seattle Parks and Recreation Center City Parks Manager, at 206-684-7031 or email@example.com
OCCIDENTAL SQUARE PARK
Occidental Avenue South between Washington and Main Streets
Basic programming information
- Access to electricity is available.
- The Alliance for Pioneer Square partners with Seattle Parks and Recreation in developing and funding programming in the park.
- At least from mid-June through mid-September, Seattle Parks and Recreation will have a park concierge stationed in the park from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or later to staff the information kiosk, help to keep the park tidy, and support programming.
- Bocce and chess playing is encouraged.
Designed by Jones & Jones, 1972
Occidental Park is in the heart of the historic Pioneer Square district. London Plane trees provide shade. Neighboring small businesses include bookstores, art galleries, boutiques, and a variety of other unique shops and eateries.
In 1970, the Seattle City Council established the Pioneer Square Historic District, and in the same year, the district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Pioneer Square Skid Road National Historic District. These moves came just in time to preserve many historic buildings from demolition.
· It was too late for buildings, such as the Savoy Hotel, that had stood on what is now Occidental Square. The entire block had been converted to a parking lot. City leaders, along with neighborhood activists, reversed the urban renewal trend by replacing this parking lot with tree-lined Occidental Park.
· The adjacent stretch of Occidental Avenue was closed to traffic and incorporated into the park. Directly south of the park, between Main and Jackson Streets, another block of Occidental Avenue was closed and converted to a pedestrian mall that allows browsers to enjoy sidewalk cafes and art galleries.
· The historic Grand Central Hotel, also known as the Squire/Latimer Building, opens onto Occidental Square. Designed by Nelson Comstock and Carl Troetsache, it opened in 1889 just after the Great Seattle Fire that consumed most of downtown. The hotel was in its heyday during the Klondike Gold Rush. Later, it declined with the rest of the neighborhood. Alan Black, Richard White, and architect Ralph Anderson acquired and rehabilitated the building in 1971 for retail and office use. The building’s two-story central arcade opens onto Occidental Park.
· Totem poles and woodcarvings are by Duane Pasco (1970s). They were donated by art gallery owner Richard White and installed in 1987 and 1988. “The tallest totem, Sun and Raven, tells the story of Raven’s theft of the moon and was created for the 1974 Spokane World’s Fair. The nearby Man Riding on Tail of Whale was carved in 1971. The westernmost of the two facing figures is Tsonoqua, a mythological giantess and ‘nightmare bringer’ invoked by exasperated North Coast mothers to frighten their children into obedience. She faces a slightly less fearsome Bear.” (Walt Crowley, National Trust Guide: Seattle, New York, 1998)