Title Public Art RFQ: Outdoor Artwork
Organization City of Houston / Houston Arts Alliance
Closing Date Monday, September 23, 2019
Location Houston, TX
Information

Request for Qualifications: City of Houston Civic Art Project Honoring Barbara Jordan

Civic Art Project Honoring Barbara Jordan for
The African American Library at the Gregory School

Exterior Permanent Artwork
Budget: Up to $235,000
Deadline: Monday, September 23, 2019 at 11:59 pm CST
Location: 1300 Victor Street, Houston, Texas 77019
Eligibility: United States

1. Summary
The Civic Art Program of the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) requests the submission of qualifications from artists or artist-teams to design, fabricate, and install an outdoor artwork that will be a tribute to the life and legacy of educator and civic leader Barbara Jordan.

Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) was a politician and educator born Houston, Texas and raised in Houston’s Fifth Ward. Jordan attended Texas Southern University, where she graduated magna cum laude and received a law degree from Boston University. After teaching at the Tuskegee Institute, she opened a law practice in Houston and became active in politics. After running twice unsuccessfully for state office, she won election to the Texas Senate in 1966 to become the first black state senator since 1883. In 1972 Jordan successfully ran for the United States House of Representatives from the Eighteenth Texas District in Houston. She was the first black woman from a Southern state to serve in Congress and the first of two African Americans to be elected to Congress from the South in the twentieth century. With her precise diction and booming voice, Jordan was an extremely effective public speaker. She was the first woman and the first African American to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic national convention in 1976. In 1979, after three terms in congress, Jordan retired from politics and resumed teaching. She once again delivered the keynote address at the Democratic national convention in 1992 and she served as chairwoman of the United States Commission on Immigration Reform in 1994. She suffered from a number of ailments in her later years, including a form of multiple sclerosis. Barbara Jordan died on January 17, 1996.

The African American Library at the Gregory School (http://houstonlibrary.org/research/special-collections/african-american-library-gregory-school) is currently established as a Special Collections archive of The Houston Public Library (HPL). The Gregory School library serves the City’s culturally diverse community in the historic Gregory Institute building in Houston’s Freedman’s Town neighborhood of Fourth Ward. The facility is a one-of-a-kind research and cultural center, providing valuable information to the Houston community and the entire world.

For more information about Barbara Jordan see:

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fjoas
https://www.humanitiestexas.org/programs/tx-originals/list/barbara-jordan
https://history.house.gov/People/Detail/16031
http://bjmlspa.tsu.edu/barbara-jordan/

Scope of Civic Art Project:

The Civic Art Program of the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA), requests the submission of qualifications from artists or artist-teams for consideration to design, fabricate, and install an outdoor artwork that will be a tribute to the life and legacy of educator and civic leader Barbara Jordan.

Artwork should create a space or environment that invites community interaction with the artwork and incorporates themes central to Barbara Jordan’s life and legacy
Artwork should be consistent with Houston Public Library’s vision to be a vital member of a dynamic and diverse local, national, and global community
Artwork should respond to the history and architecture of the renovated, historic library and location within Houston’s Freedmen’s Town
Artwork must be family friendly, suitable for public display, and free of safety hazards
Artwork must meet or exceed City of Houston ADA requirements
Artwork should be resistant to graffiti and vandalism and require minimal maintenance
Artwork must have an expected life span of 20 years
Artwork should make a significant artistic addition to the City Art Collection, helping to make the Gregory School a destination for visitors to learn, enjoy and be inspired by the life and legacy of Barbara Jordan

2. Budget
The project has an anticipated total budget of up to $235,000 inclusive of all work including, but not limited to, design proposals, artists fees, design, engineering, permitting, insurance costs for each year of the project, lighting (if necessary), software, studio and project administration, travel, fabrication, all materials, installation, and required documentation.

3. Location and Site

Exterior artwork: A sculpture, structure, or other artistic intervention located near the front entrance to the building that faces Cleveland Street. The artwork will be visible to all visitors of the library and to pedestrians and cars in the area.
Lighting, sound, seating, planters, or other infrastructure may be an element in the work. With approval, the artist may propose using the hardscaped area, pavers, grassy area just west of the entrance (see link below), or another area within the site.
See linked site plans and images for more information.
a. African American Library at the Gregory School – Full Site Plan: http://houstonartsalliance.com/images/uploads/main/A100_as_built_-_Gregory_School_reduced.pdf
b. African American Library at the Gregory School – Site Plan Details: http://houstonartsalliance.com/images/uploads/main/A102_as_built_-_Gregory_School.pdf
c. Grassy Area Option: http://houstonartsalliance.com/images/uploads/main/ArtOptionImage_GregorySchool.JPG
d. Image of the African American Library at the Gregory School entrance: http://houstonartsalliance.com/images/uploads/main/DSC_0231.jpg
e. Image of the original Gregory School: http://houstonartsalliance.com/images/uploads/main/Gregory_School_1903.jpg
f. These documents are also available at www.HoustonArtsAlliance.com by going to Opportunities for Funding, Public Art, and Opportunities: http://houstonartsalliance.com/opportunities/public-art/

4. Selection Process

A panel comprised of arts professionals, stakeholders, and community representatives will review qualified submissions
Three (3) short-listed artists will be commissioned to create concept designs and paid a $2,000.00 stipend, as well as a limited travel reimbursement to present their concept design to the artist Selection Panel
Concept designs must show the concept for the artwork, respond to the scope, identify materials, and demonstrate the artwork can be made for the commission budget, including artist’s fees

5. Eligibility

Open to all artists and artist-teams over 18 years of age residing and working in the United States, except as indicated below.
Houston-area artists and artist-teams are strongly encouraged to apply.
The following are NOT ELIGIBLE TO APPLY:
*Artists currently under contract for a City of Houston Civic Art project
*City of Houston employees
*Elected City Officials, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Staff, and their immediate family
*Employees, Board members, and Advisory Board members of Houston Arts Alliance, and their immediate family

Applications not meeting all eligibility criteria or application requirements will be withdrawn from consideration.

6. Contracting
Established in 1999, Houston Civic Art is a City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) program that contracts with Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) to manage projects. The final commission for this project will be broken out into two separate contracts with HAA, one for design and one for construction (i.e. “commission”). The selected artist must be able and willing to sign contracts for design and commission.

Sample Contracts:
Attachment A2 – Artist Services Agreement for Design: http://houstonartsalliance.com/images/uploads/main/Sample_Attachment_A2_-_Artist_Services_Agreement_for_Design.pdf
Attachment A3 – Artist Services Agreement for Commission: http://houstonartsalliance.com/images/uploads/main/Sample_Attachment_A3_-_Artist_Services_Agreement_for_Commission.pdf

7. Application Requirements

a. Artist(s) resume or CV, relevant information for any other key team members (3 pages maximum per team member)
b. Letter of intent that includes contact information and interest and ability to complete the project (1,000 words maximum)
c. Biography/artist statement (500 words maximum)
d. Digital images of completed commissions/artworks. Applicants should submit up to 10 images in JPEG format only with each image no larger than 5 MB. Image files should be titled to match the numbering on the image list. For example: “ArtistLastName_1,” ArtistLastName_2,” etc.
e. Image list including artist, title, year completed, dimensions, material, commissioning entity, and budget or price (as applicable) for each image provided. The image list should be numbered to match the uploaded digital images of completed commissions/artworks (see above).
f. Contact information for three professional references (one page maximum)

All documents should be in at least a 12 point font, single-spaced, with at least a ½” margin.

To submit, visit https://houstonartsalliance.submittable.com/submit.
Applications not sent via Submittable will not be considered.

If you have questions, please submit them in writing via email no later than Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 5 pm CST to civicart@haatx.com. Questions will be answered as they are received and no later than Friday, September 13, 2019. All answers to questions received by the question due date will be posted publicly.

8. Contact
For questions and/or more information, please do not contact the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA). Direct all inquiries to:

Jimmy Castillo, Director of Civic Art + Design
Houston Arts Alliance
3201 Allen Parkway, Suite 250
Houston, TX 77019
civicart@haatx.com

9. Timeline
All dates are subject to change.

RFQ released: Week of July 29, 2019
Deadline for questions: Wednesday, September 11, 2019
RFQ deadline: Monday, September 23, 2019
RFQ notification: Friday, October 18, 2019
RFP released to finalists: Friday, October 18, 2019
RFP deadline: Monday, November 18, 2019
Artist proposal presentations: Week of November 18, 2019; Date TBD
Selection and Approvals: November 18 – December 31, 2019
*Finalist proposals reviewed by Selection Panel
*Recommended artist presented for a vote to the HAA Civic Art Committee
*Recommended artist then presented for a vote to the HAA Board of Directors
*Recommended artist then presented to the City of Houston for approval
Selected artist notified by HAA: Monday, January 6, 2020
Contract released to artist by: Friday, January 31, 2020
Project design, fabrication, and installation: February 2020 – Winter 2020
Project Completion: Winter 2020

**HAA will also host two (2) artist information sessions about the open call. Click here for more details and to register for a session.**
https://houstonartsalliance.wufoo.com/forms/k1o9pl1y0ljyx89/

More Information about The Gregory School
The Gregory Institute was opened in 1870 after the Texas Legislature created public schools for African Americans. By 1872, after the Freedmen’s Bureau schools closed, most students and teachers moved to the Gregory Institute. In 1876, the Gregory Institute became a part of the Houston Independent School District. It was one of the first official public education institutions for African American children in Texas. The Gregory Institute operated out of wooden buildings until the current brick structure opened in 1926. It served the community until 1984. This historic building was reconditioned to serve as a repository for use by historians, researchers, and the general public. The library provides an incomparable variety of resources including reference books, rare books, archival materials, exhibits, artifacts, oral histories, and innovative programs. With community participation, this facility is a one-of-a-kind research and cultural center, providing valuable information to the Houston community and the entire world.

More Information about Barbara Jordan
Barbara Jordan was born in Houston, Texas on February 21, 1936, the youngest of three daughters. She grew up in Houston’s Fifth Ward and attended public schools. Her grandfather owned a café on West Dallas in Fourth Ward and was also in the junk business, using a large wagon and 2 mules, which he kept in Fourth Ward.

Jordan attended Texas Southern University and received her law degree from Boston University. After teaching at Tuskegee Institute for a year, she returned to Houston in 1960 where she opened a law practice and became involved in politics by registering black voters for the 1960 presidential campaign.

Jordan, herself, ran for Texas Senate as a Democrat and was elected in 1966—the first African American State Senator since 1883. In 1972, she successfully ran for the United States House of Representatives from the Eighteenth Texas District in Houston, where she was the first African American woman from a Southern state to serve in Congress and, with Andrew Young, was the first of two African Americans to be elected to Congress from the South in the twentieth century.

She was known as an extremely effective public speaker and gained national prominence for her role in the 1974 Watergate hearings as a member of the House Judiciary Committee when she delivered what many considered to be the best speech of the hearings. The Democratic Party chose her to deliver the keynote address at the 1976 Democratic national convention. She was the first woman and the first African American to do so. Her speech, which addressed the themes of unity, equality, accountability, and American ideals, was considered by many to be the highlight of the convention and helped rally support for James E. Carter’s presidential campaign and victory.

She published her autobiography Barbara Jordan: A Self Portrait in 1979. After three terms in congress, Jordan retired from politics to accept the Lyndon Baines Johnson Public Service Professorship at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin where she taught courses on intergovernmental relations, political values, and ethics. She served as ethics advisor to Governor Ann Richards in the early 1990s. In 1992, she once again delivered the keynote address at the Democratic national convention. President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as chairwoman of the United States Commission on Immigration Reform in 1994.

Jordan was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 1984 and the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1990. She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994.

She suffered from a number of ailments in her later years, but succumbed to pneumonia and leukemia in Austin on January 17, 1996. Barbara Jordan is buried in the State Cemetery in Austin and her papers are housed in the Barbara Jordan Archives at Texas Southern University.

Sources: Handbook of Texas Online and Barbara Jordan, a self-portrait / Barbara Jordan and Shelby Hearon

Website https://www.houstonartsalliance.com/