The Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission is a public agency devoted to advocating, supporting and promoting the arts for more than 40 years. 


The City of Sacramento, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, a division of the City of Sacramento Convention and Cultural Services Department, invites artists and artist teams to submit their qualifications for a series of murals engaging community collaboration throughout the design and fabrication process along the North 12th Street corridor and the North 12th Street underpass specifically. 

The lead artist or artist team will work with numerous city departments, nonprofits, housing agencies, and community stakeholders to transform the North 12th Street corridor with a series of d aesthetically innovative murals, with the underpass serving as a central project fulcrum of the transformation. 

As community engagement and participation are central to the project, the artist(s) will be required to facilitate an entire project total of at least ten community engagement workshops in the planning, design development, and fabrication stages of the project with a small team of “Outreach Artists” (more details below).  After initial planning and design development, the artist will present a final concept design to the selection panel and community participants. If the proposed design is approved, the lead artist will then contract with the city to finalize the design details, hold additional community outreach events, fabricate, and install the exterior murals. This project will coincide with several housing, lighting, and street improvement projects along the corridor. Artists with extensive community mural experience and artists wishing to engage and work with communities as a guiding component of their practice are encouraged to apply. Creative approaches to community collaboration are also encouraged. For example, a lead artist may engage stakeholders in workshops focused on the murals to be designed and fabricated, or community involvement may be a series of outside events or workshops that produce some other artworks then used as inspiration or design elements in the final mural designs. However, the artist chooses to develop their project, community interaction must be central. 


If selected, the lead artist will be awarded a $20,000 design contract to meet with city stakeholders, community stakeholders, and neighborhood organizations to explore and finalize plans for the corridor design, involve community members in design development workshops, develop a final design, and present the final design and project budget to the selection panel and community stakeholders for review and approval. 

If the lead artist’s design and budget are approved, the lead artist may be awarded up to a $150,000 construction contract to finalize design elements, facilitate community interaction events, and fabricate / install the murals. The full budget approval of $150,000 will be based on the artist’s presented final design and itemized budget.  Exact final project budget amount will depend on the scope of work the lead artist agrees to design,  develop, and fabricate with community involvement central to their process.

Additional funding (separate from the design contract and construction contract amounts) has been set aside as well but will only cover the artist selection process, “Outreach Artists” costs, lighting for the underpass, administration and project management costs, programming and events, and long-term mural maintenance.    


North 12th Street is a four lane one-way arterial carrying over 20,000 southbound cars per day. Originally known as the historic Lincoln Highway, North 12th Street is one of few streets that connect the “River District” and the northern Sacramento communities to Downtown Sacramento. These areas are separated by the Union Pacific Railroad berm, which acts as a barrier between the industrial and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods to the north and the employment centers to the south. 

The main staging area is the underpass beneath the Union Pacific railroad tracks (the railroad berm). The underpass surfaces are concrete, in very good condition, and approximately 170 ft. long by 12 ft. tall with walls on both sides, and half walls and columns separating two lanes through which active RT commuter train tracks run on the eastern side of the underpass. Separate funding has been set aside to have the lead artist work with a city lighting designer to develop lighting in the tunnel for safety and to accentuate the artwork presentation. This main area of activation will be combined with additional privately-owned wall locations along the North 12th Street corridor on the north and south sides of the underpass. Exact privately-owned wall locations will be determined with the lead artist. 


The lead artist with project stakeholders will have the ability to select up to three Outreach Artists to assist in community outreach programming and workshops. After the lead artist is selected and has begun the design development process, an RFQ will go out for Outreach Artists who are interested in participating in the project. Outreach artists will operate under the direction of the lead artist; they must have the ability to teach and lead workshops and should have a good knowledge of the local area.  Previous experience with specific stakeholder groups in the area is a benefit but not a requirement.  Art in Public Places (APP) Staff will manage the Outreach Artists’ contracts and provide technical assistance, where necessary. 


· Exterior Murals

The project has been limited to murals in order to reduce materials cost and focus opportunity areas. The lead artist may produce work in other disciplines for the project and possibly with community collaboration or involvement, but the permanent exterior artwork will be acrylic murals on exterior surfaces. Both spray and brush application are acceptable, but proposed materials will require APP consultation and approval. 

Some mural location areas are not accessible to community groups or there may be safety concerns.  The lead artist should be familiar with (or willing to learn) how to utilize non-woven cloth (commonly known as “parachute cloth”) in the development of all or portions of the murals. The use of parachute cloth will allow the lead artist to work within an interior space during fabrication of the mural, or sections of the mural, and then install the work on site.  APP staff will work with city and community stakeholders and the artist to secure the work space and provide workshops on the use of parachute cloth, if necessary.


A selection panel will review submissions and identify a short list of qualified artists or artist teams for interview.   The composition of the selection panel members may vary but will typically include a member of the Arts Commission, a curator or arts administrator, an artist, a neighborhood stakeholder, and a participating agency stakeholder.  

If awarded the project commission, the lead artist will be required to attend periodic meetings in Sacramento, present concept proposals to the selection panel and Arts Commission, and attend community meetings as required. The selected artist or artist team will be responsible for overseeing the design, fabrication, delivery, and installation of the commissioned artwork and for working cooperatively with the project stakeholders, city staff, and consultants.


Candidates will be selected for interviews based on the following criteria:

· Innovation, quality, and creativity in previous projects/artwork

· Demonstrated experience and professional practice with community outreach and collaboration

· Demonstrated proficiency in craftsmanship and technical knowledge of mural making

· Experience and success in creating a public artwork in collaboration or cooperation with city agencies and multiple stakeholders 

· Knowledge of durable materials appropriate to the environment the art will be placed


The project is open to experienced professional artists nationally. The final commission will be awarded based on experience in the design, fabrication, and installation of major artworks as well as the strength of prior demonstrated community collaboration and participation within the artist’s professional practice.  Artist teams should have proven experience that demonstrates design team and community outreach experience. Professional artists living in the Central Valley region are encouraged to apply. 


The entire submission must be completed on Submittable at  There is no application fee to apply or to use Submittable. To apply, register a username and password, and follow the instructions. The call is listed as the City of Sacramento, North 12th Street Underpass Mural Project.  All requirements listed below must be met, or the application will not be considered. 

· Artist Statement: (Maximum 250 words) Include a general introduction to your work. Discuss the concepts and ideas you explore in your artwork and how these ideas and issues are presented. If you are applying as a team, the letter should clearly describe the contribution of each collaborator. Teams may present an artist statement up to 350 words maximum.

· Resume:  (Maximum 2 pages) Outline your recent experience and accomplishments as an artist. If applying as a team, each member may submit a separate one-page resume.

· Samples of your work:  (Maximum of  10 files) Digital images, video, and audio files are all acceptable with corresponding titles to match the Support Description list. Each file should highlight only one project. 

· Support Description list: (Maximum 2 pages) For each image/file submitted, list the title, date, size, and medium for studio work. For public art projects include a description, location, budget, and commissioning organization (if applicable). If the project included community outreach, list participating groups and briefly describe the role community played in the project. 

· References: Include the name, title, phone number, email, and mailing address of three references who are able to speak about your work in public art with or without community collaboration. 

· Community Outreach Approach: (Maximum 300 words) Briefly describe your approach(es) to involving community in your work. You may focus your description on past project(s) or speak generally about your approach to collaborating and working with community stakeholders. Your approach description should give the committee an ability to understand your conceptual thought process and ability to link your approach to specific project results. Your Community Outreach Approach is not meant to describe ideas for this particular project as the artist will need further information and to meet with stakeholders in order to reasonably formulate their design concept and approach for community involvement on this project. However, by illustrating past examples of community outreach linked to public art outcomes, this section should give the panel a sense of what to expect from the lead artist, should they be selected. 


Donald Gensler, Project Manager, Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, Art in Public Places, or call 916-808-8493,