Minding Your RFPs And Qs

Posted by Elizabeth Keithline On February - 12 - 2013
Elizabeth Keithline (Photo: Peter Goldberg)

Elizabeth Keithline (Photo: Peter Goldberg)

When panelists review public art applications, they often view a wide range of artists and artworks. Some artists are quite experienced and others are applying for the first time. If you are new to the field, it is important to understand the difference between a Request For Proposals (RFP) and a Request For Qualifications (RFQ).

RFPs requires that you send a full project proposal. An artist will need to research the commission, (perform a site visit whenever possible), then submit a specific idea, including a full budget and information re: subcontractors, fabricators, and insurance. Unfortunately, artists are not typically paid for the proposed ideas unless they are chosen for the commission. This process is not considered best practice.

RFQs are a pre-qualifying round that requests images, resume, and sometimes a preliminary description of the type of work that you might create. This process operates under the premise that your background work qualifies you for round two finalist selection. Why would a commissioning agency waste your time generating a proposal, when your background experience is not aligned with the proposed project?

Do not request architectural plans during the RFQ stage. That information will come later if you are chosen as a finalist. Selection panelists are primarily looking at images of your background work, as well as CV, website, and any project reviews. Read the rest of this entry »

Blog Salon Wrap-Up: Leading Through Innovation

Posted by Stephanie Hanson On July - 29 - 2011
Stephanie Evans Hanson

Stephanie Evans Hanson

Innovation happens at the local level. Despite budget cuts and debt ceiling debates that currently seem to take over our news media, we have seen strong examples of impactful innovation in our field through the projects profiled this week on ARTSBlog. I use the term “impactful innovation” because if a great project or idea is created and doesn’t have impact, what was the point? Ryan Hurley gives a great example of an innovation that may not have resulted in lasting impact or change.

This week we have learned about innovative fundraising strategies that leveraged more dollars for youth in an underserved community, a theater experience that is engaging communities in a new way, and a dance company that serves not only the community at large, but builds the career capacity of the dancers and choreographers themselves.

We’ve also discussed some of the challenges in finding the resources to support innovative work, learned about a local arts agency that is partnering with the healthcare industry to serve a wider community, and we’ve got proof that innovation doesn’t just happen in big cities on the coasts. We also celebrated the curators of our field whose job it is to seek out innovative ideas and develop strategies for supporting them. Read the rest of this entry »

The Critical Supporting Role of Curation in Making Innovation Possible

Posted by Ian David Moss On July - 26 - 2011

Ian David Moss

Through the work of the [Emerging Leaders Council] Emerging Ideas Committee this year, I’ve become acquainted with a wealth of new approaches to old problems and exciting combinations of existing models about which I was previously unaware. You’re seeing some examples of them on the Blog Salon this week, and we’ll be sharing more on this space as the year goes on.

For every strong example of innovation we highlight, however, I’m sure there are five more that we missed. Not because they were not among the ones we chose, but because they were never even brought to our attention.

Part of the nature of being “under the radar” is that it’s hard for people who rely on conventional information sources to find you. The five young arts professionals on our committee set out at the beginning of the year to identify novel, smart projects that weren’t getting attention from the field as a whole. We used what resources we had at our disposal – most notably, our connection to the 30+ local Emerging Leader Networks around the country – but inevitably, our ability to “spot” innovative ventures is determined to a significant extent by those ventures’ visibility. Read the rest of this entry »