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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Sponsored by ACT

CALL FOR ART: Mural at RFK Elementary School


The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism (ACT), Providence Art in City Life Commission, Councilman Salvatore, and RFK Elementary School invite muralists to design and install an original mural on the exterior of the building. The mural is intended for an exhibition of five years, contingent on funding available. 

The awarded artist or artist team will be engaged in Summer 2022 to install the mural in early September, 2022.

This call is open to individual artists and artist teams with a Rhode Island home or studio address. 

Applicants must be 21 years or older and able to submit a clean BCI if awarded. Providence residents, artists with previous lived experience in Providence, and PPSD graduates will be preferred.

The total project budget is $18,000 of which the awarded artist will receive $12,000 for artist fees and materials.

This call will be administered through Call for Entry and artists must set up a profile in the online system to complete the application successfully. Eligible artists may submit their artist statement, resume/CV, and three to five examples of relevant projects through 

The application deadline was extended to July 22, 2022. This call is now closed.


Questions about this call to artists must be submitted in writing by  July 1, 2022. Write to Gina Rodriguez-Drix, ACT Deputy Director at with the subject line “Mural at RFK.” A FAQ will be provided by July 8, 2022.

Project Goals

The goals of the Mural at RFK Elementary are to: 

  • Celebrates the school’s community and vision. 
  • Builds on the four characteristics of and defined by the school community: Respect, Safety, Achievement, Responsibility 
  • Catalyze temporary rotating projects on the school façade.

Site and Location

RFK Elementary School is located at 195 Nelson Street, Providence RI. The mural will be painted on several panels above doorways on Nelson and Eaton Streets, offering approximately 234 square feet in total. Panel dimensions vary:  6 x 10ft, 6.5 x 12ft, and 3 x 12 ft. The awarded artist must be experienced and licensed to use a boom lift and /or scaffolding in order to complete this project.


Project Budget

The total project budget for this installation is $18,000, inclusive of artist fees, design costs, materials, equipment, and installation. The awarded artist or artist team will receive a total of $12,000 to complete the project, inclusive of artist fees and materials. The artist may choose to allocate funds to supporting artists, assistants, interpreters, and/or to stipend community members in addition to the cost of doing business. The following breakdown serves as a guide:

Concept Design $1500 ($500/3 Finalists) Provided directly to the finalists
Artist Fee and Materials 
$12,000 (approx $50/ sq ft) Provided directly to the awarded artist or artist team
Equipment rental $4500 Retained by ACT


  • Applicant must be 21 years or older and hold a current home or studio address within the state of Rhode Island to be eligible to apply. Providence residents, artists with previous lived experience in Providence, and PPSD graduates will be preferred.
  • Applicants must be able to submit a clean BCI if awarded. 
  • This call is open to muralists only. Artists that can demonstrate an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary arts practice, traditional and indigenous artforms or intercultural modalities as a means of an engagement strategy will be preferred.
  • This call is open to individual artists or artist teams.
  • Applicant must have demonstrated experience with a portfolio consisting of at least one and up to five outdoor murals.
  • Preference will be given to artists who demonstrate cultural competency and previous experience working in intercultural modalities that foster innovation, diversity, and relevance with new and inter-generational audiences.
  • Spanish speakers preferred.
  • Applicants who have received an award from the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism for a permanent installation in the last two years are ineligible to apply. 

Art Selection Method

Artists will be selected through a competitive, two-tiered process. Qualified artists may submit their Artist Statement, Resume/CV, and two to five examples of relevant projects by July 15, 2022. Applicants must apply online through Call for Entry.

Round One: Selecting Finalists

The Art Selection Panel will review complete applications and score qualifications, limiting the selection pool to no more than three artists or artist teams.

Round Two: Concept Design-Based Selection

Finalists will be invited to develop a site-specific Concept Design for the project. For this method of selection, each finalist will be paid a $500 proposal fee to develop and present a rendering, a written project description, a description of materials and fabrication techniques, expectations regarding site preparation and infrastructure needs, a detailed budget and timeline, and a detailed installation plan.


The Art Selection Panel will recommend an artist/artist team and an alternate for award.

The Department of Art, Culture + Tourism will publicly announce the commissioned Artist in September, 2022.

Art Selection Panel

The Art Selection Panel will have 5-7 members including:

  • Art in City Life Commissioner
  • RFK Elementary Vice Principal 
  • Art Teacher 
  • up to 2 Parents / PTO liaison
  • Local Muralist 
  • Councilman’s designee  
  • PPSD representative (ex-officio)

Selection Criteria

Finalists will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic excellence and innovation, as evidenced by previous work.
  • Ability to manage budgets and complete projects on time, as evidenced by previous work.
  • Interest and excitement in working with RFK Elementary students, teachers and staff to design and install the mural.

Awarded artist Concept Design will be selected based on the following criteria: 

  • Feasibility and strength of proposed budget and installation plan 
  • Quality of the artist’s design rendering 
  • Collaboration and deep listening to school community, as evidenced by the design rendering
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate as evidenced by the installation plan

Artist Scope of Work

Upon award notification and acceptance, the artist shall sign a contract with the City for the activities outlined below:

  • Participate in regularly scheduled check-ins with staff from the Department of Art Culture + Tourism, and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Install and execute the mural, which may include necessary site preparation. The awarded artist must be available on weekends throughout the month of September, 2022.
  • Participate in an unveiling and dedication ceremony with the community  at a date TBD.
  • Provide the City with a maintenance plan.
  • Following the installation the artist is required to gift the mural to the City. The City will reserve the right to maintain, restore, and de-commission the work within the stipulations of the contract with the artist.


Finalists will be contracted for their Design Services at a flat rate of $500 (see Artist Selection Section above). Designs will be due no later than August 10, 2022.

The awarded artist / artist team will be contracted to execute the project. Awardee must be able to provide a BCI and a Certificate of Insurance for general liability in the amount of $1,000,000.00 that names the City of Providence as additionally insured. A draft contract will be made available upon invitation to submit a Concept Design.

To Submit

To apply, go online to the CaFÉ homepage at and create a free artist account. CaFÉ is free to use and there is no entry fee for this call. Under “Find Calls” search “Mural at RFK Elementary School” or click here to go directly to the call.

Follow the instructions for submission, upload the required images and files, and submit. For technical questions about CaFÉ, please click on “Help” on the CaFÉ website.
In the CaFÉ system, you will be required to answer the following questions:

  1. Please provide a brief Artist Statement to introduce the Art Selection Panel to who you are as an artist and some of the themes and ideas you explore in your artwork. Please do not insert a resume or list of accomplishments here. We look forward to learning more about you and your practice.  (1000 characters maximum)
  2. You will also be required to attach the following files and information in your online submission:
    • a resume/CV of no more than 3 pages length that includes the name and contact information for three references;
    • up to 5 images of past work (may include videos of up to 60 seconds only). If more content is available on the applicant’s website or social media the applicant shall include this information in their resume/CV;
    • the following for each work sample submitted: artist’s name, artwork title, brief description of artwork (100 words or less), medium, completion date, dimensions, total budget/cost (please use the Price/Value field in CaFE). In the description field, please include commissioning entity, if applicable, and state your role in the creation of the artwork if other artists or design professionals were involved in its creation.
  3.  You will be asked to share what excites you most about this project (1000 characters maximum)

Project Schedule

Call to artists opens June 16, 2022
Application Deadline July 22, 2022
Finalists informed w/o July 25, 2022
Full design proposals due August 10, 2022
Panel recommendation August, 2022
Artist Engaged August, 2022
Mural installation September 2022