RFQ – Call for Artists and Organizations for Bloomberg Public Art Challenge

In February 2023, the City submitted its first phase application for the Bloomberg Public Art Challenge, which will provide grants of up to $1M to cities for temporary public art that addresses an urban issue. While the applicant must be a Mayor, the program requires a partnership between government, artists, and organizations. The City released an RFQ on March 3rd in order to solidify our team of community partners in time for the second application later in the spring.

Click here to view the full Request For Qualifications (RFQ) >>   

Click here to view responses to all questions submitted about this RFQ process. The window for submitting questions has closed. Submission packages responding to the RFQ are due April 3rd at 5 p.m. See RFQ link above for more details.

A Pre-Submission Conference was held on March 16, 2023 to present an overview of the Bloomberg Public Art Challenge and the RFQ as well as an opportunity for attendants to ask questions about the process. See below for a recording.

The City of Rochester's proposal to Bloomberg is entitled “Centering Youth: Acknowledging Trauma and Healing through Public Art." This topic gets to the heart of many issues in Rochester; youth in Rochester experience trauma from violence, disparities in education, the pandemic, and multi-generational poverty. We will propose a community-wide effort to create multiple public artworks – whether it be installations, performances, or other creative expressions. The public artworks will include art created by youth and art inspired by youth. The City is looking forward to exploring the prospects for this proposal:

  • Artistic expression is a strategy for healing from trauma and for prevention of youth violence;
  • Youth civic engagement provides real-world learning opportunities and reinforces social connection for youth that were lost during the early days of the pandemic; and
  • Expanding youth opportunities, including work experience, shows youth that they have value.

Further project concept development will happen as we identify the network of partners for the project. The City is prioritizing a collaborative effort for this project. Additionally, the City is committing a minimum of $200K to the project and welcomes financial or in-kind contributions from organizations to create a more robust project. Opportunities for participation include: 

Partner Type Role, if Selected Paid or Volunteer How to Apply/Participate
Lead Partner
(artists; organizations focused on arts management, art therapy, youth development/engagement, community outreach, or project management)
  • Work with the City to further develop the project
  • Be part of the team submitting a Phase 2 application later this spring
  • Help administer and implement the project during 2024-2025
Paid Respond to Request for Qualifications

Click here to view the RFQ >> 
Project Artist Work with youth and other community partners to create one or more artworks (artistic medium TBD) in 2024-2025 Paid, with some opportunities for other artists to collaborate as volunteers Respond to a later Call for Art.
Note that artists selected as Lead Partners will be eligible to respond to the Call for Art, provided they have not participated in the specific task of developing the Call for Art, thus avoiding a conflict of interest. 
Supporting Partner
(organization or individual)
Various opportunities to support and collaborate with the City, Lead Partners, and Project Artists such as:

  • Providing spaces for art installations or performances
  • Helping promote the project
  • Providing support to facilitators and organizers
  • Participating on the project steering committee
Volunteer/in-kind contributions, with the possibility of some paid opportunities. Contact Heather Anderson to discuss partnership opportunities: heather.anderson@cityofrochester.gov.

No commitment needed at this time, nor are the details of this role.
Supporting Funder
(organization or individual)
Provide additional funding to the project to make it even more robust. N/A Contact Heather Anderson to discuss partnership opportunities:

Note: In the event that the City is awarded the Bloomberg grant in the fall, Partners selected through the RFQ process may be required to enter into a Professional Services Agreement (PSA) with the City, which must be approved by City Council. The PSA will include the City’s MWBE and Workforce Goals for Consultants and subcontractors. Click here to view the City’s PSA template. The PSA is not required to be included in response to the RFQ but is included here for future reference.


Activity Date (all times EST)
RFQ Release March 3, 2023
Pre-Submission Conference 10 a.m. on March 16, 2023
Deadline for Questions 5 p.m. on March 22, 2023
Responses Circulated By March 24, 2023
Qualification Submissions Due 5 p.m. on April 3, 2023
Partner Selection and Notification Week of May 8, 2023
Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces Finalists, Second Round of Applications Are Due Spring 2023
Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces Winners Fall 2023