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© 2019 by Eastern Market Main Street. 

RFP: Public Art to Benefit Persons Experiencing Homelessness and Our Neighborhood Economy

Updated: Feb 7, 2019


Request for Proposals

Public Art to Benefit Persons Experiencing Homelessness and Our Neighborhood Economy

Washington, DC


Submission deadline: February 18, 2019, 6pm by email to info@easternmarketmainstreet.org


Notification of selection: March 1, 2019




Questions prior to deadline may be submitted to info@easternmarketmainstreet.org


Organization: Eastern Market Main Street RFP Contact Name: Madeleine Odendahl, Executive Director Contact Address: 700 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20003 Telephone Number: (202) 853-9810


Introduction Eastern Market Main Street (EMMS) welcomes proposals for engaging, public art projects that will be created and featured during their 2019 Third Thursdays event series and auctioned as part of Capitol Hill Group Ministry’s signature fundraising event, Sip and Savor. In its fourth year, Sip and Savor will welcome hundreds of foodies, friends, and supporters to

experience tastings from 24 local restaurants, breweries, and beverage vendors while enjoying music and friendship. Proceeds from the evening will benefit Capitol Hill Group Ministry’s homelessness prevention, housing, street outreach, and supportive services for Washington D.C.’s most vulnerable individuals and families.


Any and all artists are welcome to apply. Please take the time to thoroughly read and familiarize yourself with the proposal requirements and objectives. All proposals must be received by the submission deadline noted above in order to be considered.


Project Location

Third Thursdays will take place in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Southeast Washington, DC throughout the EMMS corridor. This includes 7th Street SE from North Carolina to Pennsylvania Avenues SE, and C Street SE and Pennsylvania Avenue SE form 6th Street to 8th Street SE. The public art projects will take place on C Street Plaza, between 7th and 8th Streets SE.

Project Objective EMMS seeks talented and engaging artists to help us create a lively, activated corridor with Third Thursdays and raise funding for neighborhood development and individuals and families at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness. Artists will create a design for a small, collapsible picnic table (see Addendum A) and implement the design during a Third Thursday 2019 event (May - August). The tables will be auctioned in September and proceeds will go towards the work of EMMS and CHGM.

EMMS is a designated DC Main Streets program working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. EMMS supports small businesses and fosters a vibrant, neighborhood-serving corridor through public and private space improvements, capacity-building resources for businesses, and promotional events and campaigns. The mission of EMMS is to capitalize on our historic assets and entrepreneurial culture to promote, retain, and attract diverse, small businesses through the Main Street Four-Point Approach: Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Vitality.


Celebrating 50 years of providing life-changing services for our city’s most vulnerable families and individuals,Capitol Hill Group Ministry (CHGM) envisions the District of Columbia as a thriving and diverse community where all people can obtain and remain in safe, affordable, and comfortable homes. Their mission is to support the holistic needs of individuals and families at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness. Housing is the starting point. Seeing people thrive is the finish line.

Project Scope

  1. General: Artists are invited to submit designs for small, collapsible picnic tables (see base material in Addendum A), which will be on exhibit during and after the 2019 Third Thursday season along Eastern Market Main Street. Design submissions will be reviewed by the EMMS Promotions Committee, which will select four designs. The picnic tables will arrive as unpainted wooden sculptures ready to be transformed by selected artists. At the end of the exhibit, the tables will be auctioned at CHGM’s Sip and Savor event with the proceeds going to support the work of EMMS and CHGM.

  2. Artistic Materials: The artist may paint and adorn the table as they wish, but the structural integrity of the table must not be compromised. The viewing public will have full access to the picnic table, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore, tables should be designed and executed with public accessibility, safety, weather and possible vandalism taken into consideration (a staining process should be included in design proposals.)

  3. Guidelines: Please remember that the audience will be broad-based and of all ages. Designs that are of a negatively political, racially denigrating, or sexually explicit nature will not be accepted. The use of corporate logos and trademarks is not permitted. The tables will be primarily placed outdoors and in areas fully accessible to the public. This means that weather, vandalism, touching, feeling, and even climbing on the tables should be considered. Please keep durability and public safety in mind with your designs. Designs that highlight Eastern Market, Capitol Hill, and/or Southeast neighborhoods are highly encouraged.

  4. Selection Process: Artists may submit up to two designs, and will be paid the honorarium for each design selected that yields a finished, approved table for final exhibition and auction. The EMMS Promotions Committee will select four designs from the applications, and artists will be notified on or before March 1, 2019.

  5. Creation: Artists will execute their design(s) during Third Thursday events - one design per event on May 16, June 20, July 18, or August 15. Events are currently scheduled from 4pm-8pm, but specific work timing and rain plans will be decided upon with each selected artist. EMMS will be responsible for transporting the table to the project location, but artists are responsible for transporting any and all materials. Artists should specify in their proposal if they would prefer to begin creation in their own studio space and confirm that they will then bear responsibility for transporting the table to the project location.

  6. Post-Creation: EMMS will work with small businesses in the area to display the finished tables in public space. The tables will be on display from the Third Thursday event of their creation through the week before CHGM’s event.

  7. Compensation: For each design selected, artists will be awarded an honorarium of $250. EMMS is currently seeking additional sponsorship and grant funding to increase this honorarium. In addition to financial compensation, EMMS will feature each selected artist in a blog post that will be included in their monthly newsletter and on social media, and brief artist bios/project descriptions will be displayed with the tables to promote the artists both on the corridor and at the auction.

Project Timeline

February 18 - Proposals due to EMMS

March 1 - Selected artists notified

May 16 - Third Thursday: first design completed and displayed

June 20 - Third Thursday: second design completed and displayed

July 18 - Third Thursday: third design completed and displayed

August 15 - Third Thursday: fourth design completed and displayed

September 6 - Tables removed from corridor, opportunity to touch up if needed

September 14 - CHGM Sip and Savor event and auction


Project Proposal Expectations EMMS shall award contracts to artists that best accommodate the objectives of the project. In your proposal, be sure to describe how you would approach the project, your availability this summer for scheduling purposes, and your design for the work you hope to create for this project. Portfolios of past work will also be accepted.

By submitting your proposal, you confirm that:

  1. You are the original creator of your design.

  2. You have not copied anyone else’s original work.

  3. Your design does not infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property rights (for example: trademark, trade dress, or design patent.)

  4. To the extent that anyone else has contributed to your design, you shall obtain a signed agreement from that person assigning all of their rights in their contribution to you.

Addendum A - Base Material