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History and Culture Trail

Call for Public Art

In partnership with the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, COCA seeks public art proposals that celebrate the rich history and culture of the areas surrounding the Capital Cascades Trail and FAMU Way Extension projects.

The submission deadline for this opportunity has passed.

The Capital Cascades Trail project is designed to provide a multi-faceted, multi-use stormwater and recreation facility and connected trail network. It is separated into physically distinct segments stretching across 4.25 miles of downtown Tallahassee. One of the planned amenities of the Capital Cascades Trail project’s Segment 3 is the History and Culture Trail project which will focus on honoring stories of adjacent resilient neighborhoods, civil-rights advocates and economic engines.

It will highlight the culture of these communities and their stories through artistic cultural and historical interpretations. Interpretive history kiosks will display images, photographs and historic information about the neighborhoods, businesses and people living and working in the area surrounding the Capital Cascades Trail Segment 3 and FAMU Way projects. Through a partnership with the Council on Culture & Arts (COCA), public art installations are planned to complement the educational kiosks.

Program Details

The Council on Culture & Arts (COCA) is accepting proposals for unique public artworks to be located along the History and Culture Trail. In partnership with the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, COCA presents this opportunity to share and celebrate the rich history and culture of the neighborhoods, businesses, and people living in the areas surrounding the Capital Cascades Trail and FAMU Way Extension projects.

The proposed artworks should:

• Highlight the history of the Tallahassee African-American community who has historically called the Project area home, as well as the significant history of FAMU and the local civil rights movement. 

• Improve civic engagement, enhance civil discourse, and encourage thoughtful and meaningful dialogue among people regarding the story of the surrounding communities

• Enhance the tolerance, diversity, and understanding of our communal history

• Add cultural value by communicating Tallahassee’s unique identity, social value by engaging opportunities for interaction and self-reflection

COCA will manage the submission and selection process and convene a selection panel of public leaders and citizens who will select artworks for installation. The artists implementing those selected designs will be paid a stipend.

Segment 3 of the Capital Cascades Trail project, often referred to as the FAMU Way Corridor, creates a new east-west roadway from South Monroe Street to Lake Bradford Road, a distance of approximately 1.5 miles. The corridor also provides increased connectivity to the burgeoning Gaines Street and College Town districts, creating a link between FAMU and Florida State University. 

Click here to see the project website for more information

• Artists 18 years of age or older are invited to submit single proposal for any or all of the 5 identified artwork locations listed below in the Artwork Details section. 

• Collaborative proposals of multiple artists working together are welcome. If submitting a group proposal, please designate a single artist to serve as the representative of the group.

• Artists must have successfully completed at least one art project in a public space.

• ​Special consideration will be given to artists of color.

• Artists from anywhere in the world are eligible to apply. Special consideration will be given to artists who reside in Tallahassee and/or the Big Bend Region (within a 100 mile radius of Tallahassee).

• Artwork must be original, and current (finished after October 1, 2017) if pre-fabricated.

• Proposals for both 2-D (murals) and 3-D (sculpture) artworks will be considered.

There are five artwork sites along the trail, each with a corresponding theme. Click on each location below to see photos of the site, more detailed information about the themes and history the artwork should represent, renderings, and specs.

Public Art Location 1 – Allen Subdivision Murals 
Public Art Location 2 – FAMU + Civil Rights Sculpture
Public Art Location 3 – Railroad Depot Mural 
Public Art Location 4 – Villa Mitchell Hill Sculpture
Public Art Location 5 – Elberta Crate Sculpture

Additional Considerations:

• All artworks will be located in areas used by the general public. Subject matter should be suitable for a viewing audience of all ages. 

• Murals will be painted directly onto the surface of the walls and the selected muralist will be required to apply a permanent (or non-sacrificial) anti-graffiti topcoat to their finished mural. 

• Public Art Location 1 – Allen Subdivision Murals include two painted surfaces, one on BOTH the inner surfaces of Pier 2 and 3. Though the surfaces are separate, the two proposed murals should complement one another and include cohesive imagery/themes/color scheme.

• Public Art Location 3 – Railroad Depot Mural includes a single surface that spans the length of the brick wall. This proposed mural should have a continuous design. 

• For Public Art Location 1 – Allen Subdivision Murals, the FDOT Design Manual Chapter 127 stipulates the mural design must not contain any signs (as defined here); traffic control features; auditory devices; reflective surfaces; flashing lights; moving parts; moving illumination; advertising (as defined here) including charitable, fraternal, religious; political signs; symbols; logos; banners; web links; or any other such devices. 

• Sculptural artworks will be installed/mounted at ground level.
A concrete pad will be poured for artwork installation at Public Art Location 2 – FAMU + Civil Rights Sculpture and Public Art Location 5 – Elberta Crate Sculpture.
There will be no concrete pad poured for Public Art Location 4 – Villa Mitchell Hill Sculpture

• Artworks must fit within the dimensions of their respective locations and allow for easy pedestrian accessibility around the piece. 
A maximum height restriction of 10′ applies to Public Art Location 2 – FAMU + Civil Rights Sculpture. This sculpture must also be grounded for safety due to overhead power lines. 

• Entries must be made of permanent material, able to withstand Florida weather conditions, and not require substantial ongoing maintenance

• Entries should not use any material that will “bleed” in the weathering process and cause discoloration or fading

• The artwork must be able to withstand touching by the unsupervised public, and should have no sharp edges and remain cool to the touch in full sun

• The final, installed artwork should not require either water or electricity

Eligible artists are invited to submit application materials, including biographical details and/or an artist statement, up to 3 images of previous, successful public artworks, up to 15 images/drawings of proposed artwork (images of a maquette of a proposed work are acceptable), including any renderings or plans needed to adequately explain the proposed artwork. (See application for details.)

COCA will review all submissions for basic eligibility and adherence to prospectus. 

A panel will review eligible artworks. The review panel will be composed of public leaders and citizens including Blueprint staff members, working committee members, and those with knowledge of public outdoor art. 

The review panel will forward their recommendations to the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board, comprised of the City and County Commissions who will have final approval of the artwork selections.

Artwork will be chosen for artistic merit, design, craftsmanship, safety, and compatibility with the environment. ​Special consideration will be given to artists of color. Special consideration will be given to artists who reside in Tallahassee and/or the Big Bend Region (within a 100 mile radius of Tallahassee)

COCA and the review panel reserve the right to reject any or all of the proposals.

COCA and the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency Board reserves the right to reject selected artwork if upon delivery it is not deemed representative of the appearance or fabrication indicated by submitted proposal images and materials.

Please note: If your proposal is selected, you may be asked to cooperate with COCA and Blueprint to revise or alter it in some way.

The total budget available for this project is $150,000. This amount will be divided among selected artists and includes the design, fabrication, transportation, delivery and installation of the selected pieces at the site, and all other associated expenses including but not limited to: additional site preparation or modification, project documentation, any travel expenses, artists’ fees, unexpected expenses and any other associated costs. Blueprint and the City will supervise installation and provide signage recognizing the artists for their work. 

Anticipated project budget allocations for each location:

• $12,000 – $22,000: Public Art Location 1 – Allen Subdivision Murals
• $20,000 – $35,000: Public Art Location 2 – FAMU + Civil Rights Sculpture 
• $8,000 – $18,000: Public Art Location 3 – Railroad Depot Mural
• $25,000 – $40,000: Public Art Location 4 – Villa Mitchell Hill Sculpture
• $20,000 – $35,000: Public Art Location 5 – Elberta Crate Sculpture

Artists are required to submit a preliminary budget in the application that does not exceed the maximum allocation for each location.

Please review these dates carefully and mark them on your calendar

Deadline for application has been extended to Jan. 31, 2022 at 11:59 pm

January 2022
Applications review by COCA and Blueprint staff 

February 2022
Application review and recommendations made by volunteer jury members

March 2022
Jury recommendations reviewed by the Intergovernmental Agency Board

No later than April 8, 2022
Notifications emailed to artists

COCA and Blueprint staff will work with selected artists on agreements, detailed and finalized budgets and fabrications/installation timeline from April-June 2022 with anticipated artwork installation slated for fall of 2022. 

*Dates are subject to change

Artists may submit single proposal for any or all of the 5 identified artwork locations. There is no application fee. The project administrator may request additional information from applicants prior to or after the submission deadline. 

The submission deadline for this opportunity has passed.

The Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency has been at the helm of the community’s most pressing infrastructure needs, based on a concept of holistic infrastructure planning and community redevelopment. Using sales tax dollars, Blueprint builds community envisioned infrastructure including multi-use corridors, park-like regional stormwater facilities for water-quality protection, alternative transportation, passive recreation and wildlife-habitat preservation.

Click here to learn more

Questions? Click here to watch a recorded info session about this opportunity.

If you still have questions… we’re here! Feel free to contact Amanda Karioth Thompson at