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WESTAF’s Public Art Archive Partnership for Community Engagement Pilot Project
See the full document here, http://goo.gl/JLmq6C.
The Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) seeks a partner to engage in a proof of concept pilot project to develop a replicable community engagement and documentation program related to public art. The project seeks to develop a replicable guided crowdsourcing model, supported by crowdfunding, that will engage local residents in the public art of their community and also support the sharing of those works in WESTAF’s free online searchable collection of public art in the Public Art Archive™ (PAA™). The focus of the engagement project is on the crowdsourcing of images of public art and the demonstration of the crowdsourcing of limited funds to support the effort. Organizations of all types, non-profit and for-profit, art-based and non art-based, as well as individuals, are eligible to respond to this opportunity. The entity or individual selected to conduct the pilot will enter into a contract for services with WESTAF and will be paid $10,000 upon the successful completion of the project.
The United States is home to an estimated 200,000 works of public art. Until recently, however, there has been no single place in which images and information about these works could be accessed in a search-rigorous manner to serve the needs of cultural tourists, art researchers, managers of public art programs, and community members who are called on to select works of public art. The four-year-old Public Art Archive currently contains works from more than 800 public art collections in the United States. In order to capture the full range of public art in the United States, there is a need to interest and then involve the public in collecting additional images of public art and information about those works. There is also a need to find ways the Public Art Archive project can be used to build community support for the numerous public art collections across the country.
One may think that capturing these images and information about public artworks would be a simple exercise of requesting this information from the public art program managers. However, this is not the case because such a task encounters many significant barriers, including:
Limitations on administrative costs which are often inserted into percent for art legislation lead to public art programs that are understaffed and under resourced. As a result, many of them do not have the staff time to prepare works for submission to the Public Art Archive.
Multiple historic collection management systems that are often not integrated. This makes for various versions of records in incongruent formats spread over, in some cases, many years.
Inconsistent descriptive metadata and a lack of collective access to information about public artworks, due to the fragmented nature of the public art field.
A substantial number of works that are in slide form only and not in a digital format.
A consistent 10 –15% of images of public artworks that are of less-than-high quality. Blurry, highly pixelated, inadequate color capture, and other issues are surprisingly common across the field.
Missing images of a number of works and limited resources to systematically capture those images. In some cases, the location of artworks has changed or the works have been repaired and recent images were not captured.
Offering each community with a public art program the funds they need to prepare and send their images and documentation off to the Public Art Archive may be desirable; however, it is estimated to be a multi-million dollar project for which funds are not available.
In order to overcome these barriers to building a high quality online archive of the nation’s public art, the Public Art Archive project has identified guided crowdsourcing as a viable strategy for building a more complete database of public art in the United States. Guided crowdsourcing includes training individuals on how to identify public artworks and understand the process by which they were placed, as well as best practices in documenting and photographing those artworks. Data and images submitted by means of guided crowdsourcing are vetted for quality and accuracy before they are added to the Public Art Archive database, ensuring that rigorous standards are upheld. This opportunity seeks to test the potential of crowdsourcing as a means to address the core challenges presented above.
While the primary purpose of this project is to develop a flow of high-volume, quality images and information about public art to fill out the Public Art Archive, the effort is also part of a larger initiative that seeks to more actively engage the public in public art. Many communities have large and important public art collections yet often lack a knowledgeable and/or engaged constituency for that collection. By engaging communities in the capture of images and information about the public art in their localities, this project has the potential to serve as an important first step in the development of a local public art constituency.
Respondents can be a non-profit or for-profit, arts-based or non-arts based, and may be a private individual. In order to submit a response, the entity or individual must:
Have a successful record of managing community engagement projects;
Be familiar with the management of a social media campaign to support a community engagement activity;
Demonstrate experience with crowdfunding or make a case as to why they could succeed with the crowdfunding component of this project;
Identify and work with a public art collection or collections in a contiguous geographic area that has a total of no fewer than 40 works; and
Provide a list of potential partners who could be collaborators in this effort.
Scope of Work
The key deliverables of the project partner are:
Work effectively with the WESTAF staff to develop a project plan including a budget and timeline.
Identify a local, regional, or state collection(s) of public art that will be the target of the project.
Enlist the support and cooperation of the manager(s) of the target public art collection(s).
Plan and execute a replicable crowdfunding campaign for an estimated $5,000 to $10,000. These funds should be used to purchase materials and support the local activities of the project. Other sources of income are allowed, but the majority of funds should be crowdfunded.
Identify collaborators who can work on the project and whose collaboration in this pilot would serve as a model for others.
Organize and manage the guided crowdsourcing of the image and data collection. Please see the data and media standards here.
Prepare a brief final report that summarizes what was learned from the project. The report needs to describe and analyze:
a) How the community was motivated to become engaged in the project;
b) What was learned from the crowdfunding aspect of the project;
c) The effectiveness of the crowdsourcing component; and
d) Perspectives on what follow-up activities might be enacted in order to build a broad constituency for public art.
The preferred project completion date is March 31, 2015.
Definition of Public Art
For the purposes of this project, we are looking to engage the community with artworks that are both publicly accessible and sanctioned. Sanctioned artworks have gone through some official process, whether that be through the traditional public art commissioning process, direct purchase, artist initiated, or donation. Artworks from every time period are welcome, but our focus is on contemporary works from 1965 to the present.
WESTAF is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to the creative advancement and preservation of the arts. To accomplish this, WESTAF works in cultural policy, research, and technology. The Public Art Archive is a project that is free to contribute to and access on both desktop and mobile devices. WESTAF brings the following support to this project:
The availability of WESTAF staff to discuss and advise on the project throughout the project’s term;
Technology consulting and technology services that can enhance the efficiency of the pilot project;
A commitment to public art that dates back to 1976;
Established relationships with many public art organizations that can be accessed for advice;
Financial support in the amount of $10,000, to be paid in installments for the design, execution of the project and preparation of the final report of the pilot project;
Marketing and social media coverage of the project; and
Potential for a long-term partnership and additional opportunities.
When selecting the winning proposal, the following criteria will be used:
The proven ability of the respondent to activate a community;
The previous experience in gathering digital information and images from a group;
The interest in and capability of the respondent in the crowdfunding aspect of the project; and
The ability of the respondent to effectively manage the project.
Only online proposals will be accepted via this form. Please use these questions to formulate your responses before entering them and submitting them using the form. One response per person please.
Describe your previous successes in managing community engagement projects.
Describe your experience with social media platforms and campaigns to support a community engagement activity.
Describe your experience with crowdfunding and/or make the case as to why you could succeed with the crowdfunding component of this project.
Identify a public art collection or collections you would like to work with. This should exist in a contiguous geographic area and have no fewer than 40 works.
Provide a list of potential collaborators.
Please detail any additional ideas for your project you feel we should know about.
The deadline for submitting a proposal for this project is October 1, 2014. Notification of the award will be made no later than October 20, 2014.
Initial questions about submitting a proposal or requirements of respondents can be sent to Rachel Cain at Rachel.Cain@westaf.org. Frequently asked questions and answers will be posted on the PAA blog at http://publicartarchive.tumblr.com. Those considering making submissions can participate in an online briefing and question-and-answer session. That session is scheduled for Wednesday, September 17, at 12pm Mountain Standard Time. Please complete this form to RSVP for the webinar.
WESTAF reserves the right to not award for this project if no acceptable proposals are received.
Subscribe to the PAArtners Periodical here: http://www.publicartarchive.org/content/connect
Documentation of Public Art
Public Art lives a mortal life. Whether it is a mural on the side of the building, a sculpture on a street corner, or a drawing made in the sand, the existance that this public art claims is only temporary. Thus, the need for documentation is essential for it’s memory to live on, and in many cases transfers into becoming the commodified shell of the art itself.
As the concentration is generally on the creation of the temporary work, many pieces are not documented and archived either by intention or oversight on the part of the artist. Another aspect is how the documentation of work taken by others can sometimes overtake the work that was created, shift its intention and take on a life of its own. When memories of art placed on a certain street only live on for those who passed by and were touched/inspired by the work, this can be both effective and can be seen as limiting and unfortunate. Art that exists in the public sphere has often served to shape the way we remember that certain place and time. Such influential pieces can be immortalized through documentation. In this article, we will discuss the ways documentation can turn into an art form itself, artists whose ephemeral work relies on documentation, and certain attempts of archiving the vast and constantly evolving world of public art. In doing so, we hope to influence you to consider on a deeper level, the effects of documentation both as a viewer of public art, and as a creator of public art.
We Invite You to be a Guest at Our Working Lunch
Thursday, June 12, 2014 | Noon to 3:00 pm
The Southern Steak & Oyster Restaurant | 150 3rd Avenue S, Suite #110, Nashville
- Lunch and updates on the Public Art Archive project
- Questions and discussion
- Presentation by Tomas McCabe, Executive Director of the Black Rock Arts Foundation. McCabe will talk about BRAF’s role in supporting civic arts in communities around the world.
- Questions and discussion
- One-on-one consultations about documenting your public art collection
Tomas McCabe is the Executive Director of the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF). A nonprofit organization, BRAF is an affiliate of the Burning Man Project, with a mission to support and promote community, interactive art and civic participation. Through their Grants to Artists and Civic Arts programs, BRAF works with communities around the world to collaboratively produce innovative, relevant and pioneering works of public art that build community and empower individuals.
McCabe has long been a member of the San Francisco creative community and has worked as a freelance film editor since 1991. He is also an accomplished documentary filmmaker. In 1999, he began a three-year journey, which resulted in an award-winning documentary called “Bums’ Paradise,” which tells the stories and shows the extraordinary creativity of a group of homeless men and women, before and after their eviction from the community they built on the Albany Landfill in the San Francisco Bay. He also developed the concept for and scripted “Gang of Souls,” an hour-long documentary featuring poets from the Beat Generation. A former Executive Director of the Berkeley Conservation and Energy Program, McCabe managed a collaborative project between The City of Berkeley and The Ecology Center to assist ethnically diverse and underserved residents to conserve energy and reduce utility bills.
We are pleased to welcome Jennifer Perlow to the Public Art Archive team. Jennifer will be contacting public art administrators about our Collection Showcase feature. See current showcases by Los Angeles County, MOA (Museum of Outdoor Arts), and Seattle.
Watch and download this tutorial to learn about using the Showcase feature to it’s maximum potential.
Contact Jennifer when you’re ready to have your own at Jennifer.Perlow@westaf.org.
A Call to Participate in a Conversation
The Public Art Archive (PAA) project seeks public art professionals to join a field-wide conversation about online tools and services for public art administrators. The goal of the conversation is to inform WESTAF’s PAA team of issues in the public art field and advise on specific proposals related to the development of public art collection management tools and services. These tools and services are being developed as part of the existing PublicArtArchive.org database.
The Archive project is currently advised by a Senior Advisory Committee. That committee advises the Archive project manager on macro-policy issues and long-term strategic planning for the project. The field conversation among public art practitioners is intended to augment, not replace, the work of the already established Senior Advisory Committee.
Who Can Join?
Potentially, participation in this conversation is open to all individuals currently working in the area of public art. Participants can be public art administrators, artists engaged in public art, public art project managers, public art maintenance contractors, curators, conservators, technologists working in the area of public art, public art policy experts, visual resource experts, and scholars of public art.
In order to ensure that various specialties, geographic regions of the United States and Canada, and specialized expertise are represented, invitations will also be extended to specific individuals. Doing so will help ensure that the Archive staff receive broad and deep responses to the issues posed.
Consider Joining If You:
- Love talking about databases;
- Think that the web is the next frontier for the arts;
- Wish you had a better way to manage your public art collection;
- Have a horror story about using your database; or
- Manage a large collection in a highly customized database built just for your needs specifically;
To be a regular and effective participants in this conversation, we ask that you be prepared to:
- Engage proactively and bring issues from the field to the Public Art Archive team.
- Suggest ways that WESTAF can address the needs of the field.
- Reply to monthly emails, polls, or discussion questions via a Facebook group.
- Attend up to two webinar meetings per year, and one in-person meeting if you attend the AFTA conference in June.
- Volunteer for this work, no compensation for your time is offered.
The Conversation Tool
The field conversation will be facilitated via an open Facebook group. The Facebook conversation will be supplemented by webinars and conference calls.
If You Are Interested:
Please complete this short survey (if you have not previously) so that we know about you and your database. If you have already completed the survey, simply email PAArchive@westaf.org directly and Rachel Cain, PAA Program Manager will contact you.
Feel free to forward this announcement to colleagues who you think might be interested in joining the conversation. Please email any questions to PAArchive@westaf.org.