May 15, 2010 --


San Francisco Arts Commission

Public Art Program


RFQ DATE:  4/29/10

APPLICATION DEADLINE: JUNE 25, 2010, 11:59 p.m. MDT (please check your current time zone and make note of any time difference)
Applications available through CaFÉ;, an on-line application system for calls for entry.  There is no charge to artists for using CaFÉ.  If you are a first time user of CaFÉ, please allow adequate time to learn the use of this system.

These commissions are open to Artist and Design Professional teams; all members of the team must be practicing, professionals residing in the United States.  The artist member shall be the lead designer.

The San Francisco Veterans’ Memorial Project will create a veterans memorial in Memorial Court, which is part of the War Memorial Complex, situated between the War Memorial Opera House and the Veterans Building.  Framed by San Francisco City Hall, the Veterans’ Memorial will honor the extraordinary dedication, commitment and sacrifice of those who have borne the battle and will offer a site of contemplation to reflect and to remember. 

In 1920, a campaign for a Veterans Hall and War Memorial was being championed by the posts of the newly formed American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. At the same time the San Francisco Symphony, Opera, Ballet and other arts organizations were looking for a permanent home. The two movements found a common cause in a grand proposal which became the War Memorial Complex, located across from City Hall in San Francisco Civic Center.

The final design chosen was for twin buildings equal in scale by architect Arthur Brown, Jr., with G. Albert Lansburgh to be separated by a courtyard. The courtyard adjoining the two buildings was designed by California landscape architect Thomas Church and is known as Memorial Court. Completed in 1936, Church’s original design intended a memorial to our nation’s veterans in the inlaid octagonal area within the courtyard. (It should be noted that San Francisco does not want a memorial that replicates or recalls Church’s.) Over time, soil from battlefields where Americans fought during WWI, WWII and Vietnam was interred within the area described by the octagon, consecrating this ground. 

The San Francisco Veterans Memorial Project proposes to fulfill this 75 year promise to our nation’s military veterans by building a memorial equal to the sacrifice of service.  The War Memorial Board of Trustees in conjunction, with a steering committee chaired by the Honorable George P. Shultz and the Honorable William J. Perry, have initiated a capital campaign to raise the funds to complete this project.   

You Tube Video about the project:
Veterans Memorial Project website:

SCHEDULE (some dates may be subject to change.)
Application Deadline:  June 25, 2010, 11:59 p.m. MDT
Finalists Selected:  July, 23, 2010
Finalist Orientation in San Francisco:  August 9, 2010
Finalists file vendor set-up forms and sign conceptual design contracts:  August-Sept. 2011
Design Proposal due in digital format:  March 1, 2011
Delivery of Proposal Boards: April. 5, 2011
Public Display of Proposals in Veterans’ Building:  April 2011
Panel Selection of winning proposal: April 29, 2011
Approval of proposal by War Memorial Board of Trustees, May 2011
Construction begins:  2012
Construction complete:  Oct. 2013
Formal Dedication: Nov. 11, 2013

Finalist contract to develop design concept:  $15,000.
Implementation Budget: estimated $1.35 million.  The final budget will be determined in January, 2011 and is dependant on the success of private fundraising efforts.

In accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding between the San Francisco War Memorial Board of Trustees, the Arts Commission will conduct a selection process for an artist and architect/landscape architect team to develop a proposal for a tribute to the military veterans who have fought for their county. The city’s contract will be with the artist.  The artist will subcontract for the work of the design professional(s), and all other consultants.

The memorial will be located in Memorial Court, and focus on the octagonal area that contains the consecrated soil from battlefields where Americans have shed blood  There is a strong interest in incorporating a water feature in the design (symbolic of spilt blood). Other design criteria are as follows:
•    A bronze plaque or other appropriate marker at the entrance of the War Memorial Court with didactic information about the designation of the War Memorial Court as a memorial to veterans.
•    The creation of a serene setting where visitors can pause and reflect.
•    Seating
•    Appropriate lighting. 
•    No element of the design should restrict the view of City Hall from the western end of the War Memorial Court.
•    The Project will be designed and constructed to be a “green project,” to conserve energy and water.

The original Thomas D. Cole design for the site attached to this document, as well as photographs of the site as it exists today.  

The lead of the design team must be a practicing professional artist, supported by a team of design professionals.  The artist’s team of design professionals must include either an architect or landscape architect.  (If selected, a structural engineer must also be included, but may be added after the contract has been awarded).  All licensed design professionals must be licensed in the State of California and carry professional liability insurance.
•    Artistic and design excellence, innovation and originality as evidenced by representations of past work and other supporting material.  The aesthetic sensibility of both the artist and design professional (s) on the team will be considered.
•    The artist’s work is judged to strengthen the city’s collection of monuments and public sculpture.
    The design teams professional experience, is adequate to meet the demands of the project.
•    The design team is available to participate in the design, approval and implementation of the project as required and will be available to participate in public meetings to present their proposal.
•    Assessed ability to meet project deadlines, and to perform work in a timely and professional manner. 
•    Assessed ability of the design team to create a veterans memorial of lasting significance for San Francisco.
•    Results of reference checks.

Application forms are available through café, an online artist application system.  Interested teams will apply directly online to the CaFE system at  Applications are not accepted by mail or email.
1.    Teams will post 20 images for review. Please include the artist’s or designer’s name in the title of the work. 
•    The Artist member is required to submit 10 images.
•    The design professional member(s) are required to submit 10 images.
•    All design members of the team should submit examples of their work.

2. All members of the team will post their resume.

3.  Teams will post a collective statement about their team's work.  

After the application deadline the Arts Commission Public Art staff will screen applicants to establish a qualified candidate pool to be considered for these commissions.  These pre-qualified artists will be presented to a Selection Panel consisting of arts and design professionals and representatives from the Arts Commission and War Memorial Board of Trustees. The panel(s) will select three finalist teams who will enter into an agreement with the city to develop a proposa1 for the memorial.

Finalists’ proposals will be placed on display in the Veterans’ Building for public comment and reviewed by the Arts Commission for comment prior to being presented to the Selection Panel, who will make a recommendation for a selected winning proposal to the War Memorial Board of Trustees.  Final approval of the selected proposal rests with the War Memorial Board.

Please contact Zoe Taleporos, the Public Art Program Associate, at (415) 252-3215;

STAY IN TOUCH: Artists interested in other public art commissions are encouraged to visit the San Francisco Arts Commission’s the Public Art Program website Information is updated whenever new opportunities arise.  

1     Rights Reserved by the Arts Commission
The City reserves the right to not accept any applications, to not accept any artist recommended by any of the selection panels, to initiate an alternate Selection Process, or to reissue the RFQ for additional pre-qualified artist candidates
2.    Proposal Policy
In the event that you are asked to develop a proposal, the following policy shall apply. The Arts Commission shall:
a.    At its sole discretion, have the unconditional right to own proposal maquettes or drawings selected for implementation as part of commission awards or may alternatively choose to retain all such maquettes until the project is complete.
b.    Retain first right of refusal to purchase proposal maquettes and drawings submitted by the artists not selected for implementation.
c.    Be given credit upon display and/or reproduction of any maquette or proposal commissioned, whether selected for implementation or not.
d.    Require that all proposals and/or maquettes submitted are original and unique. 

Non-Discrimination and Equal Benefits Ordinance
The City and County of San Francisco, in its effort to provide equality of opportunity and equality of benefits, requires that individuals and businesses doing business with the City comply with Sections 12B and 12D of the Administrative Code.  This requires that if you are an employer, and if you provide health or other benefits to the spouses of your employees, you must provide equal benefits to the registered domestic partners of your employees.  This section also requires demonstration of good faith efforts to hire local disadvantaged business enterprises.

Americans with Disabilities Act
The selected artist(s) will be required to comply with federal, state and local codes relative to accessibility for the disabled, and will be encouraged to develop artwork(s) sensitive to programmatic as well as physical accessibility issues. 

Minimum Compensation Ordinance (MCO)
(This requirement only pertains to artists who have over 20 employees, or artists who may have their artwork fabricated by a company with over 20 employees.) The selected artist(s) will be required to agree to comply fully with and be bound by the provisions of the Minimum Compensation Ordinance (MCO), as set forth in S.F. Administrative Code Chapter 12P. Generally, this Ordinance requires contractors to provide employees covered by the Ordinance who do work funded under the contract with hourly gross compensation and paid and unpaid time off that meet certain minimum requirements. Currently, the hourly gross compensation is $9.00 an hour. For the contractual requirements of the MCO, see paragraph 42 of the Ordinance. Note that the gross hourly compensation for covered employees increases to $10.00 for For-Profit entities on January 1, 2002 and increases 2.5% annually thereafter for 3 years. For Nonprofit entities and public entities, this increase is required only if the City makes the finding required by Section 12P.3(a)(ii) of the San Francisco Administrative Code. Additional information regarding the MCO is available on the web .

Health Care Accountability Ordinance (HCAO)
(This requirement only pertains to artists who have over 20 employees, or artists who may have their artwork fabricated by a company with over 20 employees.)
The selected artist will be required to agree to comply fully with and be bound by the provisions of the Health Care Accountability Ordinance (HCAO), as set forth in S.F. Administrative Code Chapter 12Q.  Artists should consult the San Francisco Administrative Code to determine their compliance obligations under this chapter. Additional information regarding the HCAO is available on the web at “”.

Other Requirements
The artist selected and approved by the Arts Commission shall be required to enter into contract with the City and County of San Francisco for the duration of the project. Throughout the duration of the contract, the artist, and the artist’s subcontractors, may be required to maintain a San Francisco business tax certificate, and may need to obtain various types of insurance, including Automobile Liability insurance, General Liability insurance, Fine Arts insurance (or other insurance against loss), and other insurance, as required by the City.

All information contained herein does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract and these provisions are subject to change.



The San Francisco Arts Commission is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. 
We believe that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being. 
Our programs integrate the arts into all aspects of City life.

San Francisco Arts Commission: