Norfolk is the cultural capital of Virginia and offers the highest quality and the widest array of artistic experiences. 

Grant Guidelines for organizations applying to the Norfolk Commission for the Arts and Humanities can be downloaded here. 

Deadlines for Arts and Humanities grants and Public Art applications have not changed. 


The Norfolk Public Art Commission and the NEON Arts District Planning Committee seek to commission an artist to work with engineers and other design professionals on the streetscape improvement plan.

LOCATION/CONTEXT: The NEON Arts District in Norfolk, Virginia is Norfolk’s first official arts district and is home to a wave of passion and creativity in downtown. The NEON draws from the neighborhood’s history with the automobile industry as it moves into a new and vibrant future. You can experience theater, opera, glass blowing and international exhibitions within the Districts’ boundaries at the well-known Chrysler Museum, Harrison Opera House, The Pushers improv comedy group, and Hurrah Players technical theater school. Busking, night life, street activity, food trucks and more are all part of the NEON experience. You will find an electric mix of people, artists and organizations added to the existing gun shop, furniture store, tattoo parlor and 90-year-old haberdasher. Biking, cafes, markets, retail and other small businesses–both permanent and pop-up--are encouraged. The District has become a vibrant, 24/7 place where the diverse people from all areas of Norfolk live, create and play. 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The City of Norfolk has hired RK&K Engineering to upgrade the streetscape and make much-needed infrastructure improvements. The Public Art Commission is seeking an artist to collaborate with engineers to design integrated art elements into the new streetscape plan. This is an opportunity to influence the overall use and aesthetic of the District. The art project design could include material choices, tree grates, sidewalk furniture, sites for temporary and permanent public art, planters, bollards, pavement treatments and other creative ideas. The artist will be responsible for interacting with the art community and facilitating any additional stakeholder involvement necessary for the artwork/streetscape plan to advance. Engineers have begun work and the selected design team artist will need to be sensitive to what may be limited opportunities. The design timeline is moving quickly. 

PROJECT SITE: The streetscape improvement plan encompasses both sides of the street along three block, gutter, and sidewalk in the NEON district along Granby Street between Brambleton Avenue and Virginia Beach Boulevard.

PROJECT FUNDS: Up to three finalists may be selected to be interviewed (in person or via Skype) by the Public Art Planning Committee via Skype or in person. The finalists will be interviewed about their past work, experience on a team, understanding of this project, and their creative process. The committee reserves the right to select the final artist without a finalist process.

The total budget for work on the design team is $35,000. We want the artist to start work as soon as possible. The completion deadline has not yet been determined. The selected artist will work closely with the design team to make recommendations for the streetscape design that include 1) elements to be incorporated into the streetscape construction budget, 2) elements that may be fabricated separately and installed by the construction contractor, and 3) elements that may be created in a separate public art contract. This will cover all artist’s time and fees necessary to complete the scope of the project. The selected artist may be asked to host design charrettes with the NEON community.

The selected artist must carry a $1M Commercial General Liability Insurance Policy naming the City of Norfolk as an additional insured and must provide certificates of insurance to that effect guaranteeing thirty (30) days written notice before any changes to the policies become effective. Insurance can be purchased, and certificate presented after the first payment is made. If the artist employs anyone in connection with this work, the artist must carry a worker’s compensation insurance policy and an automobile liability insurance policy if appropriate. The artist shall also be responsible for assuring subcontractors, if there are any, meet the same insurance requirements.   

Anticipated Schedule of Events: This schedule is subject to change.

Prospectus Issued March 11, 2020

Submissions Due April 2, 2020, 2:00 PM EDT

Interviews April 6-9, 2020

Intent to Award Spring 2020

Contract Executed Spring 2020

Completion of Design Spring 2021

SELECTION CRITERIA AND AWARD CONSIDERATIONS: The commission will be awarded based on many factors such as the aesthetic value, creativity and contemporary relevance of the proposed piece. The city will consider the diversity of beliefs and values and general standards of decency of the citizens who fund the commission and purchase public art for the City of Norfolk. The award will be made to the responsible offeror whose submission is determined in writing to be the most advantageous to the City taking into consideration the evaluation factors set forth in this Request for Proposal.

The following criteria will be used in the proposal evaluation process:

1. Professional experience in a municipal public design process and consensus building.

2. Artistic merit (excellence, originality, creativity and innovative approaches) as evidenced by submitted materials.

3. Professional artistic experience to fulfill the requirements of this project either in studio, educational, community, employment and/or art projects and the ability to undertake the design, creation and installation of the artwork.

4. Appropriateness of style and concepts in relation to this prospectus.

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS: Submission must be submitted via Submittable website at or delivered to 810 Union Street, Suite 303, (City Hall Building) Norfolk, VA 23510 by 2:00 PM EST on April 2, 2020. Artists are highly encouraged to apply through Submittable. There is no application fee to apply or use the Submittable online application system.

The following materials are required:

1. Statement of Understanding, online agreement of compliance to all State of Virginia codes. See last page of this document for Statement of Understanding.

2. Letter of Interest, not to exceed one (1) page, outlining your interest in this project and how you will approach the artwork design and creation. 

3. Resume, maximum of two (2) pages, outlining your professional accomplishments. If submitting as a team, please include resumes for each team member, with each resume not exceeding two (2) pages.

4. Artwork Images, selection of up to ten (10) images representing artworks most relevant to the scope of this opportunity. You may submit up to two (2) video files if relevant to showing the artwork. 

5. References, three (3) professional references, including name, affiliated organization (if appropriate), email address, phone number, and relationship to each reference. 


For examples of design team public art go to

Questions about this project may be directed to Danny Hawk, Office of the Purchasing Agent at For assistance with the Submittable online application process, contact Submittable tech support at

This Request for Proposals is governed in all respects, including but not limited to the award decision, by the Code of the City of Norfolk, 1979, as amended, especially Chapter 33.1, the Procurement Chapter, and its associated regulations. For more information on doing business with the City of Norfolk or to become familiar with the City Code generally, its Procurement Chapter and regulations, or the ethics and non-discrimination sections of the Procurement please go to the city web site at City encourages women and minorities to submit proposals and for non-minority artist to participate with small businesses and women and minorities through partnerships, joint ventures, subcontracts and other contractual opportunities. Please describe any planned use of such businesses in fulfilling this contract.

Before submitting proposals, please review the website for possible updates and addendums.

Grants and Public Art Applications Norfolk VA