Creative City Challenge Submissions

The Minneapolis Convention Center and The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy of the City of Minneapolis in collaboration with Northern Lights.mn and Meet Minneapolis announce the third annual Creative City Challenge. 

The Creative City Challenge is a competition for Minnesota-resident architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, scientists, artists, students and individuals of all backgrounds to create and install at the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza an artwork, which is an innovative use of the space and acts as a sociable and participatory platform for scheduled and impromptu onsite programs throughout the summer.

This year the competition is challenging teams to engage the broader community to participate in a meaningful way in the design, creation and/or ongoing use of the artwork. We are open to what participation means. Some examples of participatory design projects are included at the end of this call, but they are by no means exhaustive or intended to be prescriptive. We want your ideas about how to engage the public in your work, the Convention Center Plaza, and, ultimately, the City.

The commission fee for the selected project is $75,000, inclusive of all artist fees, permits, installation and de-installation costs. The winning design will be unveiled at the opening of Northern Spark, June 13, 2015. 

SUBMIT YOUR PROJECT >>>

Initial responses are due by 4:30 pm CDT Monday, December 1, 2014.


Email creativecitychallenge@northern.lights.mn with questions. A complete request for the proposal document can be downloaded here >>> and a dwg file of the plaza here >>>.

If this material is needed in an alternative format please call Lance Knuckles at (612) 673-2919 or email Lance.Knuckles@Minneapolismn.gov. Deaf and hard of hearing persons may use a relay service to call 311 agents at (612) 673-3000. TTY users may call (612) 673-2157 or (612) 6730-2626

The Opportunity


The Creative City Challenge is a unique opportunity to create a destination artwork that animates the Convention Center Plaza the entire summer. The winning work will be launched at the annual Northern Spark festival, June 13, 2015, and there will be programmed activities throughout the summer. 

The goal of this year’s Creative City Challenge is to create an artwork that is an innovative use of space foregrounding the public’s ability to participate in the design, creation, or summer-long use – any or all – of the project. The CCC project should be able to be used in conjunction with every day and special event use by convention attendees and city residents. The piece should reflect the unique character, personality, culture, nature, and ethos of the City of Minneapolis.

There will be a separate call for curated programming of the Convention Center plaza, which is different from public participation with the project itself. CCC winners will have the opportunity to submit a programming proposal for their project, but it is not required or expected, and the winner’s programming proposal will not receive special consideration.

Summary of Required Services


Respondents to this call are requested to provide a project concept for a panel, which will select 3 proposals for further development. The initial response should include:

  • Statement of interest and conceptual approach to project (2 page max)
  • Project proposal, including how the public will participate in the design, creation and/or use of the project (3 page max)
  • Supporting materials (max. 6 images and 1 2-min video)
  • Past projects (max. 3 projects with max 1 page description each)
  • Team member bios (max 1 page each)
    • Include information about permanent residency for each team member. Note that the lead member(s) of the team and at least 50% of the core team must be permanent residents of Minnesota
    • Include information about whether members of the team have collaborated before, and if they have previously produced projects in the public sphere. This is not a requirement, but it is desirable.

The goals of the Creative City Challenge at the Minneapolis Convention Center are to:

  • Draw residents of the city to the MCC as a vital gathering space;
  • Provide a compelling gathering site for the MCC’s thousands of visitors spring through fall. 

These goals are directly related to the goals and strategic directions for the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Convention Center, the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy and Meet Minneapolis:

  • To add character to the city through a site-specific commission, which enhances the health and enriches the lives of Minneapolis residents;
  • To recognize Minneapolis as a regional center for excellence in architecture, urban design and the arts;
  • To enhance community identity and a sense of place in the MCC plaza;
  • To contribute to community vitality;
  • To deliver a consistently excellent pedestrian experience that inspires people to explore Downtown block after block;
  • To position Minneapolis as a national and international center for creativity and design;
  • To identify Minneapolis as an internationally recognized leader for a healthy environment and sustainable future;

Site


The Convention Center Plaza is an 87,000 sq. ft. (~2 acres) area bounded by the Convention Center, Marquette Ave. and 12th St. South in downtown Minneapolis. It is the green roof over an underground parking structure, which means that there are weight restrictions—no more than 100 lbs. per square foot--and no significant staking into the ground is possible. MCC and CCC staff will review all proposals. Electricity is limited. The sprinkler system will have to be adjusted to accommodate the installation. The installation cannot prevent events from taking place. For an example of a large-scale event layout see here >>>.

Any part of the plaza, including the walkways, is available for a project as long as it does not preclude normal uses of the plaza, is physically feasible, meets all code and regulatory requirements, and is an asset for the local neighborhood. The plaza must be able to be returned to its original state at the end of the project.

Eligibility


The Creative City Challenge at the Minneapolis Convention Center is open to Minnesota-resident architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, scientists, artists, students and individuals of all backgrounds. If submitting as a team, which is encouraged, the lead member(s) of the team and at least 50% of the core team must be permanent residents of Minnesota.

Family members and employees of MCC, The Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy of the City of Minneapolis, Northern Lights.mn, or the jury are not eligible as finalists for the Challenge.

Selection Process


Note that the CCC application and selection process has changed significantly from both 2012-13 and 2013-14. There is no public voting on the finalists or winner. A committee of stakeholders will select the three finalists. A national jury will select the winner based on interviews with the finalists.

Initial Proposals


Submit your proposal for the Creative City Challenge by 4:30 pm, Monday, December 1

  • Submissions will be reviewed by CCC staff, and any proposal deemed not feasible or not appropriate will not be presented to the panel.
  • A panel of stakeholders from the Convention Center, the City, Northern Lights.mn, and representatives from neighboring communities, businesses, organizations and the arts, architecture, and design communities will select 3 finalists.

Finalist Proposals


Finalists will be provided a stipend of $2,500 and the opportunity to meet with staff from the Convention Center and the City of Minneapolis to refine a proposal and present it in person to a national jury.

  • Finalists will present their proposals to the technical review committee of the Arts Commission for comment
  • Finalists will present their proposals in person to a national jury, which will make a final selection. The jury has yet to be finalized. When it is, it will be posted to the competition website. It will include at least the following:
    • 1 person from the Minneapolis City Council
    • 1 person chosen by the Mayor’s office
    • 1 person from the Minneapolis Arts Commission
    • 1 academic from the field of architecture, landscape architecture or urban planning
    • 2-3 outside architects and/or landscape designers
  • Development of final project details must be approved by MCC before the commission is formally awarded.
  • The selected proposal will receive project management support in addition to the cash award

Evaluation Criteria


Phase 1 - Panel

Artistic Excellence: The primary criterion for the project is artistic excellence. Artistic excellence refers to the quality of the art that is made or presented. We recognize that there are various approaches to excellence among different cultures, media, styles, periods, etc. 

In addition, a proposal will be evaluated for feasibility and how well it answers the following questions:

  • Participation: How does the proposal enable and require the participation of the public in its design, launch and/or use over the course of the summer?
  • Innovation: Does the proposal represent innovative ideas? An innovative way to engage the community in creating the work? An innovative use of the space? Innovative use of materials?
  • Destination: Is it likely to be a destination for visitors to MCC and residents of the City?
  • Platform: How does it accommodate and encourage other social interactions and participatory activities, both planned and informal?
  • 24x7: How does it work during the day? How does it work during the night?
  • Feasibility: Is it feasible within the resources and timeframe of the competition and within the regulations of the City of Minneapolis?

Phase 2 - Jury

Artistic Excellence: The primary criterion for the project is artistic excellence. Artistic excellence refers to the quality of the art that is made or presented. We recognize that there are various approaches to excellence among different cultures, media, styles, periods, etc. 

In addition, a proposal will be evaluated for feasibility and how well it answers the following questions:

  • Participation: How does the proposal enable and require the participation of the public in its design, launch and/or use over the course of the summer?
  • Innovation: Does the proposal represent innovative ideas? An innovative way to engage the community in creating the work? An innovative use of the space? Innovative use of materials?
  • Destination: Is it likely to be a destination for visitors to MCC and residents of the City?
  • Platform: How does it accommodate and encourage other social interactions and participatory activities, both planned and informal?
  • 24x7: How does it work during the day? How does it work during the night?
  • Feasibility: Is it feasible within the resources and timeframe of the competition and within the regulations of the City of Minneapolis?

Submission Requirements


The submission site will be online at least 2 weeks prior to the submission deadline of December 1.

Phase 1: Proposals for the Panel

Statement of Interest

  • In no more than 500 words describe your interest in the Creative City Challenge, your artistic vision, and how you would approach the ideas of the competition, particularly in relation to public participation

Project Proposal

  • In no more than 750 words describe your vision of your Creative City Challenge project. It can be precise, pragmatic, poetic, visionary, but it should be realistic and convincing. Be sure to be explicit about the public’s participation in the design, creation, and/or use of the project.

Project illustration(s)

  • Provide at least one and no more than 6 images of your proposed project. These do not need to be detailed plans, but should give some sense of the envisioned result. It can be based on a sketch, a CAD drawing, an altered image, or a construction, but the file itself must be in jpg, gif or png format. If you are providing a movie, it should be no longer than 2 min. and must be accessible online on Vimeo or YouTube.

Names, Roles, and Residency of Team Members

  • Primary contact. This person will be responsible for all communications with CCC staff.
  • Short description of team member strengths, special qualifications for this project, and anticipated project involvement, as well as biographical data of the primary participant(s). Note that the lead member(s) of the team and at least 50% of the core team must be permanent residents of Minnesota
    • Note any previous collaborations with team members
  • List the names and titles of any additional professional staff, if known, who are expected to work on the project if awarded the commission. 

Relevant previous experience

  • Relevant previous experience demonstrating the team’s ability to execute public park projects of a similar scope and size. List no more than 3 projects with no more than 2 pages of materials for each. You may include a link to further information about each project, but this information will not necessarily be reviewed by the panel.

Phase 2: Voting by the Jury

After selection of finalists by the jury, each finalist will receive a fee of $2,500 to prepare a final proposal to present to the jury. Finalist proposal details will be determined at the time of notification and will include:

  • Detailed proposal
  • Drawings and schematics
  • Budget + insurance
  • Permitting requirements
  • Installation timeline
  • Timeline of public participation (key moments when public is invited to participate in the design, creation and/or use of the project)
  • Usage scenarios

Budget

Provide a budget with at least the lines listed below. At this stage, this budget is just for a rough sense of proportion and will be used, for example, if you propose something for which there is no budget or an obvious mismatch - is it really possible to have 1,000 dancers on site every day for $150? You may add your own lines items or details for these line items. 

    • Preparation
    • Materials
    • Equipment rental
    • Installation
    • Permits, architectural drawings, engineering stamps
    • Personnel
    • Maintenance
    • Deinstallation
    • Artist fee

MCC staff will review the budget, schematics, and timeline for feasibility before the project is presented to the jury. If this cannot be resolved satisfactorily before the jury meets, the project will not be included in the final presentations, although the full design fee will be paid. 

There may be a public forum prior to the jury at which all finalists will be required to participate. The form of this public forum has not been finalized at this point.

Timeline


  • September 23 – Call for proposals opens
  • November 5 – Information session, Minneapolis Convention Center
  • December 1 – proposals due by 4:30 pm
  • December 23 – finalists notified
  • February 23 – finalist proposals due
  • February 26 – finalist presentation to jury
  • March 11 – winner announced
  • June 7 – project installation completed
  • June 13 – project opens to public at Northern Spark

All dates are subject to change. Check back on the website for the latest information.

Final details regarding the project will be subject to a contract with the City of Minneapolis.

Examples of Participatory Projects


These examples are intended to help spark ideas. They are not exhaustive and not intended to be prescriptive. We expect and look forward to very different ideas from you.

 

Questions


A pdf of the call for proposals can be downloaded here. Email specific questions to creativecitychallenge@northern.lights.mn before 4:30 pm CDT November 10. Answers to all questions will be posted on the Challenge website by November 18.

SUBMIT YOUR PROJECT >>>

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