RFQ: Flat Branch Park Expansion – Columbia Bicentennial



Flat Branch Park Expansion
Public Art Project | Columbia, Missouri

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Friday, April 17, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. CST

APPLY FOR THE PROJECT: Click here to apply  


The City of Columbia, Missouri, invites artists residing in Missouri, or the metro areas of Kansas City and St. Louis, to apply for a public art project part of the Flat Branch Park Expansion. The city seeks an artist or artist team to create new site-specific, original, public artworks for the park. Works in a variety of durable media and forms will be considered. At this point, artists should submit qualifications only, not a design proposal (see Selection Process and Application Information). Once an artist is selected, he/she will propose work for the site.


The City of Columbia Parks and Recreation department and the Convention and Visitors Bureau department is currently in the planning process for the development of the Flat Branch Park Expansion, a project that will celebrate Columbia’s Bicentennial in 2021.

The site of Flat Branch Park today was home to some of the earliest businesses in Columbia. The historic ice plant building, an important center for commerce and daily living, still borders park boundaries. The equally notable historic station house of the former KATY railroad is across the street, now housing a restaurant. The once-neglected stream running through the park, which at its worst served as an open sewer, was cleaned, rehabilitated, and given to the people for public use when Flat Branch Park was first dedicated in 2001. Created in phases and always inspired and informed by citizen contributions and volunteerism, Flat Branch Park is enjoyed by locals, tourists, cyclists, and pedestrians of all description. It is one of the most accessible public parks in the downtown area and the site of numerous and frequent public and private events and activities.

Expansion of the park from its present northern boundary to the Broadway and Providence intersection, is a civic improvement project of the CoMo 200 Mayoral Task Force, which designs and coordinates events for Columbia’s Bicentennial, to be celebrated in 2021. The park will feature a Gateway Plaza and link access to the streets above and the park below via a pedestrian bridge. The plan for that park expansion also includes the installation of artistic creations ultimately sought by this RFQ.

Learn more about the Bicentennial and Columbia’s history.

The park’s expansion will serve as a gateway to downtown Columbia and connect to the existing Flat Branch Park. The park design includes space for three artworks.

Construction of the project is currently scheduled to begin in summer 2020.

More information about the park project.


There are three opportunities for permanent public art in the park. The project affords a unique opportunity for meaningful public art in Columbia that celebrates the city’s 200-year history. No aspect of the art is pre-determined. If artists are interested in proposing a series of related pieces, please describe in the statement of interest when submitting the application.


The budget for each of the three site-specific public art locations in the Flat Branch Park Expansion has been established at $32,000 per location. The amount must include all artist fees, materials, fabrication, shipping, installation, etc.


The project is open to all artists and artist teams, 18 years and older, residing in Missouri, the Kansas City Metro, or the St. Louis Metro. Professional artists with experience in the field of public art are encouraged to apply. All applicants, regardless of race, sex, religion, nationality, origin or disability, will be considered.


The city’s Standing Committee on Public Art, made up of artists, arts professionals, community representatives and project staff, will review applications and choose finalists. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of artistic and technical merit and strength of past work. Though not required, relevant work in the field of public art is desirable as is experiences collaborating with architects and other design professionals. The number of finalists is not pre-determined.

All finalists will be invited to interview with the project selection panel and will receive an honorarium for doing so. Finalists will not be asked to develop design proposals for the interviews, but should be prepared to discuss how they might approach the project as well as present a survey of their past work and answer questions from the panel. The selection panel will recommend the 1-3 applicants they believe to be most qualified for the project to the city’s Commission on Cultural Affairs. The City Council will finalize the decision. Once the contract has been approved by City Council, the selected artist(s) will be able to begin developing a proposal for the project.


To be considered, submit the following:

  • Current résumé
  • Contact information for two professional references
  • A maximum of ten images of completed works or projects (submitted electronically)
    • Images should be in JPEG format
    • Image resolution – no more than 300 ppi (may be as low as 72 ppi)
    • Maximum file size (per image) – 3 MB
    • Name each image with the following format: lastnameimagenumber.jpg (for example, Smith01.jpg, Smith02.jpg, and so on)
  • An annotated image list that corresponds to visual submissions. It should give the image number, title of the work, medium, dimensions, year of completion, project location, budget, commissioning agency and a brief description (100 words). The list should also include the artist’s name.
  • A typed statement of interest, no more than 500 words, that outlines how you might approach this project, if selected, what materials you might use, how this project could relate to your current work, etc. Do not include sketches or a developed description of a possible installation, just the basic statement of interest.

The online form will also include the following questions:

  • Are you currently employed by the City of Columbia? [Yes / No]
  • Is your partner and or/immediate family employed by the City of Columbia? [Yes / No]
  • Do you currently serve on a board or commission for the City of Columbia? [Yes /No. If yes, please explain]

Do not send any materials not specifically requested. If sent, they will not be reviewed by the selection panel.


Applications must be submitted via online form by Friday, March 17, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. CST. Emailed applications cannot be accepted. Late and incomplete submissions will not be considered.


APPLY FOR THE PROJECT: Click here to apply


City of Columbia, Missouri, Office of Cultural Affairs, 573-874-7512 or OCA@CoMo.gov


This request for qualification (RFQ) does not commit the City of Columbia (City) to enter into an agreement with any applicant and is not an offer for contract. All City arts programs are contingent upon availability of funds. At its sole discretion, the City may reject any or all applications, may modify or terminate the application or selection processes and without prior notice. Applicant agrees that all materials submitted become the property of the City and shall not be returned. Notwithstanding the foregoing, applicant shall retain all copyright in the work which may be held by applicant. The applicant certifies that the information contained in the application is true and correct to the best of his or her knowledge. The City is not responsible for damage or loss of materials submitted. Failure to comply with all the requirements of this RFQ will constitute an invalid application.


The City of Columbia (City) reserves the right at any time to supplement, amend or otherwise modify this solicitation and to request additional information from any participating artists for any reason and without prior notice. In addition, the City reserves the right to accept or reject at any time prior to the commissioning of a work, any or all proposals; to waive any defect or technicality; and to advertise for new requests for qualifications.