Call to Community Artists: Capture the Vision of Public Housing in Minneapolis


Minneapolis Public Housing Authority

A Call to Community Artists

Capture the Vision of the Future
of Public Housing in Minneapolis

Public housing is home to more than 10,000 low-income people in Minneapolis. It is essential to the fabric of our neighborhoods.
As the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) embarks on a long-term journey to preserve and renew our public housing, we seek artists who can distill this uplifting vision into powerful works of art for the community.

Who can submit?

MPHA seeks proposals from artists in three categories: Youth (grade school and middle school); High School; and Adults. Artist collaborations that span age groups will be judged in the oldest applicable group. See our “Submission Guidelines” summary below for details on the application and selection process. Initial submissions are due by October 30th, 2018.

What types of art?

MPHA is open to a variety of interpretations in the visual arts. Examples include (but are not limited to) drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video, filmmaking, graphic novels, and architecture. In judging, MPHA will place an emphasis on proposals with a potential to reach wide audiences.

What is the funding?

For selected proposals, MPHA will provide (1) up to $4000 for final design and concept completion and (2) up to $7500 for installation or distribution to the community; in the event a large physical installation is required, MPHA may reduce the number of proposals funded to accommodate a work with higher installation costs.

What is the vision?

Winning proposals will embody the spirit and content of MPHA’s “Strategic Vision and Capital Plan.” More information is available at Artists are encouraged to draw inspiration and research details more generally from MPHA’s recent website and social media content. The highlights of this vision include:

  • Preserving and modernizing all of our public housing units for current and future families, with no displacement or loss of housing benefits.
  • Continuing to serve the lowest-income members of our community with safe, quality places to call home.
  • Serving vulnerable households of many types, including seniors, the disabled, families with children, immigrants, and people of color.
  • Affordable rents (public housing rent is set at 30 percent of income).
  • Partnership with residents and neighbors in designing building improvements and planning for the future.
  • Local community partnership (public housing is traditionally federally funded; only by coming together as a local community can we plot a course to preserving it).
  • Valuing green technology and energy efficiency in the work that we do.
  • Strengthening partnerships around health, education, and employment.
  • The continuum of affordable housing

Any winning proposals will speak to at least one of the above themes. However, MPHA is open to many interpretations and approaches, including those we are sure we have not even imagined.

More about MPHA

MPHA owns and/or manages: (a) 42 multi-family apartment complexes totaling 5,006 units; (b) 753 scattered site units throughout Minneapolis; (c) 184 townhome units in the Glendale family development. We are also building 16 new townhomes opening in 2019, devoted exclusively to homeless families. In addition to our public housing, MPHA administers over 5,000 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.  MPHA has approximately 280 employees.

MPHA is a public entity formed in 1991 to provide federally subsidized housing and housing assistance to low-income families in Minneapolis, MN.  MPHA is headed by an Executive Director and is governed by a nine-person board of commissioners. MPHA is subject to the requirements of Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations and MPHA’s Procurement Policy.

For more information

See our Submission Guidelines below to learn about the application and selection process.

Additional copies of this notice and our Submission Guidelines may be downloaded from Under the Community Art – Call for Proposals

For general questions, email Jake Gateman: [email protected]



Capture the Vision of the Future
of Public Housing in Minneapolis

Application and selection will proceed in two stages: written submission and interviews.

Round 1 Submission (Deadline: October 30th, 2018)

Please submit a narrative (no more than two pages) describing:

  • The description of concept and approach;
  • If the artist intends that the public participate in the completion of the work (if so, this process should be described in detail);
  • A statement of the artist’s vision on how the art will engage the community and further MPHA’s vision and goals;
  • Identification and background of the artist or the artistic team;
  • Relevant portfolio samples (if the applicant has done prior, relevant work);
  • Location (if the art is specific to a location this should be identified);
  • Estimated cost to develop and put in place (estimate should include materials and labor, production work, etc.)
  • Any known grants or other funds that may be available to the artist to help offset costs;
  • Whether the artwork proposed could include or involve MPHA residents or voucher-holders in any way.

Submissions may be e-mailed to [email protected] or mailed (or hand-delivered) to the following address:

Minneapolis Public Housing Authority
Attention:  Jake Gateman, Contracting Officer
1001 Washington Ave N, Suite 201
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Round 1 submissions will be evaluated by an internal panel of MPHA staff. A limited group of entries will be invited for Round 2 interviews and discussions.

Round 2 Interviews

For Round 2, MPHA will convene a panel of residents and outside advisors (including non-competing artists or others who have some background in community arts). At the interview, the artist or artistic group will be given a chance to present their ideas in full, including any mock-ups, sketches, samples, animation or visualization of the project, etc.

Artists should also prepare a detailed estimated timeline for completion, and a budget including the costs, if any, of any final production, physical installation, or placement for the artist’s work.

MPHA will select work based primarily on its merit and potential for impact. Outside funding is not required; however, if a group has additional funds to support the work, MPHA may factor that into the selection process.


MPHA and our selection team will evaluate proposals based upon their capacity to capture and convey, in an uplifting and enlightening way, MPHA’s mission and strategic vision for the future of public housing. We will consider a proposal’s potential to have a broad impact in the community, an artist or team’s portfolio and experience, and practical considerations (such as timing or excess cost) where they exist.

After Round 2 interviews, MPHA will select up to five proposals for funding, including at least one proposal from each age group and, optionally, two at-large proposals. (At-large proposals may be restricted by available funding.)

For more information

Additional copies of our Call for Community Artists and these Submission Guidelines may be downloaded from Under the Community Art – Call for Proposals

For general questions, email Jake Gateman: [email protected]

Opportunity Opens

Wednesday, Sep 12th 2018

Opportunity Closes

Tuesday, Oct 30th 2018, 11:45pm

Application Location

External Site
MN Artists