Contrabands’ and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial Sculpture

Sponsor: City of Alexandria
Type of competition: RFQ
Language: English
Location: Alexandria, VA
Eligibility: Open to all artists or design groups.  No geographic requirements.
Registration Fee:
17 October 2011 – Submissions deadline
1 December 2011 – Finalists selected
5 December 2011 – RFP issued to finalists
20 February 2012 – Proposals due
Spring 2012 – Anticipated award date
Winter/Spring 2013 – Anticipated installation date

Awards: Three finalists will be invited to submit proposals.  Each will receive a $2,000 honorarium.
Budget: $350,000 (This project is fully funded)
Design challenge:
The City of Alexandria seeks to commission public art for the reclaimed Contrabands’ and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. The process will be managed by the Office of the Arts, a division of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, with the Alexandria Commission for the Arts’ Public Art Committee. The City will conduct the search for qualified applicants through a Request for Qualifications.

The purpose of the public art is to educate visitors to the cemetery about the courageous struggles of the thousands of contrabands and freedmen who sought refuge in Alexandria. The artwork shall be sculptural and serve as part of the memorial to the freed and escaped slaves and the children buried in the cemetery and as a symbol of our respect for those who did not live long in freedom. The bronze sculpture will be located inside the cemetery and will stand as a reminder to generations that the struggle for freedom, and the people who fought for it, will not be forgotten again.

It is important that applicants learn about the freedmen, their history and experiences and convey that knowledge through their application.  The commissioned artist should expect to communicate with the public, including descendant families, to inform the final design.